was in August 1861 that Vineland, one of the first and most
successful planned communities, was born - before they even
knew to call them planned communities. Charles
K. Landis was a visionary and a dreamer. His dream was
to create a town where hard working men could earn a living
farming the land.
chose his idea site in the heart of South Jersey - one with
a railroad running through the site, affording easy access
to the marketplace of Philadelphia. He bought 20,000 acres
and paid workers $1 per day to cut an avenue 100-feet wide
and about one mile long, using the railroad as a center point.
Upon completion of the first leg of Landis Avenue, Landis
set out to establish a post office in the still desolate town
he called Vineland. There was some government resistance to
build a post office in a location with no inhabitants, but
soon after he had a chance meeting with the son of John Tyler,
Landis was appointed the first postmaster of Vineland.
began advertising his city in the hope of luring farmers to
settle, and, in 1862,. the first house was built on East and
Landis avenues. Shortly thereafter, direct train service was
established to Vineland from Philadelphia and New York. By
1865 a population of roughly 5,500 had settled in Vineland.
new community had attracted many idealistic and progressive
settlers, as well as hard working farmers and industrialists.
A group of these progressive people formed "Friends of
Progress" with the idea to have a united organization
that could be used to support, discuss and promote progressive
thinking. The Friends of Progress erected Plum Street Hall
so that they could have meetings, lectures and generally benefit
the town. Many of those discussions focused on Equal Rights
and on December 4, 1866 an Equal Rights Association was formed.
One month later The Equal Rights and Universal Peace Association
held a convention at Plum Street Hall and elected new officers.
late August 1867, a mass meeting on Impartial Suffrage was
held in Vineland, to consider the best means of bringing the
question of impartial suffrage, irrespective of sex or color,
more fully before the people of New Jersey.
September 1868 Susan B. Anthony spoke at Plum Street Hall
November 3, 1868 - fifty-two years before the nineteenth amendment
was passed allowing women the right to vote - 172 women cast
votes in the Presidential election. The women of Vineland
continued to cast their ballots for years to come.
the years, Vineland men and women continued to be the forefront
of many reform movements.
kept a strong hold over the community. He tried to ensure
that Vineland remained a "dry" town and a law was
passed prohibiting the sale of liquor. Because many of the
churches needed wine for their religious ceremonies, in 1869
a man by the name of Dr.
Thomas Bramwell Welch solved the problem by coming up
with the idea of preserving grape juice without fermenting
it, hence alcohol free. He first had to convince the churches
to use it and initially produced only a limited amount of
unfermented wine for churches in southern New Jersey and southeast
Pennsylvania, but soon the demand was more than one man could
handle and Welch formed the Welch's Fruit Juice Company, forerunner
of today's internationally known Welch Company. Dr. Welch
set up a factory site near his second house, at Wood and Sixth
streets, where the Vineland Police Department is now housed.
the prohibition movement the Welch name really took off. Since
Welch's Grape Juice was the only non alcoholic fruit drink
in the market, it was a natural substitute for alcoholic drinks.
When the grape growers of the area could not longer fill the
demand, Dr. Welch's son, Charles, moved production to New
York State, where a more plentiful supply of Concord grapes
could be found.
the late 1940's the poultry business took off in Vineland.
The City became a leader in the industry, and 90% of the Vineland
population was involved in the egg and poultry industry in
some way. As a celebration of Vineland's hard work and success,
Vineland residents and industry leaders began hosting an annual
Poultry and Egg Festival. After the first annual Poultry and
Egg Festival, Vineland became known as "The Egg Basket
of America." New technology, which forced the lowering
of egg prices, brought about the decline and eventually ended
the poultry business in Vineland.
continued to grow, attracting various industries such as glass
manufacturers, food processors and clothing companies in addition
to farming. Retail stores abound in a thriving downtown section,
reaching its peak the late 1950's and early 1960's.
milestone in Vineland's history occurred on July 1, 1952,
when two subsections of the town, Landis Township and the
Borough of Vineland, were consolidated to become one city.
Paul Brundage, then president of the Greater
Vineland Chamber of Commerce, began the movement. As provided
in the consolidation plan, a mayor (John Gittone) and five
councilmen were installed.
Vineland Greater Chamber of Commerce Membership Directory
& Community Guide