Monday, January 14, 2013

Farming and History Near Veblen House

Looking down Herrontown Road from the driveway to the Veblen House, five acres of land in farm easement lie on either side. The Veblen House and cottage are located in a part of Princeton originally called Herringtown, whose many small 19th century farms contrasted with the larger farms elsewhere in Princeton. Apparently, the name comes from the practice of bringing wagon loads of herring back from the coast to fertilize the fields. Fertilizer was a big deal back before they started manufacturing nitrogen fertilizer from fossil fuels.

The October, 1981 Princeton Recollector newspaper featured an article on the microfarming in this area of eastern Princeton, written by Jac Weller, whose farm is now Smoyer Park. The interest in saving the Veblen House includes an interest in bringing back some of that farming tradition. Currently, the owner of five acres in farm easement on the west side of the road, who previously managed Jac Weller's farm, still grows a couple head of cattle every summer. Quonset huts can be seen in the distance.

On the other side of the road, just down from this well, the other five acres in farm easement includes a historic horse stable once used by the Pyne family back when they lived at Drumthwacket, which is now the official residence for the governor of NJ. They'd come across town to ride their horses along the Princeton ridge.

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