Vanishing Landscapes of Hunterdon County
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.
Agriculture had 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.
Vanishing Landscapes, 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.”
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