Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Preservation Hopes

Preservation Hopes

The old barn on the Van Dyke Farm still stands as testament to the farm's history as an important contribution to the "Breadbasket of the East." New Jersey's farms were vital to the economy of the new nation before and after the Revolution.

Today, one of the old barns still stands. While it is hard to date the building without a more thorough study, historical experts believe it to be well over 100 years old. Some loving care and work could revive it to become a valuable part of the Van Dyke historic preservation efforts.

The Van Dyke Farm has been recognized by Preservation New Jersey as one of its endangered historic sites of 2006. Selected from several hundred candidates, the farm moved on to the top ten list because of its historical significance and its prime location next to the Pigeon Swamp State Park.

We are hopeful such recognition and support will help encourage negotiations between developer Joe Morris and the State, County and Township agencies interested in purchasing the farm for preservation.

Currently all the farmland is in active farming, with a local farmer growing field corn for potential agrifuel. Today, large tractors plow the fertile soil for planting, replacing the old hand and horse plows of colonial times. It is remarkable to consider that this land has been farmed now for well over two, perhaps even three hundred years. This is certainly a treasure worthy of protection.


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