Status: On-going Concern
12/2020: In 2020, the New Jersey State Park Service received a grant of $23,531 to fund a conditions assessment of nine historic farmstead properties, along with repair recommendations and reuse evaluations. The district also received some attention in 2019, when the Van Liew-Suydam House served as a filming location for Lisey’s Story, a miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 2006 novel.
Currently the largest agricultural historic district in New Jersey on the National Register, this locale is a remnant of the cultural landscape of the Jersey Dutch who settled in lower Somerset County during the 18th century, and of their descendants who maintained its rural character. Among the district’s many fine buildings are five Dutch barns, examples of a rare building type. Half of the district was bought in the 1960s for future reservoir development, an outcome that has been indefinitely postponed and may no longer be needed. While state ownership has kept most of the district open and in agricultural use, the historic buildings have not been maintained. The privately owned houses and farmsteads in the district are in much better shape, but the privately owned land is subject to encroachment from strong development pressures.
-Vulnerable to sprawl and development.
-2000 of 6000 acres owned by state, buildings not well cared for
-stabilization and occupation of some houses and barns-rest are demolition by neglect
Jersey Dutch houses and barns; farm; woods, small communities
public lands lack money for preservation; private lands have development pressure
The district is still under threat of development and state-owned lands have limited funds.
New Jersey Historic Preservation Office