Delran has a very rich history that is rooted to the great farming community established by early settlers. The indigenous peoples of these lands were the Lenni Lenape, also known as the Delaware Indians, who were mostly hunters and gatherers. As our area started to become populated and settlers became friendly with the local Unami Band of the Lenape, customs brought from foreign lands were introduced to them. One so very important was to grow one’s own crops. Farming practices began to take hold on large parcels of divided land in all of the colonies and states as it did here in New Jersey. Farming was a necessity for the new inhabitants’ survival.
Years passed and large parcels were divided into smaller and then much smaller lands that we know today as modern farms. Farms in New Jersey were usually found containing up to 400 acres and sometimes more however, today they are mostly seen containing between 100 and 200 acres. During Delran’s time as part of Chester Township, many farms existed and prospered within the current boundaries of our 7.2 square miles township.
Farming has always been an integral part of Delran life. Only until the mid to late 1900s has there been land development which began to eliminate Delran’s own farming heritage. Today in the early 2000s, most farms of Delran have long disappeared. Instead of growing for subsistence, we have turned to growing houses and commercial properties. Modern times along with the need for expansion has dictated this change. Delran’s integral farming past should not be forgotten!
List of Farmer’s names from 1893 / 1894. Is your family name listed?
Map of farms through out Delran