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Homestead Plantation Enslaved Quarters

Year Listed:

2024

Status:
Endangered

Clark, Union County

Location:

Ash Brook Swamp, Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

Homestead Plantation Enslaved Quarters
About:

The area known historically as Ash Swamp, consisting today of Oak Ridge Park, Ash Brook Reservation, Ash Brook Golf Course, and the surrounding neighborhoods in Clark, Scotch Plains, and Edison, NJ, is dense with important historic sites, relevant to Black, Indigenous, and general American history, especially with regards to the Revolution. Of importance is the ruins of the Homestead Plantation’s enslaved quarters, as it is just one of a handful of free-standing enslaved dwellings in the state, and there are concerns for future development of the park that would impact the site. The Homestead Plantation has been the focal point of human activity in the Ash Swamp for the last three centuries. Around 1720-1740, the first section of the Homestead Plantation House was built - paid in part, by the sale of an enslaved woman named Phebe in 1717. The history of the site has been documented and researched extensively by local historians of the Clark Historic Scoiety since 1995, with stories that include connections with the Underground Railroad. Efforts to research, conduct archaeological investigations, and preservation by the Historic Society have halted over the years. The site is owned and managed by Union County, who is said to have plans to add new park amenities. Preservation New Jersey supports the mission and goal of the Friends of the Oak Ridge/Ash Brook Historic Sites in encouraging Union County to consider impacts to the Homestead Plantation and its archaeologically sensitive areas within the park in relation to Black and Indigenous histories.

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