HCHSMarfy This Month

Goodspeed Histories: March 2022

** March 18, 2022
Today I published an article that continues to study the interesting buildings along Flemington’s Main Street with arches along their rooflines. One of the will soon be demolished (if it hasn’t been already), so it seemed important to consider its history. I’ve titled the article:

HOPEWELL’S BUILDINGS (https://goodspeedhistories.com/hopewells-buildings/)
(not the town–the person)
Odd Fellows & Masons, the Advertiser and the Democrat
The properties were both owned by John C. Hopewell, the man responsible for a great many of Flemington’s post Civil War improvements. (For some background on Mr. Hopewell, check out One Man Makes A Difference (https://goodspeedhistories.com/one-man-makes-a-difference/) .)

In this photograph probably from the early 20th century, the building on the left was William Fulper’s store, which I wrote about recently, while the grand bank building is on the right. The one in the middle is studied in today’s article, along with a smaller building on the other side of the bank building.

What made researching these properties so interesting was that both buildings were occupied by newspapers, the Hunterdon Co. Democrat on one side of the Hunterdon National Bank and the Democrat Advertiser on the other side.

Whenever one is studying Hunterdon’s newspapers, one MUST consult a pamphlet written by Hubert G. Schmidt titled “The Press in Hunterdon County.” If you are, like me, among those nostalgic for the days when there was such a thing as local newspapers, then you’ll appreciate this–Schmidt’s description of how the Democrat appealed to readers by carrying special columns for local news with titles such as “Frenchtown Functions, Raven Rock Records, Ringoes Rambles, Mount Pleasant Pointers, Baptisttown Boomlets, Sergeantsville Sketches, Pittstown Pickings, Little York Yarns, Reaville Romances, Lambertville Locals, Stockton Salutes, Three Bridges Briefs, Locktown Letters, and Stanton Squibs.” Those were the days.

By the time this article is published, the Advertiser’s building will probably have come down, as part of the reconstruction underway on Main Street. The Democrat’s building is already long gone. Fortunately, several wonderful photographs of Main Street in the 19th century have become available, like the one above.

Interesting Queries:
Recently I got a query from Janice Armstrong who was looking into the life of Emma TenBroek Runk, the first female president of the Hunterdon County Historical Society. She also published several Hunterdon genealogies. I am looking forward to Janice’s article about the life of Ms. Runk in a future HCHS newsletter.

I also got a query from Frank White who is looking to save an old house near Klinesville. He thought it might have been owned by the Bellis and Dilts families, but it turns out to be part of the many properties in the Klinesville neighborhood owned by Henry Baker and wife Mary Bake. This got me interested in the area, and I soon found an article about the place by Egbert T. Bush that I have not yet published. So Klinesville will be showing up soon on Goodspeed Histories.

And Finally:
As a fan of old buildings and local history, it is painful to see the damage being done to the country of Ukraine. But of course, that pales in comparison to the harm being done to the people of Ukraine. This tragedy must end.