Abbott Marshlands Interpretive Plan
Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark, Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey
Between June 2008 and February 2009, in collaboration with Jane Clark Chermayeff Associates, for the County of Mercer, Hunter Research produced an interpretive plan for the Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark, one of the most significant Native American archaeological resources in the United States. This extraordinary and largely unappreciated resource, focused in the tidal freshwater wetland and bluffs surrounding the confluence of Crosswicks Creek and the Delaware River, played a seminal role in the development of American archaeology and our understanding of human antiquity in the New World. This location has been long appreciated for its natural resources, but its historical, archaeological and cultural resources have received minimal attention in regional planning initiatives. Today, large portions of the landmark lie beneath suburban housing in Hamilton Township, Mercer County and Bordentown Township, Burlington County. The interpretive plan redefines the landmark as a premier heritage tourism asset in the region.
Hunter Research initially conducted extensive documentary and field research, gathering information into a cultural resources GIS compatible with Mercer County’s own GIS mapping. Our firm participated in numerous charrettes and meetings with the client and local community which were designed to bring into the open the key issues and assets relating to the landmark. Throughout the project, Hunter Research led coordination with the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office with respect to project compliance with state and federal historic preservation laws. The principal deliverable for this work was a comprehensive technical report that summarized the historical and archaeological data and narrated the importance of the landmark’s history and archaeology. This report provides the underpinning for and is appended to the interpretive plan itself, a document to which Hunter Research contributed data, graphics and ideas.