Newarks-of-the-World (NOTW) was a group that traveled all over the world to visit and view the various cities that share their hometown’s name, Newark. The group may not have ever been started if it had not been for a little typo. Damon and Gloria Hoover, co-founders of NOTW, decided to reply to a Home & Country article which was promoting the use of a pen pal, especially in remote areas. Damon and Gloria sent in a letter hoping to gain a new friend, but within the next few weeks, they had received over 60 letters in their mailbox. Apparently, Home & Country had published their letter in the May 1956 edition, inviting dozens of people to respond. Fortunately for NOTW, one of those letters sparked a long-term relationship that inspired the Hoovers to visit England, and it was during that trip that they met some of the other founders of the Newarks-of-the-World.
Gloria Hoover, a former Newark Advocate writer, was in the middle of a two-week train trip in Europe, October 1979, when she and her husband, Damon Hoover, coincidentally met the owners, Bill and Anne Drury, of Drury’s Grocery. Bill and Anne shared with Gloria that they wished they could have the chance to visit all of the Newarks throughout the world, sparking the original idea behind the project.
During this trip, Gloria decided to visit the nearby town of Newark-on-Trent. While on her journey, she stumbled upon a few gentlemen who graciously granted her permission to take their picture. Upon learning her reasoning for visiting, one of them agreed to drive her around Newark-on-Trent. Through the help of David Izard, Gloria Hoover was able to meet with Maurice Cable, who was the editor of the local newspaper, called The Newark Advertiser. Cable shared with Gloria that he had wanted to build a project connecting Newark, New Jersey and Newark-on-Trent together, helping begin the Newarks-of-the-World project.
Newarks-of-the-World included 29 cities named Newark from many different states and countries. The following cities were involved in the project:
- Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England
- Newark, Huntingtonshire, England
- Newark Castle, Glasgow, Scotland
- Newark Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland
- Newark, South Africa
- Newark, Queensland, Australia
- Newark, Ontario, Canada
- Newark, Arkansas
- Newark, California
- Newark, Delaware
- Newark, Georgia
- Newark, Illinois
- Newark, Indiana
- Newark Village, Indiana
- Newark Township, Iowa
- Newark Township, Kansas
- Newark, Maryland
- Newark, Michigan
- Newark Township, Michigan
- Newark, Missouri
- Newark, Nebraska
- Newark Lake, Nevada
- Newark, New Jersey
- Newark Heights, New Jersey
- Newark, New York
- Newark, Ohio
- Newark, South Dakota
- Newark, Tennessee
- Newark, Texas
- Newark, Vermont
- Newark, West Virginia
- Newark, Wisconsin
Hoover compiled a collection of materials regarding the project, including communication between the cities and articles about the collaboration. The collection also contains a film, one hour and five minutes in length. While the film still needs to be edited, it contains a lot of extra information. The ending of the film is argued to have perfectly “captured the essence of Newark, England.
In July 2009, Gloria Hoover was recognized by the Licking County Historical Society for her work to preserve the county’s history. In 2008, Gloria had created and implemented the Licking County Bicentennial Marker Program, cementing her place in Licking County’s history for her outstanding efforts.
The collection is currently being compiled into a more permanent format by the Licking County Library. Upon completion, the Newarks-of-the-World project will be available to the public.
- Gloria Hoover, “An Errant 1956 Letter Creates 1979 Journey Inspiring Newarks-of-the-World," July 20, 2016.
- "Newarks-of-the-World,” NOTW Newsletter, April 21, 1982.
- Gloria Hoover, “Introduction: Newarks-of-the-World,” November 23, 2016.
- Gloria Hoover, “Tape History,” April 18, 2016.
- Licking County Historical Society Certificate