Updated: Aug 14, 2020
The Broad View Farm windmill
Some months ago, we reported that that windmill that was on Broad View Farm in Blawenburg was missing. (See Blog 9.) At least, we weren’t sure where it was. It’s hard to lose a windmill, but when you hear the turn of events, you can understand what happened.
Broad View Farm, which straddled the north and south sides of Georgetown Franklin Turnpike (County Route 518) just west of the crossroad in Blawenburg, was originally settled by the Nevius family in 1737. In 1811, the Van Zandt family became owners of the farm when Bernardus Van Zandt married Sarah Sutphin, who was related to the Nevius family. (See Blog 7.)
The Van Zandts owned, expanded, and improved the farm, making it a showpiece for farmers around the State of New Jersey. People traveled from all over the state to see the latest farming techniques in action. They drew over 8,000 people to one of their expositions in 1950. (See Blog 11.)
One of these innovations was a windmill which was installed in 1905 to pump water for use on the farm. In 1920, as J. Percy Van Zandt was building his farm equipment business, he added an Aeromotor to the well to supplement wind power. The windmill served its purpose for many years, and Percy was still climbing the windmill to fine tune its parts well into his 80s.
In the 1990s, much of the farm was sold to build a housing development on the west side of the farm on the north side of Georgetown Franklin Turnpike. At the same time, developers purchased the Broad View property on the south side of the Turnpike along with Woodacres Farm and other properties to build Cherry Valley Country Club and residential homes.
Having little use for the old windmill, the family decided to donate it to the New Jersey Agricultural Museum that had been built at Rutgers University. The windmill was dismantled in Blawenburg and re-erected on the Cook College campus at Rutgers. A plaque was placed next to it honoring Percy Van Zandt for his contributions to agriculture in New Jersey.
The plaque that was near the windmill at