I had a difficult time finding a good photograph of Royal Treat, considered by local historians as the founder of Princeton, for my book, “Bartel’s History of Princeton, Volume I: From the New World to the New Deal.” Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? 🙂

The best I had was a pdf of a low-quality microfilm scan of a small photo that appeared in the Princeton Times-Republic in 1948. So I commissioned Connie Elizabeth Swed, wife of Princeton native son and fellow Troop 25 Eagle Scout Steve Swed, to do an illustration based on that very bad image.

She did an amazing job and created a beautiful black-and-white portrait that I’m using as a full-page illustration in the book.

But I also could not resist having some fun with it and had the one-of-a-kind hoodie shown above made to go with my cap and Tiger Brew sweatshirt!

And then I could not resist doing another one.

The Nickodem Bros. operated a popular general store at 545 West Water Street, now Botanica’s Spa, for nearly 25 years in the early 1900s. Charles Nickodem, one of the founders, was my great-grandfather. The building was built in 1891 by Anton Rimpler.

The shirts turned out so well that I plan to add M. Manthey & Sons and F.W. Ponto Harness Co. to my “fall collection.” Maybe one for The Commercial Hotel, or the American House or the Riverside? I could get carried away with this!

Thanks for reading and caring about local history.

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