Sparta History & Farm Room
The Sparta History & Farm Room is located on the first floor of the Van Kirk Homestead Museum
Thomas Van Kirk, who bought the property, in 1775 was a farmer and blacksmith. The Van Kirk Homestead remained a farm through the decades and centuries, eventually becoming a dairy from 1920 through 1970 and an equestrian farm from 1970 – 1990. For a short span of time, the Van Kirk Homestead was even a Christmas tree farm and our current fir grove is the remnant memories of this farming endeavor.
It is therefore appropriate that, surrounded by vintage farm tools and artifacts, the 1920s farm model by Reverend Samuel R Wilhelm from Bridgeton NJ is displayed just as it was every holiday season. This model was made from wooden crates, cigar boxes, and other containers that brought produce and goods into his home. Saw dust was dried and painted dark green to create the effect of grass. It is a perfect replica of a simple farm setting such as the Van Kirk Homestead!!
New in 2021, Sparta History Gallery was combined into this gallery. The collection display is a sequential time capsule of Sparta events going around the room beginning from the ancient indigenous people to the 1930s. Through the years, Sparta was a community of farms, mining, railroads, apple brandy producers, and summer vacationland. Despite being a rural destination, it had notable celebrities such as Thomas Edison and Curt Engelbrecht.