Talk at Hunterdon Farmers’ Market ‘Digs Deep’ Into County History


Why is Old York Road — a Native American trail and the main route that connected Philadelphia to New York City during Colonial times — located where it is? Why are the streets of Clinton laid out as they are? Why did north Hunterdon County see so little activity during the American Revolution?

The answers to those questions lurk beneath the surface — literally.

Visit the Hunterdon Land Trust’s Farmers’ Market on Sunday, June 26 when John Allen digs deep to explore the surprising role geology plays in the county’s history and development. The program will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the wagon house of the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine St. in Raritan Township. The Farmers’ Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Examples of how geology impacts our lives can be found everywhere: from the roads we travel on to the names of the places we visit. For instance, evidence of the misguided belief in the mid-1800s that a large quantity of copper existed near Flemington can be spotted easily.

“Mine Street, the Coppermine Apartments, Mine Brook, Copper Hill — these are just a few examples,” Allen said. The mining companies sold all sorts of stocks, but their dreams of riches never panned out.


The earth beneath Hunterdon County holds iron ore that once fueled the forges during the American Revolution, and in the 19th century carbonite rocks fed the numerous lime kilns that sprang up in the northern reaches of the county. The county also has rocks best known for architectural use, such as “brownstone”– New Jersey’s unofficial state rock — and “trap rock,” which is still actively quarried and used by the state for roadways, railroads and garden landscaping, Allen noted.

This program is free. Reservations are suggested by calling us at 908-237-4582 or emailing

Allen earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s from Rutgers University, both in geology. After 34 years as a petroleum geologist, and living on three continents, he retired in 2013. He’s a member of the board of trustees of the Hunterdon County Historical Society and a member of East Amwell’s Historical Society and Historic Preservation Committee.

The producers’-only Farmers’ Market hosts about 18 farmers and vendors who offer an assortment of local products including organic fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, yak, bacon, eggs, milk, cheese, artisan bread, locally roasted coffee, fermented foods, native plant seeds and honey. The market also has a food truck that makes flat-bread pizzas using ingredients provided by the farmers.