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For Immediate Release: July 22, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

Late this summer, the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) will purchase the historic Cottage Farm in Chesterfield Township as part of its continuing farmland preservation efforts in Burlington County. Chesterfield Township has preserved more acreage in the Farmland Preservation Program than any other municipality in the state. .

Mrs. Madeline Applegate and her husband Leland operated Cottage Farm as a dairy, field crop and vegetable farm. Since the 1960s, Madeline has leased the farmland to local farmers for field crop production. As the farm's current owner and last Applegate owner, Mrs. Applegate acknowledged that it will be difficult to sell a farm so rich in family history. But she said her decision to sell was more easily made knowing that the Farmland Preservation Program will insure that the farm will be permanently protected. The earliest known deed for the farmstead dates back to 1768 when Joseph Rockhill sold it to Joseph English, Jr. This deed gives the location as on the road leading from Recklesstown to Black Horse (Columbus). The front of the house faces the old abandoned road. The 157-acre farm has been home to the Applegate family since 1801, except for the period 1844 to 1914, when historical records suggest that the family of Henry B. Fenimore was in residence as tenant farmers. The design, construction and maintenance of the farmstead are notable. The house's features include exterior Flemish bond brickwork, a fireplace with beehive oven in the kitchen, original hand-hewn rafters in the attic, fireplace backs made of bog iron in sunburst design and original interior woodwork and hardware. There also is a detached two-car garage with an upstairs three bedroom apartment and a Quonset hut housing a workshop and office. The farm is bordered by Old York Country Club, Black's Creek, dense forest and other permanently preserved farms. The farm complex is eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places and illustrates the agricultural history of Burlington County from the earliest days to the present. Statewide, 309 farms totaling 47,546 acres have been permanently protected under the Farmland Preservation Program. The SADC will purchase Cottage Farm "in fee simple' directly from Mrs. Applegate and then resell the property at public auction in October with deed restrictions which permanently prohibit any future non-agricultural development. Using the fee simple method, the SADC has preserved 11 farms totaling nearly 3,000 acres.

For additional information about this farm, or other aspects of the Farmland Preservation Program, call (609)984-2504.