The Hooper-Updike House
Standing at 418 Village Road East, near the heart of the historic community of Dutch Neck, is a 2-story, 3-bay Victorian house with a wrap-around porch. At the rear is a vertical plank barn with metal roof, now used as a garage. This property, like many of its neighbors, is a contributing structure to the Dutch Neck community and a member of West Windsor's "100 Club."
Township tax records claim this building - hereafter called the "Hooper-Updike house" - was constructed in 1870, but a building shows up in this location on a map from 1860. At the time, this was part of a tract owned by Enoch Forman that also included the adjacent Dutch Neck general store/post office at 420 Village Road East. For a history of the joint tract prior to 1854, read the history of the general store by clicking here.
In 1861, Enoch split the joint tract in two and sold 418 Village Road East to Jonathan Hooper. Hooper presumably lived in this house until 1871, when it was sold to Levi Updike - once also an owner of the nearby historic Slayback homestead at 542 Village Road West.
Levi owned the Hooper-Updike House until 1890, whereupon the property passed to Eli and Emma Rogers. From the 1820s to the 1860s, Eli was very active in local government, serving in positions such as Poundkeeper, Constable, Commissioner of Taxation Appeal, Tax Collector, Overseer of the Poor, Judge of Elections, and finally Freeholder. He was also owner of the nearby Dutch Neck Inn (now at 212-214 South Mill Road).
In 1906, the Hooper-Updike house passed to the Bowers family, who owned it for the next 40 years. After them came several more owners:
- “West Windsor Tax Assessor Address List, 2019.” West Windsor, 2019. List of all residences in West Windsor with dates of construction, according to tax assessor. Sent to the Historical Society by Lorraine Jones and Dawn Moretti.
- Lake, D J, and S N Beers. Map of the Vicinity of Philadelphia and Trenton from Actual Surveys By D.J. Lake and S. N. Beers. Assisted by F. Beers, L. B. Lake and D. G. Beers. Philadelphia, PA: C.K. Stone and A. Pomeroy, 1860. https://dspace.njstatelib.org/xmlui/handle/10929/34112?show=full.
- Forman, Enoch, Robbins, Angeline, Robbins, Jonathan D. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1854. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 39 Page 585.
- Forman, Enoch, Hooper, Jonathan. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1861. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 49 Page 75.
- Hooper, Jonathan, Updike, Levi. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1871. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 81 Page 562.
- Hill, Joseph, Updike, William. Ms. Deed. New Jersey State Archives, 1939. Found in the Mercer County Clerk's Office - Mercer County Deeds - Mercer County Deed Book 784 Page 180.
- Rogers, Eli, Rogers, Emma, Updike, Levi. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1890. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 173 Page 551.
- "West Windsor Township Meeting Minutes, 1797-2012.,” n.d. Original Township Committee meeting minute database located in the Municipal Center.
- Bowers, Lewis C., Rogers, Eli, Rogers, Emma. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1906. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 285 Page 359.