Friday, December 10, 2010

Kinnelon's Mead Barn, Meadtown 1972

Main Barn Mead Farm, Kinnelon, NJ 1972

Kinnelon's Mead Farm, Main Barn, Meadtown 1972

I want you to close your eyes and imagine how today's Meadtown area and Kinnelon Mall looked before they became Pathmark. Think fields, farm buildings, a magnificent house integrated with the Butternut Tree, gentle slopes, picket fence...

You can get a better picture by visiting l'Ecole Museum in Kinnelon.

Or, enjoy this lovely sketch that Damon Carmona - who shared with us his tale of the Kinnelon Castle aka the Untermeyer Estate - sent me over Thanksgiving.

Damon writes,

"What better e-card could I send you than this....the sketch I did of the Main Barn at the old Mead Farm. I just found it this afternoon. It was in rough shape and had a crease down the center but I was able to "doctor" it a bit after scanning it into my Photobucket account. This dates from 1972 when I was eleven. Later that year these barns burned to the ground. Within two years the whole farm complex was bulldozed for the Kinnelon Mall. The big barn faced the back of the house with the house facing Rt. 23."

Damon also drew the Mead house, creating a color rendition of the house itself. He explains, "The original was framed and presented to the late Grace Mead in the basement Fellowship Room of the Kinnelon Reformed Church. She had grown up on the farm and it was suggested that I give her the picture... probably to redeem the fact that I'd once been taken to the Police Station for trespassing on the abandoned farm. (A teacher from Pearl Miller School was actually arrested that day...he was removing a shelf unit...I, of course, was merely sketching.) So here's a souvenir from my brief career as a juvenile delinquent. Please feel free to share this on the blog...and if you ever come across photographs of the Mead Farm I'd LOVE to see them."

In a previous message, Damon shared memories of the Mead farm.

"I remember the Mead farm in its last days. I think I must have explored every room of the house and barn complex. I remember when the main barn burned down. That farm was an historic site and should never have been destroyed for a mall.

It's funny, but I can still remember the odd oval doorknobs, the "bullseye" window frames and the door which opened to a secret stairway leading to what I now suppose was a servant's room. The house had many rambling additions. It once had yellow siding, white trim and dark green shutters. That is how I drew it, as if restored."

Thank you, Damon, for these memories and your sketch. I'll be on the lookout for photos of the Mead Farm.

Do you remember the Mead Farm? What details stand out?

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