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Heralding Our History: 4 finds in the Hulmeville of 2024


Hulmeville’s glory days may have passed a century ago, but there is still plenty going on in this tiny town and good reasons to visit our historic community.

Hulmeville showed its ongoing community spirit in 2022 when the borough established the Hulmeville 150th committee to celebrate 150 years since incorporation. The committee put on many events to celebrate our history and our current community.

The historical society is busy year-round. The Hulmeville Old Towne Flea Market brings thousands to town on the last Saturday in September.

Hulmeville also hosts three wonderful places to eat and drink that are housed in historic buildings, and an outdoor park and event space on the banks of the Neshaminy Creek near the dam.

If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch and a great cup of coffee, there is no better place than Tim James’ Johnson Hall Coffee House — — at 3 Hulme St.

The building was built by John Johnson in 1871. Johnson started the construction in March by hosting a stone-hauling party. Residents brought out their horses and wagons and spent the day gathering stones and bringing them to the site. Eight months later the building was opened. That year, the Bucks County Intelligencer wrote that the store and hall were among the finest in the county.

For the next century the store was a meeting place in town but in the 1980s it was threatened with demolition to make way for a convenience store. Thankfully residents organized against this, and the building was saved.

In recent years, the entire building was renovated, and the Johnson Hall Coffee House opened. It has become a favorite of Hulmeville residents and people from the surrounding area as a place to enjoy delicious pastries, sandwiches, crepes and, of course, coffee and specialty drinks in a beautifully restored dining room.

The oldest place to grab a bite and a pint in town is the Hulmeville Inn. It was built by John Hulme around 1800 at the foot of the bridge that crosses the Neshaminy. By 1811, tax records show it as a tavern. A newspaper advertisement from the 1820s refers to it as the Union Tavern. It changed names several times through the 19th and early 20th centuries but was usually called the Hulmeville Hotel.

When prohibition started in the 1920s, it was owned by the Marek family, which owned it for more than 70 years.

The Mareks ran an ice cream parlor during prohibition but returned to selling alcohol when prohibition ended. Today the Hulmeville Inn is a bar and restaurant owned by Jeff Lavin — It taps more than 550 kegs per year and boasts a menu of savory pub food and a comforting atmosphere of having stepped back in time.

Closer to the creek you can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at Dean Casmiri’s OCI Bar & Grill, located at 11 Beaver St. —

The building dates to the mid-19th century and became prominent when John Johnson opened a creamery there in the 1880s. Farmers brought their milk from all over Bucks County to this creamery to have it processed. At one point, Johnson was processing 11,000 pounds of milk per day.

Sometime around 1902, the building became a private social club called the Dutch Club as Hulmeville had many German immigrants at the time. In the 1930s it became the Colonial Country Club and has been a bar and restaurant since then. Today the OCI Bar & Grill offers a unique experience for its customers. Wednesdays are “Build Your Own Burger” night and one of the busiest of the week. The back deck offers a beautiful view of the dam that powered the mills.

For larger events, you can still enjoy a day along the Neshaminy at the site of the original Hulmeville Park now called Neshaminy Shore Picnic Park at 13 Beaver St. —

Owners have offered picnic grounds and recreation facilities at this location for more than 125 years. Once the site of a carousel, jazz bands, steamboat rides, a dance hall and even a rollerskating rink, today Neshaminy Shore Picnic Park is the premier event-hosting venue for outdoor gatherings in Bucks County. The park is available for private all-inclusive group events on Saturdays during the summer, where folks of all ages can come together and enjoy a fun-filled day in the sun with our four pools, all-you-can-eat barbecue feast, rock-climbing wall, mini-golf course, and more.

The park also offers weekday childcare with the Camp Neshaminy Summer Camp Program — — to encourage personal growth in each child by providing an educational program in a safe and supportive community.

Joe Coleman is the Hulmeville Historical Society’s archivist and a member of its board of directors.

“Heralding Our History” is a weekly feature. Each month, the Herald delves into the history of one of its towns.

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