The Hopewell Valley Historical Society regularly sponsors community programs on local history, generally in partnership with the Hopewell Museum, and with co-sponsors including the Pennington Public Library and the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library. These programs typically are free and open to the public.
Note on Internet Webinars: These upcoming programs are presented as online webinars, typically using the Zoom or GotoMeeting video conferencing applications. You then view these presentations live on a computer, or on a mobile tablet or even a smartphone. (You also can use these applications for videoconferencing, using a camera with your device to send your own video and audio, but you don't need these features just to view the presentations.) See Using Zoom on the Pennington Library site for more information on setting up Zoom, and the GoToMeeting Installation Instructions (PDF) to set up GotoMeeting.
May 21 - 30, 2022
Hopewell Valley Heritage Week is back, May 21 - 30, 2022, celebrating the rich heritage of the Hopewell Valley with a full week of events, some virtual and others outdoors. This year’s theme is If You Build It They Will Come—Early American Arts, Crafts & Trades in Hopewell Valley.
Sat., May 21 - Mon. May 23, 2022
Free, but limited places - Pre-registration Required
Join Doug Dixon of the Hopewell Valley History Project for this one-hour historic walking tour of Seminary Avenue in Hopewell Borough – plus two more blocks to Gazebo Park. Explore the stories of the people and businesses of this nondescript street that helped to provide the initiative and energy to help a small village grow into a prosperous town.
The one block of Seminary Avenue off East Broad Street in Hopewell Borough is rather prosaic; It has no architecturally distinguished homes, or well-known buildings, or historical markers. But once it was opened around 1880 after the arrival of the railroad, Seminary became a “starter street” for Hopewell, a place to find subdivided buildings with apartments and storefronts where young families and small businesses could establish themselves in a new town, and grow and prosper.
Tours will be held the first weekend of Hopewell Valley Heritage Week - Sat. 5/21 at 11 am & 2 pm, Sun. 5/22 at 1 pm & 3 pm, and Mon 5/23 at 2 pm. There is no cost, but places are limited, so registration is required.
A Hopewell Valley Heritage Week event, co-sponsored by the Hopewell Public Library.
See more information on the walking tour on the History Project site.
Tues., May 24, 2022 - 7 pm ET
Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library
245 Pennington-Titusville Rd., Pennington, NJ
Free, but limited space -
Registration Required -> Register here (through the Mercer County Library)
This is the story of Jacob Francis who was born free in Amwell Township, served as an indentured servant to age 21, served in the Continental Army – including the Battle of Trenton – and New Jersey militia, then established himself against all odds as a successful farmer. He interacted with many enslaved people, including the woman he married and set free, and helped his son develop skills to be an important abolitionist seeking not just an end to enslavement but also racial equality. Throughout his life, Jacob developed many physical and mental skills needed to overcome the racist obstacles that society placed in his path. The life of Jacob Francis and the family he created with his wife, Mary, richly illustrates how human beings often have to reach deeply and persistently to acquire and use important skills.
Larry Kidder is a retired history teacher who taught for 40 years, including 32 years at The Hun School of Princeton. He is a graduate of Allegheny College (BA 1967, MS 1969) and served four years in the US Navy. Larry has been a volunteer historian and historical interpreter for the Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell for over 30 years and is a member of the board of the Princeton Battlefield Society where he focuses on educational programs and battlefield tours. He is a past president of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society and has served on the board for many years. The author of two books on rural New Jersey history and three on aspects of the American Revolution in Mercer County, Larry is a frequent speaker throughout New Jersey. He has also been a presenter at conferences on the American Revolution in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York. For more of Larry's projects and books, visit his website, wlkidderhistorian.com.
A Hopewell Valley Heritage Week event, co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society and the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library.
Fri. and Sat., May 27 and 28, 2022
The Hopewell Museum, 28 E. Broad St., Hopewell, NJ
Fri. May 27 - 10:30 am & 2 pm - Make Your Own Wampum Bracelet - Children 7 and older
Sat. May 28 - 1 pm - Native American Artifacts from the Hopewell Valley
Sat. May 28 - 1:45 pm - Native American Stone Tool Making - Jack Cresson
Sat. May 28 - 3:15 pm - "The Arrowhead Roadshow" - Bring in artifacts to be identified
Join our local archeological experts at the Hopewell Museum as we explore the tools and technologies of the American Indians of the Hopewell Valley—9,000 years ago to today. We'll highlight the skill and artistry of the Native American Indians of Hopewell Valley by examining the many types of stone tools they have left behind.
This multipart program will include a discussion of the Hopewell Museum's American Indian Collection, a demonstration of Native American tool-making by a nationally known expert, and our “Arrowhead Roadshow” where you can bring your personal artifacts for identification by experts!
See the Hopewell Valley Heritage Week event page for more information.
Two tours: Sat., May 28, 2022 - 2:00 - 3:00 PM and 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Free, but limited places - Pre-registration Required - Use links above
Join Eric Holtermann and Jack Davis of the Pennington Borough Historic Preservation Commission for a 60-minute walking tour of Pennington’s Historic District. During the tour, Eric, an architect and preservationist, will offer insight into the district’s buildings, periods and styles, while Jack, a local history researcher, will add historical context about the town and people.
The tour is free. The walk will take about one hour, and will cover 1 mile. You will receive additional info upon registration. Wear comfortable shoes.
We are offering the tour at two times: 2 pm and 3:30 pm. Click the links above to reserve a place.
A Hopewell Valley Heritage Week event, co-sponsored by the Pennington Borough Historic Preservation Commission.
Thurs., June 9, 2022 - 7 pm ET
Online virtual presentation via Zoom
Registration Required -> Register here (through the Pennington Public Library)
Since the introduction of photographic portrait studios in 1840, photographs have been among the most treasured of family records but, while most are long-lasting when stored optimally in archives, in the home environment, they are all too often prone to fading and discoloration. In this presentation, Gary Saretzky will provide guidance on how the life of family photographs can be extended so that they can be passed down to future generations. The lecture includes examples of how old photographs can be enhanced or restored in the computer after digitization..
Gary D. Saretzky, archivist and photographer, worked as an archivist for more than fifty years at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Educational Testing Service, and the Monmouth County Archives, where he was County Archivist from 1994 to 2019. A member of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation, Saretzky taught the history of photography at Mercer County Community College, 1977-2012. He has published more than 100 articles and reviews on the history of photography, photographic conservation, and other topics, including “Nineteenth-Century New Jersey Photographers,” in the journal, New Jersey History, Fall/Winter 2004. See his website at Saretzky.com.
Co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, The Hopewell Museum, and the Pennington Public Library.