High Breeze farm fundraiser

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    VERNON-The Vernon Township Historical Society, along with the Friends of Wawayanda, has planned several events to raise funds for High Breeze Farm, a model of the agricultural life and practices of northwestern New Jersey from 1810 to 1935. The farm is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places, and is home to the society's museum. Dolores Dobbs, president of the historical society, said, "In general, we are trying to preserve the land so that it consistently remains a farm. We want it to be a living history farm." On August 13, the historical society participated in Ecology Day at the Highland Lakes Country Club with a display of High Breeze Farm. On Saturday, Aug. 20, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., the society will sponsor a tour of the historic High Breeze Farm on Barrett Road. The focal point of the tour will be the main house, which was built in 1828. On Saturday, Aug. 27, the society will participate in the Highland Lakes Country Club Art Show, which will feature the fine art and crafts of many local artists and artisans. On display and for sale will be fine art paintings, as well as crafts, quilts, stained glass and much more. Also, the society is kicking off a "100 for 100" campaign, to raise money for High Breeze Farm. Individuals donating $100 or more for High Breeze will have their names listed on a donor registry. According to Dobbs, if 100 people are willing to donate $100 each, the society will have a significant amount of money for repairs and general maintenance of the historic structure and property, and will also have funds to sponsor various events and activities at the farm for the public. In continuous agricultural use from 1810s to the present day, the farm was never mechanized. The profitability of regional agriculture was enhanced by the embargo and naval blockades that constricted sea trade between 1807 and 1815. As this lifestyle disappeared in the early twentieth century, when railroads began delivering less expensive goods from the Midwest, New Jersey farms specialized and mechanized their operations. High Breeze, though, remained primarily a nineteenth century operation. When David Barrett bought the house and property in 1860, he put a two-story addition onto the main house, called it High Breeze, and opened the home to overnight guests. Prior to the turn of the century, his son, James "Jim Ed" Barrett, was a fiddler who played music on Saturday nights, and people came from town to dance and socialize. Summer visitors stayed for several days. Now known as the Barrett Farm Historic Site, the property is part of the Wawayanda State Park. In the small house at the top of Barrett Road, last owned by John Barrett IV, the society has established a museum. The museum is open weekends for visitors to tour and see many artifacts and historic documents of Vernon Township. Along with the main farmhouse, ancillary structures include two barns, a tenant house, a corncrib, two chicken coops, a summer kitchen/wagon shed, and a privy. For information on any of the events, or to donate money toward High Breeze Farm, call Dobbs at 973-764-8989.