Like so many homes and businesses in Lambertville, the iconic Hibernia Fire Station located at 37 S. Main St. succumbed to 4 feet of flooding when the Swan Creek overflowed. Since 2017, the building had been home to the nonprofit organization Fisherman’s Mark, which provides both social services and a food pantry to approximately 1,200 local clients.
The fire company was moved in 2016 when all the Lambertville firehouses combined into one at 230 N. Main St. The building was perfectly suited for Fisherman’s Mark, providing ample space for its offices and food pantry, including a basement for storage of backup food products.
The three-story brick building, built in 1875, was located along the Swan Creek, which had already been in need of remediation to prevent further erosion. “Our board took a leadership role in helping to secure a FEMA grant to assist in the Swan Creek remediation intended to prevent further erosion,” explained Jennifer Williford, executive director of Fisherman’s Mark.
But during Tropical Storm Ida Sept 1, Swan Creek overflowed at the bridge on South Main Street causing significant flooding throughout the area. The Hibernia Firehouse, home to Fisherman’s Mark, took on four feet of water in the basement, ruining a large portion of the back stock of food items. The back deck washed away, and there was minor flooding on the main level. Enough damage was done that the office and pantry have to relocate while repairs take place.
Fortunately, at a time when the services they provide are so gravely needed, the City of Lambertville and Fisherman’s Mark were able to move quickly on a new location for the offices and pantry. The town had recently purchased the property previously known as Homestead Farm Market owned by the Closson family. The market building has enough space for the food pantry and storage, as well as a small area for staff offices. “It speaks volumes for the commitment the city has for taking care of our community,” said Williford.
“We were able to engage a volunteer team of about 20 people to transport the entire salvageable stock of food items,” Williford said. The team worked throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend emptying out the old location and setting up the new.