Kickoff Event to Celebrate Hopewell Township’s 320th Anniversary

Three historians and local residents, Ian Burrow, Richard Hunter, and Joseph Klett will co-present on the founding of Hopewell as a kick-off to the 320th anniversary of the creation of Hopewell Township on February 20, 1700.

The event will occur in the auditorium of the Hopewell Township Municipal Complex located at 201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville NJ 08560 on February 23, 2020. In the event of bad weather, the event will be postponed to March 1, 2020. The activities begin at 1pm and the talk will occur at 2:30pm.

Ian Burrow is an archaeologist, conservationist, and former partner in Hunter Research, Inc., Trenton, N.J. He will discuss the local Delaware (Lenape) Indians and what is known about their culture, sites, trails, and interaction with the first European settlers. He will discuss the 1688/1689 purchase and survey of the 30,000-acre Hopewell tract by Dr. Daniel Coxe and the items paid to the Indian representatives in exchange for the land.

Richard Hunter is current president of Hopewell Valley Historical Society and Principal of Hunter Research, Inc., a Trenton-based historic preservation consulting firm. He will discuss the geography of the “valley” and how this determined the pattern of European settlement (and to a lesser extent, Native American settlement). He will address landforms, rivers, soil fertility, and the evolution of roads, the canal and railroads, water power, mill sites, and extractive industries.

Joseph Klett is president of The Hopewell Museum and Executive Director of the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton. He will speak about the establishment of Hopewell Township, which originally included the present-day township as well as Pennington and Hopewell boroughs, Ewing Township, and much of Trenton. He will also discuss the process and sources involved in a map of Old Hopewell and Vicinity, 1680-1720 currently in development for the Museum and Historical Society by himself and others.

Hopewell Township’s founding documents (held by the State Archives) will be on display for the event. These include the 1688 Indian deed, the 1689 Coxe survey, the 1700 court book establishing the township, and Hopewell’s 1755 royal charter. Original New Jersey wampum will also be exhibited, as well as the current draft of Old Hopewell and Vicinity, 1680-1720 (see description of Klett presentation) and other materials illustrating the purchase of the Hopewell tract.

Activities for children K-8 are planned, which center around wampum, the polished shell beads used by Native Americans and Europeans, both as money, for ceremonial pledges, and for personal decoration. We will string “fathoms” of wampum, and learn how to exchange them for other trade goods.

This event is co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, The Hopewell Museum and Hopewell Township.

In order for us to plan the activities, please RSVP to to tell us you are coming.

This program is made possible, in part, by a New Jersey Historical Commission history regrant from the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

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