Crosswicks Creek Park, Walnford Historical Site
Walnford Road, via Holmes Mill Road off Rt. 539, Upper Freehold Township, NJ
1046 acres


Historic Walnford is a 36-acre mill village listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Like nearby Allentown, Imlaystown and Crosswicks, the village found on this site in 1734 began as an investment by a local merchant and developed around a grist mill. A 1772 newspaper advertisement offering the property for sale describe the 180-acre plantation as including a grist mill, saw mill, fulling mill, blacksmith shop, cooper's shop, large 2-family brick house, 5 tenant houses, assorted farm buildings, 100 plowed acres, 25 acres in meadow, and 2 fruit-bearing orchards. Walnford was the name that Richard Waln gave to the property when he purchased it in 1772, beginning a family tenancy that would last 200 years.

1772-1799. Richard Waln was a Quaker sympathetic to English. He may have been thinking of a safe have for his family and business when he purchased this site. He and his wife Elizabeth Waln and their 6 children moved to sparsely-settled Upper Freehold.

Waln invested heavily in the property, repairing the mills and in 1773 constructing the mansion that gave the simple mill village a manor-like quality. Walnford provided Waln, an international merchant-trader, with a new commercial base for the production of flour, lumber, and farm commodities that were shipped to Philadelphia, New York, and beyond.

Federal Merchant -- Farmer -- Nicholas and Sarah Waln, 1799-1848. Walnford's growth during the first half of the 19th century mirrored the expansion and prosperity of the region's farm economy. Richard Waln's son Nicholas took charge of Walnford in 1799 and became a full time farmer, merchant miller, and member of the local community. Nicholas acquired five nearby farms, increasing the family's landholdings to over 1300 acres. The village reached its height of activity during this period with over 50 people living and working at Walnford. Increased grain production meant more business for the grist mill, which was rebuilt and enlarge in 1822, and the saw mill produced lumber for new farm structures on the added land. Walnford was a busy place with agriculture and associated industries its primary purpose.

Gower Farm; Upper Freehold Township; Completed in 1989, 82 Acres.  The Monmouth Conservation Foundation purchased 82 acres of farmland adjacent to Walnford Park from Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gower of Upper Freehold and then conveyed the acreage to the County for an addition to the park. The Foundation arranged for the sale of the development rights to 77 adjoining acres (also owned by the Gowers) through the Farmland Preservation Program. Funding, provided by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, led to the successful preservation of the entire tract's open space.

David Brainerd worked as a missionary among the Indians from Kinderhook, NY, deep down the Delaware Valley and then to Nescochague Lake. At the last, he worked from his little church at Crossweeksung, now Crosswicks (The Place of Women). Brainerd's health failed. He returned home to New England. 136

1747 -- David Brainerd dies at the age of only 29.

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1983. 1936 original Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.


Walnford was acquired in 1985 by the County of Monmouth. Joanne and Edward Mullen donated their historic milling and farm complex located on 41 acres in Upper Freehold to the Monmouth County Park System via the Monmouth Conservation Foundation. Major grants from the New Jersey Historic Preeservation Bond Program in 1990 and 1995 have assisted the building restoration program currently in progress.

2000  (September)  --  The County restored the Georgian mansion, the mill and the outbuildings and opened them to the public.There is a gristmill, carriage house, smokehouse, cheese house, caretaker's house, icehouse and barn.

Crosswicks Creek

Crosswicks Creek travels through four NJ counties. Beginning in Burlington County, the stream passes through the northwest corner of Ocean County, meanders six miles through Monmouth County, become the dividing line Between Burlington and Mercer counties, and finally empties into the Delaware River south of Trenton at Bordentown.

Years of erosion and sedimentation along Crosswicks Creek have considerably slowed the flow that once powered the mills along its length. The kinds of boats that carried Walnford good to Philadelphia in the 18th and early 19th centuries would no longer be able to navigate the shallow stream.


Karl Anderson

Acer negundo var. negundo (box-elder maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Cercis canadensis var. canadensis (redbud)
Fraxinus pensylvanica (green ash) 8/29/99
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Ilex opaca var. opaca (American holly)
Juglans nigra (black walnut)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)
Prunus serotina (wild black cherry)
Pyrus communis (pear)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Salix sp. (willow)
Sassafras albidum (Sassafras)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Cornus amomum var. amomum (swamp dogwood)
Lindera benzoin var. benzoin (spice-bush)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Staphylea trifolia (bladder-nut)
Viburnum dentatum var. lucidum (arrow-wood viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain-berry)
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog-peanut) 8/29/99
Campsis radicans (trumpet-creeper) 8/29/99
Clematis virginiana (virgin's bower clematis) 8/29/99
Ipomoea hederacea (morning-glory)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Polygonum scandens var. scandens (climbing false buckwheat)
Toxicodendron radicans var. radicans (poison-ivy)
Vitis aestivalis var. aestivalis (summer grape)
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)

Aegopodium podagraria (goutweed)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/29/99
Ambrosia trifida var. trifida (giant ragweed)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle) 8/29/99
Callitriche palustris (water starwort)
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Chenopodium album (pigweed) 8/29/99
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican-tea) 8/29/99
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) 8/29/99
Conyza canadensis var. canadensis (horseweed) 8/29/99
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's Lace) 8/29/99
Eclipta prostrata (yerba-de-tajo) 8/29/99
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed) 8/29/99
Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane) 8/29/99
Eupatorium dubium (Joe-Pye-weed) 8/29/99
Eupatorium fistulosum (trumpet weed Joe-Pye-weed) 8/29/99
Eupatorium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum (boneset) 8/29/99
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge) 8/29/99
Hibiscus moscheutos var. moscheutos (swamp rose-mallow) 8/29/99
Hibiscus syriacus (rose-of-Sharon) 8/29/99
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) 8/29/99
Lactuca biennis (tall blue lettuce) 8/29/99
Lobelia cardinalis var. cardinalis (cardinal-flower) 8/29/99
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia water horehound) 8/29/99
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Oenothera biennis var. biennis (common evening primrose) 8/29/99
Osmorhiza longistylis (long-styled sweet cicely)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 8/29/99
Phlox paniculata (summer phlox) 8/29/99
Physalis longifolia var. subglabrata (ground-cherry) 8/29/99
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed) 8/29/99
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved tearthumb) 8/29/99
Polygonum cespitosum var. longisetum (cespitose smartweed) 8/29/99
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese smartweed) 8/29/99
Polygonum hydropiperoides var. hydropiperoides (false water pepper) 8/29/99
Polygonum punctatum var. confertiflorum (dotted smartweed) 8/29/99
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 8/29/99
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Rumex obtusifolius (bitter dock)
Sparganium americanum (burreed)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Verbena urticifolia var. urticifolia (white vervain) 8/29/99
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed) 8/29/99
Viola striata (creamy violet)
Xanthium strumarium var. canadense (cocklebur)

Rushes and Sedges:
Cyperus strigosus (false nutsedge)
Juncus effusus var. solutus (soft rush)

Digitaria sanguinalis (crab grass) 8/29/99
Echinochloa walteri (Walter's barnyard grass) 8/29/99
Eleusine indica (goose grass) 8/29/99
Elymus hystrix (bottlebrush grass) 8/29/99
Eragrostis pectinacea var. pectinacea (lovegrass) 8/29/99
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch-grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass) 8/29/99
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail) 8/29/99
Tridens flavus var. flavus (purpletop grass)

Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)

David Snyder says Phlox divaricata is at Walnford