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Hunterdon Land Trust

Dalrymple Farm Preservation Honors Past, Present and Future

Richard Dalrymple on the farm

Richard Dalrymple at his recently preserved farm in Kingwood.

Richard Dalrymple feels a deep connection to the Kingwood farm his family has just preserved. And with plenty of good reasons.

The Dalrymple family arrived in Kingwood from Hoboken in the 1890s, and has owned the farm ever since, passing it down from generation to generation.

“My dad was born in the kitchen,” he said, pointing to the two-story white farmhouse that has witnessed so much of his family’s history. “I have so many wonderful memories here. I love Hunterdon County and Kingwood Township, and I wanted this farm to stay in the family, and hopefully my kids will raise their kids here someday.”

Dalrymple and his brother, Brian, recently preserved the 52-acre farm thanks to the combined efforts of several organizations including Hunterdon Land Trust (HLT).

HLT became involved in the preservation in 2015 when Kingwood Township sought help in obtaining funding. HLT wanted to lend a hand largely because the farm, located off State Highway 12, borders the Little Nishisakawick Creek, which meanders westerly before meeting the Delaware River.

HLT has been very active in this section of the county, having preserved several farms in the area totaling hundreds of acres, making it a corridor of protected farmland. It is also in the early stages of working to preserve three other farms near the Dalrymple tract.

HLT’s efforts succeeded in bringing from the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program about 59% of the total purchase price for the property, said Jacqueline Middleton, the nonprofit organization’s land acquisition director.

“By working with the National Resource Conservation Service and using federal grant money, we can supplement what our partners – State Agricultural Development Committee, Hunterdon County, and Kingwood Township — are contributing to this project. This in turn allows us to stretch our local farmland preservation dollars further to protect more of our area’s rural character,” Middleton said.

The entire process – including meetings with the landowner and town, securing and appropriating the funds — took about four years. But for Dalrymple, preserving the farm with all its treasured memories was well worth the wait.

“It was a simple, nice life,” he recalled. “My mom would wake us up on the weekend and tell us to go down to the woods and play – she didn’t want to see us until lunchtime. You’d help in the garden, or when the farmer plowed the field, you’d follow him with a can and pick up worms so you could go fishing in the pond nearby.”

The first Dalrymple to plant roots in Kingwood Township was a great-grandfather, James Dalrymple, who purchased the land from Calvin and Emma Dull in 1893. Richard Dalrymple still has a copy of the deed from when his grandfather inherited the farm in 1902. Dalrymple’s grandfather farmed the land, and passed it on to his son, who initially farmed the land but later worked as an excavator and union carpenter. “My Dad would help the farmer – who was a family friend – with plowing the fields, planting and with the harvest.”

“Part of Hunterdon Land Trust’s mission is to ensure our agricultural heritage endures for generations to come and preserving the Dalrymple farm protects another link in this area’s bucolic landscape,” said Patricia Ruby, HLT’s executive director.

The property is still a working farm: winter wheat, corn and soybeans are raised there. Despite its proximity to Route 12, it’s surprisingly peaceful back where the farmhouse, now occupied by Dalrymple’s son, rests. And the views are magnificent.

“You can see forever back here,” Dalrymple said, admiring the lush green hills glistening in the distance. “You can even see into Pennsylvania from here — just a beautiful wide open view.”

Face Painting and Great Food At Sunday’s Farmers’ Market

We have something special planned for the kids this Sunday! Please join us for free face painting with Daria from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at this Sunday’s Farmers’ Market at the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine St. in Flemington.

Make sure to stock up on all your favorite local foods including fresh produce, meat, fresh-baked bread, honey, cave-ripened cheese, fresh-cut flowers and so much more. You’ll love the selection.

Here are a few notes to help you plan your shopping:

bread

Freshly baked Bobolink ciabattas.

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse will be bringing plenty of fresh-baked ciabattas! Stop by and take a few loaves home.

Comeback Farm will have loads of cucumbers, both pickling and slicing. You’ll also find red, white and blue potatoes, salad greens, cooking greens, heirloom tomatoes and herbs.

Neil’s Sharpening Service: Bring your knives, lawn mower blades, scissors, paper cutter and anything else that needs sharpening to the market. Neil’s Sharpening Service joins us the fourth Sunday of each month.

Neshanic Station Apiaries will be bringing its new zero waste and plastic-free Honey and Wild Silk shampoo bars to the market this week. Made with its raw honey and Tussah silk, the bars are designed for shampooing your hair, but can be used as a whole body bar. They’re perfect for travel!

Pretty Bird Farm is filling in for Best in Bloom this Sunday. Based in Stockton, the farm offers an enchanting selection of fresh flowers.

Will’s Amazing Vegan Burgers: Chef Will returns with his incredibly tasting vegan burgers. Stop by and stock up!

