Images of Old Hopewell
This gallery contains a small fraction of our holdings relating to present day Hopewell Borough. These images tell the story of this small rural town, connected in 1876 to the outside world by the Delaware & Bound Brook Railroad. What had been a sleepy village since before the American Revolution, was now starting to come alive. Its ties to the Fight for Liberty were strong. A Signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hart, had called Hopewell home (then Hopewell Meeting House), and a critical Council of War had taken place nearby in 1778 to plan strategy for the Battle of Monmouth.
With the arrival of the railroad local farmers had a much larger market for their goods, and urban families could move to the country, and still have easy access to New York and Philadelphia. The town grew as homes were constructed. As homes were built, more businesses opened to supply the demand for goods and services. The town schools grew proportionally. The strongest bonds in this community has always been within the churches. Hopewell Borough was created as a separate municipality in 1891, yet its legal boundaries expanded only once in 1915.
Throughout its long history, Hopewell has always been surrounded by large working farms. With the advent of Green Acres funding in the latter part of the 20th century, and the "green belt" planning concept, most of the open lands surrounding Hopewell Borough have been permanently preserved.
Please enjoy this gallery and check back soon to see what we've added. If you like what you see please consider supporting the work we do by becoming a member of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society today.