As the 20th century
came to a close, the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission determined
that a photographic recording of the remaining farms in this historic
county should be made.
dominated the rolling hills since Hunterdon’s inception in 1714. With
the passing of the 20th century it was apparent that life styles had changed
dramatically. No longer was the farmer one met at the local feed store a distant
cousin, no longer did tractors and hay wagons dominate the traffic patterns,
no longer was Agriculture taught in the local high schools.
Due to the proliferation
of major highways, Hunterdon has come to be the place to live. Within an hours
drive to the east are hundreds of places of employment. Hunterdon’s rolling
green hills draw the commuter to single-family developments. Farms were sold
to developers. Where cows once grazed houses now dot the meadows and fields.
The call went out
all over Hunterdon for volunteer photographers. Armed with
lists of qualified farms and lots of film, more than 75 volunteers fanned out
over this county to make what was the first and last photographic record of
extant farms at the turn of the century.
Utilizing the hundreds
of pictures, the Commissioners determined that a book of Hunterdon’s vanishing
landscapes would serve to remind us of a passing culture. Thus was born “Vanishing
Landscapes of Hunterdon County.” Portrayed are the barns, fields
of cows, homemade farm signs, scenes of the rolling hills - all reminiscent
of a quieter time.
a hardcover book dedicated to the farmers of Hunterdon, may be purchased
for $10 (plus postage) at the Hunterdon
County Cultural & Heritage Commission, 3 Chorister Place, Flemington (908-788-1256); at the Hunterdon County Historical Society, 114 Main St., Flemington;
at Clinton Book Store, Main St., Clinton -- or perhaps at your favorite bookstore.
The Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission will mail orders. Simply
add $2 for media mail or $4 for first class mail. Checks should be made out
to “County of Hunterdon.”