I am always humbled when people express to me their enjoyment of this column, either in person or via email. I too enjoy learning about the history of my adopted hometown, and I’m glad that I can help to bring that history to others via this column.
But I like to remind everyone that there is a far greater source for Ewing’s history. That source, of course, is the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society, on behalf of which I write these columns.
One of the more important responsibilities of a historical society is that of keeper and preserver of significant historical documents and artifacts pertaining to local history. Ewing’s historical society is no exception.
Its mission statement declares its dedication to preserving a record of Ewing’s history, through the collection of documents and artifacts. Housed in the Benjamin Temple House on Federal City Road, the Society’s collection includes photographs, maps, documents, newspapers, textiles and artifacts—and an impressive library of books relating to the area.
And the source of these artifacts and documents? Occasionally, items are found at auctions or online. But much of the collection has been donated by thoughtful people—sometimes Ewing residents, sometimes not—who are aware that the items that they possess may be of greater interest and benefit to others, now and in the future.
It could be a local citizen who inquires as to whether the Society would be interested in a box of old photos of the township, or some newspaper clippings related to Ewing people or events. It might be the son/daughter or grandson/daughter of a Ewing citizen who has found documents relating to the relative’s past business, religious, political, civic or educational activities.
It might be a book about the Trenton area, or a painting or illustration of a local site. While the space at the Temple House is not infinite, the Society is always interested in finds of local historic interest, and can determine if there is space to accommodate such finds.
The Society is currently revitalizing the Temple House by creating new exhibits for its rooms. In the oldest section of the house (c 1750), information pertaining to the early families living here during colonial and Revolution-era times will be displayed. Other rooms will be devoted to telling stories about the later settlement of Ewing, up to about 1850.
ETHPS requests your help. For all of you Ewing folk out there with family roots that go way back, or family members with a penchant for collecting historical materials, the society needs your assistance.
If you have papers, diaries, family Bibles, journals, materials, or other documentation or artifacts pertaining to early Ewing families or events, especially prior to 1800 but up to 1850 or so, please consider contacting the ETHPS, either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (609-883-2455).
Materials can be donated or loaned to the ETHPS, or briefly left to be scanned and returned. The families of interest include Temple, Hart, Cox, Green, Howell, Hutchinson, Hendrickson, Scudder, Lanning, Tindall, Titus, Guild, Moore and Atchley.
Finds such as these are priceless. They enable researchers to more accurately understand and interpret their area of study. They allow writers to share more accurate accounts of local history, and genealogists to dig even deeper into their family histories. And they allow the Society to better interpret life in the place we Ewing residents (whether born here or settled here) call home.
Although none of us were here in the 18th century, understanding aspects of life in Ewing at that time can also help us to appreciate the evolution to today’s Ewing, and to envision its future.
So, on behalf of the ETHPS, thank you for considering the sharing of your family history with the community of Ewing.
Also, the ETHPS will be holding its annual Flea Market and Plant Sale on Saturday, September 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Temple House, 27 Federal City Road. Vendors welcome: $10 for 10-ft. space. ethps.org
And if you’ve never visited the House, stop by their Open House Tour sometime, held the first Sunday of every month, from 2 to 4 p.m.