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Pennington in the Past 

For many years Pennington, originally known as Queenstown, consisted of nothing more than a few dwellings near the crossroads of Main Street and Delaware Avenue.  During the Revolutionary War, British General Cornwallis was stationed here with as many as six-thousand British and Hessian soldiers. Their actions and reign of terror during that visit assured local support for the War for Independence.

The village expanded outward from the crossroads and by 1844 it included two churches and sixty dwellings. Around that time two private schools, one male and one female, opened in town. At this point the village could only be reached by stagecoach. After the railroad began service in the 1870’s the village began to grow. Near the end of the century the Ketchem Farm was purchased and soon Eglantine and Franklin Avenue were carved out of it. In 1890, the town incorporated as a borough and within twenty years it was enlarged to the south. 

The population grew as families moved from the city into this quiet suburb. Burd Street, West Welling and Lanning Avenues were created from the Sked Farm on the west, and Curlis, East Welling and Maple Avenues were cut out of the Curlis Farm on the east.

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Typical turn of the century Pennington street scene. This South Main neighborhood at Academy Avenue is one of the earliest in town
Pennington firemen testing their equipment on North Main Street. Success for them was achieved if the spray reached the top of the highest steeple in town.
In 1902 a much sought after "street railway" began service between Pennington and Trenton. A crowd is pictured here greeting the first trolley.
The Mathews Inn on North Main Street was an important local meeting place. Farm families coming to town on business never missed an opportunity to enjoy a fine meal in the dinning room here. Upstairs lodging was available for travelers and a livery stable was around back.
On December 5, 1900 several influential businessmen organized the First National Bank of Pennington. In 1901 they opened for business in one room of the old Irving House on the corner of North Main and East Delaware. Berrien's Ice Cream Parlor operated on the left side of the building.
This scene shows a very muddy South Main Street around 1890. The Methodist Church is visible on the left.
Pennington’s West Franklin Avenue originally crossed the railroad tracks at grade. For safety a flagmen was posted there to notify travelers of an approaching train.(c 1930)
This imposing building, constructed about 1858, originally fronted on West Delaware. Blackwell’s Grocery Store, located within was the center of town activity. The aroma of fresh pizza emanates from it today.