The Hopewell Museum was incorporated in 1922 under the laws of the state of New Jersey with the name "The Hopewell Free Public Library and Museum Funding and Building Association." It was formed to raise funds for a building to house a collection of antiques offered to the community by Miss Sarah D. Stout. This collection became the nucleus of the present museum which bears the much simpler name of "The Hopewell Museum."
Shortly after its formation the Museum purchased the red brick bank building which is now the Hopewell Borough Library. This was subsequently sold and the present property purchased in 1924. For many years the brownstone structure which forms the front portion of the present building, housed both the museum and the Library. During this period the museum owes much to the efforts of the Misses Susan and Eleanor Weart who not only worked long hours at the Museum/Library, but were tireless in their hunt for local items which they felt were worth preserving.
By 1965 both the Museum and Library were crammed for space and the Library moved to its present location. in 1967 a large two-story addition was made to the Museum Building through the generosity of Dr. David B. Hill. Dr. Hill was a former resident of Hopewell who, as a boy, lived a few doors from the museum. The additional space has enabled the Museum to display its many Collections to great advantage and to house Dr. Hill's superb collection of American Indian crafts.
The mission of the Museum is to preserve and display what is most typical and interesting of village life in America from its colonial beginnings to the present. Most of its treasures have been drawn from homes in the surrounding area. Many of the outstanding items on display were used by the ancestors of today's residents. The history and traditions of a quiet industrious community and its people are presented in review.
Our exhibits and collections
Our many fine exhibits and collections include:
- Delaware Indian artifacts
- Early tools and farm implements
- Early needlework
- Colonial and Victorian furnishings and costumes
- Antique china, glass, silver and pewter
- Early kitchen utensils and spinning wheels
- Deeds, documents, charters and pictures
- Civil War artifacts, and antique weaponry
- Photographs and maps of the area
- Genealogical material - books and manuscripts