Vineland, NJ was the brainchild of Charles Landis. He planned every aspect of the town from the start. At just twenty-eight years old, he already had experience in creating a town from his work in Hammonton. He had dreams of a Utopia, where alcohol was banned and brilliant people lived among perfect streets.
He bought thirty thousand acres of undeveloped, overgrown land in the middle of South Jersey’s Cumberland County in 1861. He wanted his town operational prior to the railroad being finished, he bought his land along the planned tracks. His dreams included diverse religious leaders, industry, intellect and clean living. Though he was trying to attract buyers for his newly cleared plots, he also had a strict set of prerequisites a buyer must agree to.
One of his requirements was that the homeowner lives there. This was to be a community pushing growth, not sleepy summer cottages. Another was requiring the buyer to build their house within one year of purchasing the land. His vision also required enough room between homes for shade trees, roads and flower gardens. Each home was required to plant fruit trees in their first year. The main road, Landis Avenue, named after himself, allowed only ninety-degree angles branching from it.
Farms had a minimum size, and they had to be cleared and tended every year. He sold pre-fab farms that he called turn-key. He loaded them with fruit trees and fruiting shrubs. Apple cherry and pear trees were among his best-loved, but grape vines were his favorite. He named the town Vineland after the grape vines he envisioned.
The soil here was perfect for growing them, the sandy soil has the same properties as Bordeaux, France, which has been famed for their premier wines. Landis offered special prices to Italian farmers willing to grow grapes on twenty-acre plots. Even with such a love for grapes, the town remained alcohol-free. Thomas Welch founded Welch’s Grape Juice in 1869, right here in Vineland, growing grapes and not fermenting them.
Landis wanted his homeowners in town, building the roots and growing it. He refused to give up his men for the Civil War effort, so he paid a stand-in provided by the government, to go to war for every man that stayed in Vineland. After the war, he promoted the land here to every returning soldier he could find. By the time the railroad came, he was ready, just as planned. In 1865 he put tracks right into town, there were already over five thousand residents.
By the mid-twentieth century, Vineland was considered “The egg basket of America”. The poultry industry had taken off and most of the town was involved in it, in some way. Arthur Goldhaft started Vineland Poultry Laboratory. In a time when chickens were prone to disease, he created a vaccine for the chickens, against fowl pox. It worked so well that chickens were able to become a mainstay in people’s common diets. Goldhaft was acclaimed for “putting chickens in every pot”.
Hutchinson’s Plumbing & HVAC contractors won’t put the chicken in your pot, but we will make sure your water can reach it, and your water is hot. Our expertly better heating and air conditioning contractors are highly skilled for all of your HVAC needs. Our local contractors upgrade their education with additional heating and air conditioning training every year to keep our services exceptional. Our local services are professional, courteous and done right the first time. If anything happens to your plumbing, call Hutch, 24/7.