By the time of the Civil War, Flemington had grown considerably, but the war had dampened commercial spirits and citizens were eager for a comeback. This was demonstrated by an item from the editor of the Hunterdon Republican, on Nov. 1, 1865:
My last article was the first of the series I hope to write about Flemington’s 19th century buildings with arches on their rooflines. That last article featured the Clock Tower building at the corner of Main Street and Bloomfield Avenue, built in 1874 by George A. Rea. Now let’s stroll south along Main Street to visit the next building in this series.
The next presidential debate for Democratic candidates is coming up on September 12th. In light of that and also with thoughts about the kind of discourse Americans are having these days, it seemed appropriate to publish Mr. Bush’s article on a practice that went out of fashion long ago—local debating societies. Somehow it was possible for 19th-century neighbors to dispute current issues without making enemies of each other.
Egbert T. Bush wrote this charming piece at the end of 1931. It seemed like a nice addition to this year’s posts. Besides his visitor, he also took note of some unseasonable weather for the end of December. His conclusion was that it was just Mother Nature’s pendulum swinging one way, then another. This was probably true back in 1874 and 1889. Not so much today. However, his final thoughts do provide some solace during these disturbing times.
April Fool’s Day is a custom with a long history. Which makes it a dangerous day to move to a new home. And yet, that was the practice in Hunterdon County in the 19th century. Well, not always on that particular day, but close to it, as Egbert T. Bush attests. It seems that by winter’s end, everyone got restless and packed up their belongings to try living in another place.
This article by Egbert T. Bush answers some questions about the Bowne farm that were raised in the previous post, “Dr. Bowne’s Homestead.“1 Lora Olsen had pointed out that there were two houses on the property, one quite old, and one built in the mid 19th century. But it turns out there was a third house—one built for the slaves that lived on the farm.
Recently I attended a workshop given by archivist Don Cornelius on the holdings of the Hunterdon County Historical Society. They are extensive, far more than I realized. Among them are the original daybooks of Dr. John Bowne of old Amwell Township, filled with the names of his patients and their treatment. These Daybooks are so important to genealogists that someone at the Historical Society has gone to the considerable effort of indexing the names into a card catalog, and—primitive as it may seem to be today—it’s a very useful genealogical tool for the time period of 1791 through 1857.