Local Historic Farm Gets Preserved

The Morris County Agriculture Development Board this week permanently preserved a 43-acre

nursery products farm on Flocktown Road in Washington Township owned by the estate of the

Scheller family.

The purchase of the development easement on this property by the Morris County

CADB restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently

preserving the farm. It is the 128th preserved farm in Morris County and the

74th preserved agricultural property in Washington Township, according to Katherine Coyle, director of the Morris CADB.

The Scheller Farm is located within a half-mile of four preserved farms and adjacent to

Washington Township’s Cataract Park.

The easement purchase was made in conjunction with a grant from the State Agriculture

Development Committee, which provided 55 percent of the $889,065 acquisition price, or

$491,397 to preserve the farm. The Morris County Open Space, Farmland, Floodplain

Protection and Historic Preservation Trust Fund provided the remaining $397,668.

“This is terrific program that has over the past three decades been very

effective in preserving Morris County agricultural roots, and effectively

creating a permanent and viable agricultural business district in the

county,’’ said Freeholder Christine Myers, the county governing

board’s liaison on preservation matters.

The farm was owned by George Scheller Sr. and his son George

Scheller Jr.  Both passed away a few years ago and their estate had to

resolve legal issues before preservation could proceed.

The farm has an interesting history. Many years ago, the property was owned and used as a hunting preserve and also once served as a back lot film studio for Thomas Edison.

After the county purchased the development easement on Wednesday, the Scheller estate then

sold the newly preserved farm to the Fleming family, which currently operate a Christmas tree

farm and plans to expand production to this property.

In contrast to open space preservation, the agricultural landowner retains ownership of, and may

even choose to sell, the preserved farmland. But the land retains a deed restriction ensuring that

it cannot undergo non-farm development.

Agricultural development of the farm is permitted and the type of farming activity can change

in the future.

Preservation of the Scheller Farm brings the total area of preserved farmland in the county to

7,821 acres or the equivalent of 12 square miles.

For more information on this farm and the county’s agricultural preservation program, visit:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.