A historic farmstead near the county seat is the Land Trust’s home and the location of its popular farmers’ market.
The Hunterdon Land Trust is set on the historic Dvoor Farm just outside of Flemington. Listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the 40-acre site has a cluster of 19th- and early 20th-century barns and a 1798 stone farmhouse that now serves as the organization’s office.
A field in front of the iconic horse barn is the setting of our farmers’ market, which attracts well over a thousand people every Sunday from May to November. A monthly winter market is held in a large open-sided shed and an adjacent courtyard. The market has between 15 and 20 vendors, all of whom grow or make their own agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, cheese, bread, wine, honey, live plants, alpaca woolens, and a variety of organic produce.
The Lay of the Land
Walnut Brook flows through the property and separates the farm buildings from a 20-acre field that is undergoing restoration as a native grass meadow. A network of trails will guide visitors through the meadow and to the stream and will eventually connect with adjoining Mine Brook Park as well as a nearby stand of old-growth trees and the farm complex.
The brook itself underwent a major restoration project in 2010-11, which transformed a badly eroded and flood-prone area into a wetlands that mitigates downstream flooding, enhances aquifer recharge and sustains a rich growth of native plants.
The Making of a Landmark
The Dvoor farm was originally part of a huge tract owned by William Penn, who in addition to being the founder of Pennsylvania had extensive holdings throughout the Delaware Valley. Penn passed the land on to his sons, who, in the age-old tradition of real estate development, promptly divided it into parcels and sold it off. One such parcel was sold to a German immigrant named Johann Philip Kaes (later anglicized to John Case) in 1738.
When Case came to build a log home here, he befriended Chief Tuccamirgan of a nearby Lenni Lenape encampment. Following a long friendship between Tuccamirgan and Kase, the chief, faced with imminent death, asked to be buried in the Kase family cemetery. His request was granted and in 1850, he was buried there in full tribal ceremony. In 1925, Flemington erected a monument to Chief Tuccamirgan, which is still intact at 56 Bonnell Street.
The Dvoor Years
After changing hands many times, Jacob Dvoor purchased the farm in 1920. Jacob had emigrated from the Baltic region of the Russian empire some years earlier, and together with his two younger brothers established a stock-raising operation specializing in horses and dairy cows – the Dvoor Bros. Minebrook Stock Farm. The homestead was eventually conveyed to Jacob’s son Herbert, who continued the family business in dairy cows well into the 1990s. In 1999, in an effort to preserve the Dvoor farm, Herb Dvoor sold the tract to the South Branch Watershed Association, which, in turn, conveyed it to the Hunterdon Land Trust. Sadly, Herb, a gentle man with a twinkle in his eye, passed away in 2009.