While not yet able to re-launch the original itinerary for the Discover Small Town America Tour, Bart & Rorie’s “Excellent Adventure” continues this week in America’s Mid-Atlantic region. We’re shining a spotlight on some wonderful small towns, visiting a friend and celebrating our wedding anniversary! Here’s a sneak preview of some places we’ll be experiencing…
The village of New Hope, PA (population 2,534) is an artsy little town with a scenic countryside location where we hope to take in “Friday Night Fireworks over the Delaware River”. In 2011 New Hope was named one of the “Top 25 Small Cities for Art” by American Style Magazine.
Then we’ll take a bridge across the river to the town of Lambertville, NJ (population 3,896).
Lambertville has a great community “turnaround” story to tell. Its economy and community vibrance lagged for a long time through the 1960s. But, according to Wikipedia, “young people who had grown up in Lambertville but left to make their fortunes returned during the 1970s with a mission: to re-energize their hometown. Ultimately, revitalization “pioneers” like the Jonsdottir art gallery, Hamilton Grill and the Lambertville Station eatery (a hotel soon followed), the community began to attract artists and other creative types. These days, much of its 18th and 19th century flavor remains—particularly in its houses, many of which have been restored. The town has become a tourist destination, with many shops, galleries, restaurants, and B&Bs. The canal path offers cyclists, joggers and walkers a level place to exercise and enjoy views of the canal and Delaware River in all seasons.
Next up will be the town of Princeton, NJ (population 16,027). Princeton is best known as the home of Princeton University, which has been in the community since 1756.
Although Princeton is a “college town”, there are other important institutions in the area, including the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Opinion Research Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Berlitz International, and Dow Jones & Company. Nassau Street is the main downtown thoroughfare of Princeton. The main gates of Princeton University open onto Nassau Street, which hosts numerous stores and shops.
We’ll be having lunch Saturday at the Yardley Inn, located in Yardley, PA (2,440), with our friend Linda.
This town has a great historic story. Again, thanks to the folks at Wikipedia, we know It “was founded by William Yardley, who immigrated to America in July, 1682 with his family. Before leaving England he made an agreement with William Penn to buy 500 acres which came to be known as “Prospect Farm.” William Yardley died in 1693, and his family in 1702-1703, possibly of smallpox. The family’s burial plots are located in Slate Hill Cemetery, one of the oldest Quaker burial grounds in the state.
During the American Civil War, Yardley was a station for the Underground Railroad, an escape route for slaves. Known hiding places were under the eaves of the Continental Hotel (now the Continental Tavern), in bins of warehouses on the Delaware Canal (completed in 1862), and at the General Store (now Worthington Insurance). At Lakeside, the yellow house facing Lake Afton on N. Main St., one brick-walled cellar room is also thought to have been a hiding place.”
We know there’ll be plenty of other “people and place surprises” along the way and will give you the inside scoop from the road. Stay tuned…