HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- The Hunter Farm homestead in Hopewell Township has been preserved through a partnership between Mercer County and Hopewell Township, announced Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.
In addition to the historic value of the 1700s farmstead, this 138.7-acre preservation contract protects the Howell Living History Farm viewshed and the area’s historic and natural amenities. As part of the deal, the County will own the remaining land adjacent to the 1,132-acre Baldpate Mountain and Ted Stiles Preserve, where it will expand the existing trail system, creating a circular trail that will also include a viewshed of the Pleasant Valley Historic District.
“This purchase offered a unique opportunity to partner with Hopewell Township and dovetail their goal of preserving these historic structures and the County’s goal of preserving the view and enhancing our trail network,” Hughes said.
Under the terms of the deal, Mercer County contributed $1.9 million and Hopewell Township no more than $400,000 based on the Green Acres certified value of $15,000 per acre, according to the County Planning office. The property has been subdivided, with the township owning 50 acres – containing all the structures -- between Pleasant Valley Road and the stream. The township will put a historic conservation easement on its portion to prevent the destruction of the historic buildings. That property is slated for public auction by Hopewell Township.
The County will own the remainder of the property. Funding of this property was through the Open Space, Farmland, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.