Home » 5th grade historian-in-training leads tour of Pennington

5th grade historian-in-training leads tour of Pennington

by Community Contributor

Last week, Toll Gate Grammar School students were treated to the annual second-grade Walking Tour of Pennington.  This year’s tour was presented by Molly Lun, a Toll Gate fifth grader.  She used materials provided by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society that had been developed by the Pennington Historic Sites Committee many years ago.  The starting point was the Pennington African Cemetery, highlighting an important part of our town’s past. 

The children learned about 300-year-old Main Street as it “traveled” from Native American trail to stagecoach road with a toll house (charging 1 cent per mile – hear that EZPass?), to trolley tracks, to paved road in 1924.  Schools and churches were highlights of familiar buildings, now long gone or changed.  (Can you name the seven school locations we passed from the Toll House, past Old Main to the Fire House?  First, you need to know the locations of those three landmarks!)

Molly handled questions from each curious child at each location where the crowd of second graders (46), teachers (4), room parents (about 10) and back-up historian (1) gathered to learn about the people from our past and their many professions.  So many businesses have disappeared from our busy town – blacksmith, tobacconist, dry goods store, hardware store, candy shop.

Molly, who has shown an aptitude for Pennington’s history, was able to present it to our youngest boys and girls in an interesting way that captivated even the wiggliest student!

Caring for the past gives us hope for the future.

Submitted by Debbie Gwazda, Hopewell Valley Historical Society Trustee. Pictured in photo: Molly Lun and Debbie Gwazda.

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