This resource was created by Carl Cucchiara and Kate Reilly.
In this series, participants will visit the past while developing an understanding of the present by comparing postcards of "Duke's Park" from the early 1900s to current views of the same location at Duke Farms.
James Buchanan Duke, amassing his fortune in tobacco and hydro-electric power, arrived on the banks of the Raritan River in 1893. He bought farms, mostly from early Dutch settlers, who had removed early growth while introducing many non-native plants to the area. J.B. Duke wished to emulate the European gardens and parks he encountered on his travels and desired to create his own park in Hillsborough, NJ. With manicured lawns, a variety of native and non-native plants, in addition to many structures and statues inspired by his ventures, he opened “Duke's Park” to the public in the early 1900s.
Over the next few weeks, we will present scenes from these early postcards of Duke Farms partnered with a current photograph of the same site. These will be posted weekly.
- Can you identify the specific differences between the view from a historic postcard and a current photo of the same area?
- Can visitors, who have previously visited the property recognize the location? Or, if you are new to Duke Farms, we encourage you to explore our website or app for clues.
- If this activity inspired you to further explore how our recent initiatives improve the environment while maintaining the integrity of the past, click here.
- There are a series of questions under the pair of photos.
- The answers for each week will be posted under the following week.
- This view reveals the only natural water feature in the core of Duke Farms. Can you identify it by name and do you know where it is?
- Imagine you are working as one of our Visitor Education Assistants at the desk of Farm Barn Orientation Center at Duke Farms. How would you give directions to this location to a first-time visitor? For those who have been on the property, try it first without using the map and then check your work. Click here for the map. If you have not visited the property, just use the map to see if you can name the location and provide directions
- Can you identify the differences and what is the same in the two images?
- What can you tell about the seasons?
Answers to Week 1.
- Landscape changes: postcard reveals a gravel road lined with young trees and boarded by a hedgerow; Recent photo: reveals a paved road with vegetation in the circle.
- Changes in human made feature: postcard reveals a chimney on the roof. Photo: no chimney. We are a LEED certified structure. Energy is supplied by solar and geothermal. The paved road is marked with stop sign.
- Changes in structure: compared to the postcard, the recent photo does not show a chimney. There are windows to left and right above the entrance. There is also a weather vane in one view and not in the other. Did you find more than 8 differences between the two views? Great observations!