Hopewell Township was formed in 1735 and at that time it was part of Lancaster County. The Township began at a line crossing at the spring in Newville and included most of what is now Franklin County. Later the Township was divided into two sections with the eastern portion called Hopewell and the western portion named Antrim (eventually changed to Franklin County). Hopewell was gradually reduced to its present size by the formation of Southampton Township and Mifflin Township in the 1790s.
The early settlers of Hopewell Township were invariably the Scot-Irish and by 1731 settlements were started along the Conodoguinet Creek. In 1740, Hugh and Hannah Brady settled along the Creek in Hopewell Township. Through the efforts of their descendants, the Brady’s pioneer homestead has been restored and preserved on the remaining 73 acres of the original land parcel. For further information, contact Alvin Stake (717) 532-6970.
Ramps Bridge, the only covered bridge remaining on its original site and still in use in Cumberland County, is located on Covered Bridge Road. The bridge was built in 1882 by Samuel Myers at a cost of $2,173 and it spans 130 feet of the Conodoguinet Creek. Owned and maintained by the County, extensive repairs were made in 1967 and again in 1972-73 after Hurricane Agnes swept through the area. An arsonist attempted to burn down this bridge in 1991, but his efforts were thwarted. Ramps Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Until the early 1950’s, six one-room schools served the children in the Township. Clover Hill is still kept almost as it was 55 years ago. Mt. Jackson has been reconstructed on the Shippensburg University Campus and periodically opened for special events. Mt. Vernon and Fairview were remodeled as residences while Mt. Airy and Shady Side have been demolished.
While agriculture is still a prime land use, many businesses have emerged in the area. Such ventures run from industrial to the service industry to produce and sole proprietorships of many types. Residential housing has expanded as some farms and land parcels have been subdivided into building lots for new homes.