HCHSMarfy This Month

Goodspeed Histories: Coming into the Station

First article of the new year!
It’s difficult to pull oneself away from the devastating news this past week, if for no other reason than that it was a moment in our history that will have many repercussions.

But for those of you who would like to take time off to think of something else, something like Hunterdon County history,  I hope you will enjoy:

Coming into the Station (https://goodspeedhistories.com/coming-into-the-station/)
It’s hard to believe that I started writing about a rail line that never got built back in August of 2019! At the time I thought it would just involve a few articles, but that just shows how ignorant I was when I started out.

And getting this week’s article finished was no easy task, since it involved learning about the 19th-century property owners of Flemington. Of course, every one who owned property along the proposed rail line had an interesting story to tell. It was just too easy to get distracted. Silver lining: I now have material for 3 or 4 more articles.

Even though this was one of the most challenging articles for me to research and to write, it turned out to be more fun and satisfying (and much longer) than most.

Family Trees:
The newest tree to be published is the Bray family (https://goodspeedhistories.com/bray-family-tree/) , but that was ages ago, on Christmas Day. It seemed so appropriate to publish it then. If you don’t know why that is, then you have a lot to learn about Hunterdon Co. history. (Hint: Trenton was part of Hunterdon County in 1776.)

One of the families concerned in this week’s article was the Hill family. But I have already written about the Hill family, the one that lived in the Copper Hill neighborhood. Turns out there was another Hill family just as interesting. So now there is a new, upgraded Hill Family Tree (https://goodspeedhistories.com/hill-family-tree/) on the website.

And speaking of upgrading, a query from one of my readers got me looking again at the Holcombe family tree (https://goodspeedhistories.com/holcombe-family-tree/) , which I had published some time ago. Turned out, it was also in need of upgrading.

As you might imagine, it’s hard to keep track of everyone. Once a family tree is published it is almost immediately out of date, which is why I hope readers do not take these trees as gospel. They are only meant to shed light on the people I am writing about, to the extent that I have learned about them. People who appear in these trees with little information (missing death dates, missing spouses) are usually ones that I have not come across in my research.

Speaking of silver linings, I have often thought that the dresses that women wore in the 1860s were bizarrely inconvenient. Think of all the space they took up! But, in learning about shop-keeping in the Village of Flemington (a subject that may get attention in the future), I came across this delightful item in the Hunterdon Gazette of Dec. 7, 1864:

OVERBOARD─HOOPS USEFUL.─One evening last week, as the up train on the B. D. R. R. stopped below the Lambertville station to take water, a lady on board, supposing that the station had been reached, stepped out of the door of one of the cars into the canal, which at that point is very near the track of the railroad. Fortunately her hoops acted as an air receiver as she fell, and kept her from sinking until assistance could reach her.

Monday January 11th, will be the 266th birthday of Alexander Hamilton. He, like the other founding fathers, would probably be aghast at the events of this week. It was what they feared might happen without safeguards. Wishing you all well and safe, especially during these troubled times,

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