Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Capital Preservation Grant, Level II
Historic Site Management Grant
Grant Award: $46,815 (1990); $216,145 (1992); $172,249 (2000); $50,000 (2001); $659,400 (2010); $40,930 (2012)
Grant Recipient: Morris County Parks Commission
County: Morris
Municipality: Morris Township

Fosterfields is a 212 acre site that contains one of the oldest continuously operated estate farms in Morris County and the former home of Gen. Joseph W. Revere, grandson of American Patriot Paul Revere. In 1882 Charles Foster acquired the property and transformed the site into a modern agricultural business employing the latest farming technologies, including ensilage and steam power. After Charles Foster's death in 1927 his daughter Caroline continued to farm the land, but on a smaller scale. When she died in 1979 she left 174 acres with all the farm buildings and houses to the Morris County Park Commission with instructions to preserve the farm and its buildings. In 1976 Fosterfields became the state's first living history museum.

While the site's 15 historic buildings are in good condition, the landscape has changed over time; historic gardens were removed, fields have become woodlots, and invasive plant species have encroached on the historic property.

The 2012 Trust grant helped fund a historic landscape report to guide future site improvements. A 2010 grant funded restoration of the main barn to its 1920s appearance. Previous grants funded: a historic structure report for the barnyard complex, the restoration of dining room murals in the Willows, repairs to the Carriage House, interior rehabilitation of the tenant farmhouse and its porches (1916), as well as ongoing preservation work on several farm buildings including the porch of The Willows (1854), roof and siding of the ice house (ca. 1854), and exterior of a 1918-vintage cottage.

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