It’s a sad day for Pitney Farm today. As I walked by with my dog, I could hear the destruction of the buildings on this once idyllic farm. As I rounded the corner I could see the machinery at work taking down the main farm house and the outer buildings. In December of last year, Mendham Township auctioned off the 5 acres it owns out right to the highest bidder, Anatol Siemienczuk of Sema Properties in Bridgewater, NJ. The property has been rezoned for 20,000 sq foot lots, so it is assumed a number of homes will be built on this once historic land.
The 7 acres that is deeded Open Space is also going through some changes. The town cut down many trees that the DPW deemed too old or compromised and also bulldozed the cutting and vegetable gardens to make way for walking paths and natural land that requires minimal upkeep. The Walled Garden, fortunately, is slated to stay. A tree expert is needed to take the remaining trees as they are close to the Walled Garden and risk damaging the walls if brought down incorrectly. The former Seed House which had a green house attached prior to the DPW’s bulldozer is still standing and is slated to be spruced up and reconfigured into a small museum that will showcase some of the history of the Pitney property and family. The property currently looks barren and depressing, but the hope is that the Mendham Township Pitney Farm Garden Task Force will win grants for which they applied and with additional funds raised, can refurbish the gardens to a place where people will want to visit.
The Friends of Pitney Farm are in discussing with members of the Task Force to determine the best use of the remaining funds to help preserve as much of the gardens as is feasible.