Yoga

Join Lauren Theis for a yoga session that’s great for beginners and experienced practitioner’s in our wagon house at 10 a.m. Please bring your own mat; cost is $15

Music

The talented Ed Jankiewicz will perform from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Grab a Fired Up Flatbread pizza, a burek or a tasty snack from Apple Ridge Farm with a Fieldstone cup of coffee or bubble tea and enjoy some live music.

Land Trust Special

Save $1 on any one vendor. Please stop by the HLT booth — if you are a Land Trust Supporter — to pick up this special offer. You can also sign up at the booth to learn how to get great deals every week.

Great Eats for the Week

Sausage and Pepper Sheet-Pan Sandwiches

What You’ll Need:

1 pound uncooked sweet Italian turkey sausage links, roughly chopped
3 medium sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 hot dog buns, split
6 slices provolone cheese

What To Do:

— Preheat oven to 375°. Place sausage pieces in a 15x10x1-in. sheet pan, arranging peppers and onions around sausage. Drizzle olive oil over sausage and vegetables; bake, stirring mixture after 15 minutes, until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, 30-35 minutes.
— During last 5 minutes of baking, arrange buns cut side up in a second sheet pan; top each bun bottom with a cheese slice. Bake until buns are golden brown and cheese is melted. Spoon sausage and pepper mixture onto bun bottoms. Replace tops.

Courtesy of Taste of Home

Sponsors

Please support our sponsors: Basil Bandwagon Natural Market, Northfield Bank,  McPherson & Newland Insurance, Weidel Real Estate, and Matt’s Red Rooster Grill.

Kingwood Farm: A WWII Orphan’s Sanctuary

(The following article originally appeared in the Hunterdon County Historical Society Newsletter this spring. The farm discussed is now Horseshoe Bend East, which was preserved in 2016.)

The four-year-old girl arrived at the Kingwood farm for the first time in early 1941 with her only two possessions in the world: a teddy bear and a 2-lb. magnesium incendiary bomb case.

The farm must have seemed otherworldly. The girl, Barbara, suspiciously eyed the grass – which she rarely saw in her native London — fearing it too soft to walk upon. The wind whistled through the nearby woods, and down the gentle slope from her new home, the Copper Creek burbled softly as it meandered toward the Delaware River.

The farm must have felt like heaven. Especially when considering that the girl had just escaped hell.

Barbara’s young life had known intimately the angry buzz of German Luftwaffe bombers droning over London during the Blitz. The groans of buildings collapsing from the plummeting bombs. The screams of the dying.

One bomb whistled harmlessly from the inky black sky, and failed to detonate. An air warden carefully unscrewed its cap and dumped thermite into the ground. Barbara came in possession of the bomb case, and it rarely left her side. She often slept with it at night.

But another bomb, prior to this one, landed with devastating consequences: It blew her world to pieces, killing her parents and reducing her home to rubble.

William Lindsay White

As the Battle of Britain raged, renowned journalist William Lindsay White stood in the wardroom of a destroyer watching through the porthole as the Canadian coastline faded from view. White was headed across the dangerous waters of the Atlantic Ocean to cover the battle for CBS News and a consortium of newspapers. (White was the son of William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette of Kansas and an intimate of President Theodore Roosevelt.) Tucked into his lifebelt was a note in cablese English that read “UPLOOK KIDS,” a reminder from his wife, Kathrine, to adopt a child if one needed a good home.

White arrived safely and contacted Anna Freud — daughter of the famed psychoanalyst — who had organized the Hampstead War Nursery for children made homeless by the war.

In his book Journey for Margaret*, White recalled first meeting the girl. “Very tiny and fragile. In a little red coat, red leggings and a small peaked pixie hood. . . [T]hat small face pinched tight with grief and those big black eyes filled with hopeless despair. Yet she isn’t broken.”

White visited the nursery multiple times before the long trip that ended at the 100-acre Kingwood farm.

Barbara adjusted to her new life on the farm, growing tense only when hearing planes flying overhead. The family visited Kingwood a number of times through the years.

In a 2016 interview, Barbara White Walker told me from her Arizona home: “My parents were living in Washington, D.C. when they bought the farm, and spent weekends there restoring it, and cleaning out chicken manure from the big chicken house. They planted the 100 acres with pine trees.”

“My father wrote several of his books at the farm, and when he was writing Report on the Russians the house was broken into, and several things were destroyed,” she noted. The 1945 bestseller detailed the Katyn Forest Massacres, slave labor and the Russian retreat from Moscow. “They think the culprits were American communists.”

Barbara grew up in New York City and on the Kingwood Farm, attended Stanford University and married. She later became editor of the Emporia Gazette, the Kansas-based newspaper her family has now owned for more than 120 years.

In February 1964, the Whites sold the property to the United Reformed Church of Somerville (then known as the First Reformed Church) for $1. The church used the farm as a retreat, hosting picnics, pot lucks, and other church events. In 2016, Hunterdon Land Trust spearheaded an effort to preserve the farm. It is now owned by Kingwood Township and is known as Horseshoe Bend East.

*White changed his daughter’s name from Barbara to Margaret for the book, which was later made into a movie starring Robert Young and Laraine Day.

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