Warren County Preservation Day 2017
Visit the Van Nest Hoff Vannatta Farmstead in Harmony Township on May 21, 2017 for Warren County Preservation Day, celebrating countywide conservation efforts.
Warren County is home for some of the most spectacular views, cleanest waterways and richest farmland in New Jersey. The county also proudly displays a remarkable history that stems from wilderness times of the 18th century and rural 19th century American heritage. The historic farmstead will be the backdrop for groups throughout the county to showcase their work protecting open space, farmland and historic sites. There will be activities for the entire family, food, music and tours of the farmstead.
The Blairstown Museum is a participating vendor of this event and we thank the Warren County Land Preservation Department for including us. By supporting Warren County Preservation Day, we help make the public realize the importance of preservation.
For more information on the Warren County Land Preservation Department visit their website.
Van Nest-Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead
The Van Nest-Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead reflects three centuries of agricultural practices and rural architecture. At its center is the farmhouse, originally built circa 1755, with an addition extending the house eastward, circa 1810. An amazing little building, referred to as the summer kitchen, sits in the southern yard of the farmhouse. It was built about the same time as the 1810 addition to the house and has a large fireplace where open hearth cooking is demonstrated. An outhouse and smokehouse sit just to the east of the farmhouse. Three wagon houses, built and altered throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, line the gravel drive leading to the massive barn, built circa 1824. A remarkable structure, unlike any other known to exist, the barn’s heavy timber frame is a unique hybrid of building styles with an integral timber hay chute and a central swing post shaped like a turned column painted blood red.
The farmstead remained prosperous from its original settlement prior to the Revolutionary War, well into the twentieth century, gaining state recognition for its quality resources and production. However, as the twenty-first century approached, the farm declined, as changing agricultural practices and markets hampered its economic viability, and New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection purchased the property in the year 2000. The Township of Harmony, through its Historic Preservation Commission, swiftly stepped in to act as the steward of the seven acres containing the farm’s buildings, which were threatened by demolition. By 2005 the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and preservation efforts were well underway. In 2013, the Farmstead received a New Jersey State Historic Preservation Award that recognized the work of the Harmony Township Historical Society, and the officially recognized "Friends Organization" that formed a base for fundraising and volunteers. The other key partner in the historic farmstead’s salvation was Warren County’s Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund program.