Hunterdon County purchased the development rights on the land along Homestead Road, ensuring that it will remain farmland forever. New Jersey Conservation Foundation spearheaded the effort to preserve the farm.
Craigmar Farm was established by Moses Craig in 1757, nearly two decades before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He passed the farm along to his son, Robert, who built the first house on the property. Over the next two centuries, it was owned and farmed by a succession of Craig descendants – William, Robert, Richard, Marshal and Miller Craig.
“Mar” is the Scottish word for hill, so Craigmar means the Craig family hill. The picturesque farm is situated on a hillside on the north side of Homestead Road, adjacent to Raritan Headwaters Association’s Fox Hill Preserve and across the street from Clucas Farms and the Johnson family's 3,000-acre Cedar Lane Farm.
Miller Craig passed away in 2015, and the 76-acre farm was divided among his three daughters. Marbern Berry and Marsha Livingston inherited 46 acres of fertile agricultural land with no buildings, currently being farmed by a local farmer.
“This is a beautiful piece of farmland in the heart of Tewksbury Township, and we’re very grateful that the family chose to preserve it,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
The State Agriculture Development Committee, Hunterdon County and Tewksbury Township all contributed funding toward the purchase of the development rights.
“Hunterdon County’s rural heritage is protected with every farm that is preserved,” said Shaun Van Doren, a Hunterdon County freeholder who lives in Tewksbury. “The preservation of the Craigmar Farm in Oldwick is a perfect example. The Board of Chosen Freeholders is happy to partner with New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the state and the township to make this project come to fruition, and of course is grateful to the family for preserving their farm.”
New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher, who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee, praised the project. “The preservation of this farm extends the legacy of the many generations of Craig family farmers who worked the land and provides opportunity for the farm’s long history in agriculture to continue for centuries to come,” he said.
Theodore Koven Remembered
The late Theodore Koven, a former Tewksbury mayor and Township Committee member, played a significant role in the preservation of the Craigmar Farm. A co-founder of the Tewksbury Land Trust, Koven arranged for representatives of New Jersey Conservation Foundation to meet with Milene Miller, another sister, who was executrix of her father’s estate.
“Ted was very close to Miller Craig and the Craig family,” said Ken Klipstein, Koven’s nephew and president of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation board of trustees. “I know he would be so pleased to know that the Craigmar Farm has been preserved in perpetuity.”
Koven, who passed away in October 2017, was posthumously named Tewksbury Township’s 2017 Citizen of the Year last month for his many contributions toward preserving the town’s rural character.
About New Jersey Conservation Foundation
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).
46 Acres of Historic Oldwick Farm Preserved
Article and photo by NJCF
More than 46 acres of the historic Craigmar Farm, in the same family since before the American Revolution, has been permanently preserved through a partnership between New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the State Agriculture Development Committee, Hunterdon County and Tewksbury Township.