The New Hope Historical Society will premiere a film it helped produce that details the history of the New Hope-Lambertville free bridge at 7:30 p.m. on April 10 at the Bucks County Playhouse, itself an iconic structure.
The Historical Society produced the film in conjunction with Delaware Valley Video of Lambertville, NJ.
About a year and a half in the making, the documentary, “The New Hope-Lambertville Bridge: Connecting Two Towns-Spanning Two Centuries,” includes rarely-seen images of the bridge from the past 200 years. Experts, historians and residents of the two communities have contributed their perspectives and knowledge about the bridge’s great history, say event organizers.
“We are truly excited about this production,” said Historical Society President Dee Dee Bowman. “I congratulate all of those who have dedicated so much time, research and effort to tell the story about the amazing history of the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge,” she added.
Roy Ziegler, chairman of the committee that produced the documentary, Historical Society director, and past president said, “From the very beginning, our board of directors voiced its unanimous backing for this project. We have been fortunate to receive donations from the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau, Wells Fargo Bank, Brian C. Meadows, Ballard Sparh, LLP and Andy Prestipino.
“We are still short of our fundraising goal and contributions are most welcome,” added Ziegler.
The documentary begins with the story of the ferry operations in both towns that were used for generations before General George Washington and the entire Continental Army crossed there in June, 1778 on their march from Valley Forge to the strategically important Battle of Monmouth. It traces the growth of commerce and industry that bridge travel brought to both sides of the Delaware River, and the the disastrous floods that destroyed the bridge in 1841 and 1903, and the worst in 1955, are chronicled, as well as the historic floods of 2004-2006.
Prior to the premiere of the documentary, Martha Capwell-Fox of the National Canal Museum will narrate segments of the William W. Chambers’ film about the early history of the Delaware Canal. It includes silent film footage of some of the great New Hope Impressionist artists, including William Lathrop, Daniel Garber and Edward Willis Redfield, a charter member of the New Hope Historical Society. Excerpts from the Roy Creveling film, “Paradise Ditch” showing New Hope in the 1950s will also be presented.
Admission to the premiere is $20 for members of the New Hope and Lambertville Historical Societies, and $25 for non-members. The ticket price includes a complimentary copy of the documentary. At 6 p.m., a champagne reception will be held at the Parry Mansion where guests can mingle with the cast and crew of the documentary. Admission to the reception is $75. Reserve now at newhopehs.org or call 215-862-5652. Copies of the DVD are available online from the Historical Society.