Benjamin Temple House and Park  (Drake Farm Park)
27 Federal City Road at Violet Cox Drive, Ewing Township, Mercer County, New Jersey


Directions:

New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 7A for US 195 west;  get onto US 295 north which becomes US 95 just after Exit 67 on US 295;  get off at Exit 5; turn left heading south on Federal City Road;  drive about 0.7 of a mile and turn right  into the park (before reaching Ewingville Road (Route 636).    


Geology:

Shabakunk Creek runs through the park. 


History:

Benjamin Temple, son of one of the earliest settlers of the Ewing-Hopewell area, was a prosperous landowner, and a brother-in-law of John Hart, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

1750 the eastern portion of the house built.

1776 Benjamin fought in the Battle of Trenton along with two of his nephews, John and Nathaniel Temple.

1777 (July) Benjamin died.

19th century t he Temple family retained ownership of Benjamin Temple's farm throughout the century.

c. 1840 the western half of the house built. Its interior was in the Greek revival style popular at that time.

1903 Cornelia Temple, great-granddaughter of Benjamin Temple, died and the house was sold to the Ryan family. The Ryans ran a prosperous diary farm on the property for 50 years.

1973 the State of New Jersey moved the Benjamin Temple House to its present location. It serve as headquarters for the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society.

Source: http://www.ewingtwp.net/bthouse.htm


Trails:

5/09/2005.  Ceferino Santana, dog Sonar and I parked in the parking lot.  A fellow at the parking area told us that there was a trail down by the stream; just head along the grassy area and take the second left into the woods.  We did so, finding that much of the way was blocked by overgrown vegetation.  With a little more trail maintenance, the walk could be quite nice.  We had already been to four parks in the area and since we were running out of time we did not follow the trail as far as we could have gone.  We cut back through the woods on an informal trail and came out very close to the parking lot.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

* = blooming on date of field trip, 5/09/2005


Trees:
Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus spp. (apple) *
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)

Shrubs:
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)  *
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra) 
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) *
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)  *
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)  *
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty)   *
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)  *
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill-over-the-ground) *
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort) 
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  *
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell)  * 
Viola sororia (common blue violet) *

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)

Sedges:
Carex sp. (sedge)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)