Downtown Flemington, part two
John C. Hopewell
From about 1855 until his death in 1888, a one-time hatter’s apprentice brought the village of Flemington into the modern era by providing an improved public water system, street lighting with gas instead of candles, a functioning fire company, improved streets and sidewalks, and more.
After existing for 166 years, through the thick and thins of the American economy, the Hunterdon County National Bank that once was a mainstay on Flemington’s Main Street was taken over by a much bigger national bank in 1983. The HCNB had occupied its beautiful building for nearly that long, about 157 years.
or Dilts Farm Revisited, part two
Part one focused on the family of Judson Rittenhouse and Martha Bodine, who lived on the farm now known as the Sarah Dilts Farm Park in Delaware Township for most of their lives. The farm was purchased by Judson’s father, Wilson Bray Rittenhouse, in 1844. This article will first describe Wilson and his family, and then will trace the history of this property back to the first European owner.
Observers of Hunterdon history on Facebook have called our attention to the anniversary of the fire that destroyed the Hunterdon County Courthouse on February 13, 1828. This inspired me to look at the Hunterdon Gazette for 1828 to see how people reacted to this disaster.
Last Sunday, I gave a talk to the Lambertville Historical Society about how to research one’s property in Hunterdon County, with a special focus on Lambertville. It was a great group of people, and I got a chance to appreciate how awesome old photos look when projected on an enormous screen. It was also nice to show many more pictures than I can reasonably do on this blog.
Not long ago, Dennis Bertland inquired about an old house that might have been located on the William Rittenhouse tract that I recently wrote about (“The Rittenhouse Tavern.” Dennis’ inquiry can be found in the comments section.) It is located in a blank space on the Hammond Map between the Wickecheoke Creek and Shoppons Run. Who did that space belong to?
In a previous article, I told the story of Martin Kaffitz and his wife Hattie W. Fritts. Kaffitz was employed for many years by William Crater who ran the blacksmith shop in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County. I learned about the life of Martin Kaffitz from the many entries about him in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper. That paper was equally informative about William Crater, although Crater led a very different sort of life.
For anyone traveling north on Route 579 from the village of Ringoes in East Amwell, Hunterdon County, there is a landmark that will surely catch your eye, standing opposite the old Bel-Del railroad station. It is a three-story house that was once a showplace but has been deteriorating for at least 25 years. People like me who have been watching it all this time marvel that it is still standing.