HOPEWELL WAS LIKE A ROMAN CIRCUS
Hopewell, the Sourlands & the Lindbergh Kidnapping
Presented by Jim Davidson and Mark Falzini
Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey, with many residents still without power, over one hundred people gathered at the Hopewell Elementary School for a program on the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case. The evening was also a launch of the latest book on the subject.
Hopewell Valley Historical Society was thrilled to sponsor this program presented by the two authors of the new book New Jersey's Lindbergh Kidnapping & Trial. Jim Davidson and Mark Falzini spent considerable time scouring archives and libraries up and down the east coast searching for little known photographs on the subject for their book.
The audience was treated to a fascinating presentation by East Amwell resident and local historian Jim Davidson that focused entirely on how this event affected Hopewell Valley. Using some newly rediscovered images, the author recounted how the extensive search for the missing boy extended to nearly five hundred structures in the Sourlands and nearby Hopewell.
Residents new and old sat enthralled listening to the stories Jim had collected over many years from people who witnessed the event in 1932. It was hard for many to grasp the immense influx of law enforcement officials, journalists and the curious during the search. The quiet village of today was even more so at that time. Few around the country had ever even heard of Hopewell.
Suddenly everything changed. Mr. Davidson helped set the stage by explaining to the audience just how famous Col. Lindbergh and his wife Anne were at the time. He recounted how the couple had searched to find a secluded property where they could raise their family away from the prying eyes of the world. For many in the room this was a new subject. Some of the details Mr. Davidson had uncovered raised the eyebrows of even the most dedicated students of the case who were present.
The new book was available for the very first time that evening, and both authors signed copies for long lines of eager buyers, both before and after the presentation. After the slideshow co-author Mark Falzini, who works for the New Jersey State Police at their museum in West Trenton, answered questions from the crowd.