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.
- Which Duke Farms 'barn' does the postcard reveal?
- The postcard view sits at the intersection of which Dukes Farm paths? Here is a map.
- What stuctural pieces are missing from the present view of the postcard?
- What types of trees border the present day path?
Answers to Week 2.
- The view is of the Dukes Brook waterfall. It is located about 100yrds from the South Gate entrance on the left.
- From the Farm Barn you would follow the red path to the right as you exit. Take the South Gate entrance at the light and follow directions of crossing guard. Once you enter, the waterfall is about 100yds on your left.
- The present photo is not the manicured landscape visible on the postcard. The falls are about the same. The center stone fountain still exits but no longer functions. Also, a small island has formed near this structure from the silt that has built up over the years.
- The present photo was taken in late winter/early spring. The postcard shows the lush folliage of summer.