A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

History: Agriculture in The Matawan Journal (1910)

It's easy to forget how much our area was steeped in agriculture a hundred years ago.

Charles A Geran's hardware store in Matawan sold commercial and home garden seeds; farm and garden implements; and, of course, household hardware items. The above advertisement, which appeared in the 24 Mar 1910 edition of The Matawan Journal, featured Planet Jr farm and garden implements. Cole Planter Company, of Albany, Georgia, which still manufactures and sells the Planet Jr these days, was founded in 1900.

In the same edition of the paper:

W A Tanney, of Marlboro, was selling 1,000 bushels of first-class corn, 20 tons of first-class rye straw, 50 first-class small pigs, and 2 first-class Guernsey cows.

The Straw Shop in San Carlos, California, sells natural and colored straw to artists today. A quarter-pound package of artist-quality rye straw sells for $25. I'm not sure what Tanney would get for 50 small pigs these days.

Thomas Matthews, R D No. 2, was selling a two-horse farm wagon and a double set of harness, as well as asparagus plants and hot-bed sashes.

I wasn't sure what hot-bed sashes were and Wikipedia totally let me down. I eventually found a picture (left) of hot-bed sashes at an expired online sale at a popular listing site. Then I found a very old (1847) gardening book online that referred to them as being used by a farmer to cover a garden box in which one could grow grapes even where the weather wouldn't permit it.

The means of raising the finest of foreign grapes are within the reach of any man who has a garden and a few hot-bed sashes.

The vinery in question is, in fact, nothing more than a large hot-bed frame of rough boards, the back wall being a board fence about ten feet high, the front three feet high, the sides sloping to it, and rafters across of sufficient strength to support the hot-bed sashes.

Source: The Horticulturist and the Journal of Rural Taste, Vol 1, pg 269, published by Luther Tucker, 1847, found at Google Books

The Sheriff Gordon Farm in Madison Township was available for rent to a good tenant in the 1910 Matawan Journal. The property was sold four years later, according to the 30 May 1914 edition of The South Amboy Citizen, pg 10.

Sheriff Gordon Farm Sold

The Sheriff Gordon farm in Madison Township has been sold by Augustus Chandler of Long Branch, the executor of the estate, to Edward Fairer of Lyndhurst, N. J. The consideration has not been learned, although the property was held at $15,000. There were over 250 acres in the place, with two dwellings, large outbuildings and it has a small frontage on Cheesequake Creek. The property had been in the family for over a century, the late Mrs. Gordon inheriting it from her father, the late Obadiah Burlew, who also owned the Court Gordon and Alfred Burlew farms adjacent to it.


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