While this column tries to highlight interesting aspects of Ewing’s past, the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society has been firmly dedicated to that task for far longer.
Formed in 1973, the Society has a mission to collect and interpret artifacts that express the history of Ewing, and to restore, preserve and protect the Society’s home, the Temple/Ryan Farmhouse, located on Federal City Road in Ewingville.
The Society has indeed done much over the decades, and particularly over the past several years, to maintain and lovingly restore the c. 1750 Temple/Ryan Farmhouse. It is truly a treasure, and beautifully kept, inside and out!
Over those nearly 50 years, the Society has been collecting an impressive trove of artifacts and materials related to life in Ewing/Trenton Township over the past three centuries.
Not long ago, the Trustees of the Society decided to officially collect, display and interpret these artifacts as “The Ewing Museum” at the Benjamin Temple House.
As they are exhibited, they tell stories of the people who lived and worked in this area, of their accomplishments and struggles, and how they contributed to the intricate fabric of Ewing’s history. The items are often the subject of the Society’s programs, held on the second Sunday of most months at 2 p.m.
The upcoming February program will feature a number of Ewing institutions, most notably the GM plant, and the various products made there over the decades. The GM presentation will be made by Ellie Calcagno, the Society’s site manager, who is very familiar with the collection of GM materials, and the history of the plant.
The other “institution” to be featured at the program on Feb. 10 is the architectural and planning firm of FVHD (for Fraytak, Veisz, Hopkins and Duthie, PC). The firm, with offices located on Lower Ferry Road in Ewing, is beginning its 101st year of existence, albeit under a number of different names over the years, owing to the various architects lending their names to the company name, such as Micklewright, Mountford, and Fowler.
The century of extraordinary local work by this firm was recently highlighted in an exhibit at Ellarslie Mansion in Trenton.
Many people may not be aware of the many buildings in the area which are the design work of this long-standing architectural firm. The Fisher Guide Plant was only one of many iconic buildings in the area which was designed by the firm’s professionals.
In Trenton, the Broad Street Bank was another of their projects, as well as several elementary schools. More recently, the firm designed Waterfront Park stadium, and the Conference Center at Mercer County Community College.
The firm also designed Trinity Episcopal Church in Trenton, and restored the Trent House, the historic landmark home of William Trent, for whom Trenton is named.
The firm’s work has also been very evident in Ewing. Among other buildings, they are responsible for the design of Covenant Church, the new Parkway Elementary School, Fisher Middle School and the Education/Fellowship Building of Ewing Presbyterian Church, in addition to the long-gone GM/Fisher plant on Parkway Avenue.
The collection of artifacts and materials about the Fisher plant and some of the firm’s involvement with it will be on display at the Benjamin Temple House at the presentation in February.
Members of the public interested in the GM plant, or its involvement in manufacturing bombers for the Second World War, are invited to the program at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Temple House, 27 Federal City Road. The program is free to Society members; non-members are encouraged to make a donation.
Tours of the house itself are available on the first Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. The Temple House, and the artifacts which now comprise the Ewing Museum, are a “must see” for anyone interested in the fascinating and rich history of Ewing Township.