Lambertville – Then and Now

  • Address: 45 N. Union St.
  • Historic Name: Boozer’s Hardware House and Boozer’s Hall
  • Today: Gallicchio and Buchanan, Esqs.

Boozer's Hardware House and Boozer's Hall, c. 1870
Boozer’s Hardware House and Boozer’s Hall, c. 1870
Photo: Lambertville Historical Society
Gallicchio and Buchanan Esqs., October 2020
Gallicchio and Buchanan Esqs., October 2020
Photo: Mary Barry Freedman

The hardware and cutlery house of Mr. J. Fenimore Boozer was established in 1851. He moved to this location in 1856. The premises was also known as “Boozer’s Hall” or “Boozer Union Hall” as the third floor was used as a public hall for fairs, festivals, and entertainment of all kinds.

Mr. Boozer was highly esteemed by the whole community and was a favorite with children, being known as the children’s friend, “Uncle Fen Boozer” because of a tradition he started in 1860. On Christmas morning, his door would open at 9:00 a.m., and children would file in under a banner that read “Merry Christmas – Obey Your Parents.”

The December 1877 Hunterdon Republican reported:
“On Christmas morning, J. Fennimore Boozer, of Lambertville, made his 17th annual gift offering to the children of that city and vicinity. 1,450 children, called on him and received each a present of a bag containing 2 new pennies, cakes, nuts and candies. He apparently derives as much happiness from the event as the children do.”

In 1880, Boozer was 67 years old, and became ill, and was unable to continue his Christmas tradition. By 1884, Boozer was no longer able to carry on his business. The property was auctioned off at a Sheriff’s Sale on November 17, 1884 and was purchased by the Lambertville National Bank. Shortly afterward, Stephen B. Hill, “formerly of Flemington,” and “lately running a hardware business in Stockton,” advertised that he would run the same kind of store in the old Boozer location.

An article in the April 3,1885 Beacon indicates that the tower forming the fifth floor was removed as it was deemed too rickety and a danger.

Nicholas F. Gallicchio, Esq. began practicing law at 45 N. Union St. in 1930. The adjoining space has had many uses over the years including a grocery, a bicycle shop, a used bookstore, an antique store and a casual restaurant. William Buchanan purchased this building at 45-49 N. Union upon the death of his partner, Nick Gallicchio, in 1984. 45 N. Union has been a law office since 1930 and Gallicchio & Buchanan, Esqs. has been in continuous operation since 1979, serving the greater Lambertville community.