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If These Stones Could Talk (livestream at branch)

February 23, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


The Mercer County Library, Hopewell Branch
245 Pennnington-Titusville Road, Hopewell Township
(609) 737-2610 | mcl.org

Register to reserve a seat at the Hopewell Branch to watch the livestream of the discussion with authors and community members, Elaine Buck & Beverly Mills. Their book, “If These Stones Could Talk,” contains stories, including dozens of oral histories, that reflect the deeply important but often overlooked history of the collected lives of a minority Black community in the Hopewell Valley, a predominately White region. “Heritage Month Book Club” is sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation and Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Please email hopeprogs@mcl.org or call 609-737-2610 to register.

Mercer County recognizes the contributions of historians and authors Elaine Buck, left, and Beverly Mills, who capped a decade-long quest to understand their family history with the 2018 publication of their book, If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey.

It all began when it was discovered that a paved driveway was planned for a lot off Rock Road in neighboring Hunterdon County on a lot that was believed to be an African American burial ground. Ms. Buck and Ms. Mills were told they needed to prove it was a burial ground, and were able to do so with the help of an archaeologist. These events spurred Ms. Buck and Ms. Mills to wonder about the history of the Stoutsburg Cemetery off Province Line Road in Hopewell Township, a field tucked into the Sourland Mountains overlooking the Hopewell Valley surrounding Princeton. Some of the markers had sunk below the ground, but they both had close family members buried there, and knew that there were probably soldiers from the American Revolution and Civil War. Thus began their quest to be “the voice for the voiceless,” and along the way uncovered a trove of buried history about enslaved people in New Jersey, including the stories of their own families. In their book, readers learn about the region’s history, military history, and the impact of faith and churches on African Americans; and meet descendants from the Sourland Mountain region.



Mercer County Library
(609) 883-8294
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Mercer County Library Hopewell Branch
245 Pennnington-Titusville Road
Hopewell, NJ 08534 United States
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