Owners and Residents of the Vineland Tract Before It's Settlement in 1861

By Marcus Fry

In the summer of 1861 Charles K. Landis entered into agreement with Richard D. Wood for the purchase of 16,000 acres of land; and in March, 1864 he purchased from the heirs of Joseph Cooper 5620 acres lying east of the first purchase. The two large tracts compose the main part of Vineland. He also purchased numerous small tracts, and the whole is estimated at 30,000 acres. On this land were a number of owners of small tracts and the object of this article is to give the names and location of the owners and residents, and a few facts connected therewith.

Commencing on the extreme northeast corner, on the north side of the Weymouth Road, about one-half mile east of the Central Railroad, stands Friendship Church. A deed for the church was given by William Hollingshead and Hope, his wife, in 1808. Hollingshead was the largest landowner at the time in Cumberland County and what is now Atlantic County.

A short distance east on the south side of the road is the residence of William Howell.

The Weymouth Road at the time was the leading roadway from Salem County to the Weymouth Iron Works, located at Weymouth, then in successful operation. Teams were daily seen hauling farm products, and the owners of timber land hauled hoop poles, charcoal and lumber to Mays Landing, then a flourishing shipping point. The hoop poles, 12 and 16 feet long, were mostly shipped to Cuba for hogsheads to bring raw sugar to this and other countries. Large quantities called "straps" were also shipped to all the leading wholesale dry goods houses, barrel manufactories and others. This business was so extensive that in North Jersey hoop poles were said to be the leading currency of South Jersey.

On the north side of Weymouth Road, one-fourth of a mile west of the Central Railroad, stands a large, square, two-story farm house, the residence of John Smith, a large landowner. It is now occupied by Angelo Cammarano.

On Wheat Road, west of Central Road, is a stone bridge crossing the head of Menantico Branch. Just west of the bridge stood the residence of Samuel Woolford, deceased. His descendants lived there. He had owned 99 acres. Westward, near Wheat Road Station, lived his brother Peter Woolford, who owned 100 acres.

On the east side of what is now called Brewster Road, formerly Downstown Road, south of Summer Road, was the residence of Israel Comer. He owned over 100 acres. Edward Fornataro now owns the place.

Jacob Phifer lived on the northwest corner of Post Road and Lincoln Avenue, about half a mile back from any public road. He owned 30 acres. A new house has been built in the same place.

William Lafferty lived on the west side of Lincoln Avenue about halfway between Oak Road and Post Road. He owned 52 acres.

John Terpin lived on the north side of Post Road, in the first house east of Lincoln Avenue, owning 50 acres. The house has been rebuilt and is owned by Alfred Pennock.

Andrew Sharp owned and lived on the farm of 270 acres on the northwest corner of Main Road and Park Avenue.

Henry Boody owned and lived on 30 acres east of the Public Park. The Durand Glass Factory is on this land. Edgar Jones lives in the Boody residence.

The "Peachy Place" was a house standing on the northeast corner of Chestnut Avenue and Main Road, in the pine grove yet standing. Why it was called the "Peachy Place" no one now living can explain.

Souders' Mill stood on the south side of Lincoln Avenue, along Menantico Stream. The mill was still there when Vineland started. The house stood across the road.

Panther Branch Mill was a sawmill standing on south side of Branch, adjoining the road, the property of Joseph Cooper, deceased, and reserved by the Coopers when the land was sold to Mr. Landis.

Peter Vanaman owned a farm on a road now closed, running from Millville to Buena Vista, south of Genoa Avenue and west of Union Road. Lewis Raffo lives in the place now. The house has since been rebuilt.

Mary Barrow owned the "Stone House" on Main Road, south of Walnut Road. A stone barn formerly stood on the west side of Main Road.

Ferdinand F. Sharp, a prominent citizen of Millville, owned the land south of the Barrow place, and a house stood on top of the hill now enlarged and owned by the Vineland Grape Juice Company. Mr. Sharp also owned the first house on the east side of Main Road, south of Magnolia Road, always called the Garrison place.

Robert Brandriff owned land on the east side of Main Road, south of and adjoining Clayville Switch. He had the best farm in Landis Township at this time. He told the writer that he was the only man in the township, at that time Millville, who depended solely on farming for an occupation.

The "Burnt Mill" farm lay on the south side of Manaway Branch, adjoining the east side of Malaga Road. It contained twenty acres and was owned at the time by Furman L. Mullford, of Millville. The sawmill was burned.

The Gillett farm of 106 acres, on the four corners of Garden and Malaga Roads, was formerly the property of Josiah Shaw, deceased.

The Dougherty farm and sawmill was located on the south side of Black Water Branch stream. The farm lay on both sides of Malaga Road. The mill was standing in 1861, but not in use.

The Coney tract of 150 acres was on Malaga Road, south of Oak Road. The farm house is standing now, the second house south of A. P. Arnold's residence. This was a hotel years ago. The road from Buena to Maul's Bridge, now Almond Road Bridge, went by the house. It was called the Maul's Bridge Road.

The Joel Davis tract of 108 acres lay on both sides of the West Jersey Railroad north of Park Avenue.

The William Garrison farm of 150 acres lay on both sides of Malaga Road, south of Walnut Road. The father lived on the east side of Malaga Road, and the son on the west side. Both houses and barns are now standing.

The Joel Davis farm of 123 acres lay south of Parvin's Branch, on both sides of Malaga Road.

The Stephen A. Garrison farm was on the southwest corner of Malaga Road and Garrison Road. Stephen A. Garrison was the father of S. Olin Garrison, founder of the Training School, and a most estimable citizen.

John Riddle's farm of 50 acres was on the southwest corner of Malaga Road and Sherman Avenue. The building on the place was new, but in about the same location as the old one.

The William A. Wolcott farm of 33 acres was on the west side of Main Road, the house being the second north of Grant Avenue.

The Forest Grove steam sawmill was owned by the brothers, William D. and James L. Wilson. The mansion stands there now with the original oak trees around it. A large business was done there and eighteen tenants and laborers' houses were built. All are gone except two. A railroad was built in from North Vineland to transport the sawed lumber.