Paw’s Farm- Part of the Local Charm
1105 Hainesport-Mt. Laurel Road
Any kid growing up within the last three decades, in Mount Laurel Township, probably has visited Paw’s Farm at one time or another. Even for us adults and history buffs, this place offers the best of two worlds; A great place to take the kids AND also to learn a little local history.
The Darnell House, the pillar of the farm, was constructed in 1782 with various additions added over the years. There have been some conflicting reports of when it was erected. According to HABs historical data from the 1930s, the date can be found on a patch plate on the front door. However, it is still considered one of the earliest houses in Burlington County.
After the land went through a few hands, Edmund Darnell obtained property of roughly 250 acres in Mt. Laurel township. Darnell was also a founder of the Evesham Meeting House. Interestingly enough, the property was in the hands of Darnell’s direct descendants up until 1941.
The history of the farm really precedes that of 128,000,000 years ago.
Geologically, the farm property sits on what is called a “Cuesta” meaning slope in Spanish. A Cuesta is a natural belt of hills. It formed in the separating of the inner and outer coastal plain of southern New Jersey.
The Paws Farm Grounds consist of the Darnell home, the original smoke house and ice house, horse and donkey stables, a dairy barn, playgrounds butterfly garden, picnic areas, indoor play areas (great on rainy/winter days) and plenty more…..And a ton of animals for the kids to enjoy!
Paws farm opened its doors in 1979, when volunteers were working on the restoration of the Darnell family farmstead. It became a non-profit nature center, offering a hands on approach with animals. Nature education is a predominant focus at PAWS.
It is a rare gem to the Mt. Laurel/Medford area as not many people outside of the city limits are aware of it. As developments are sprouting up left and right in the vicinity, the property has not changed much.
I took two children and both were begging not to leave. The farm was closing, so we had no choice.
You have to get out and see this place. It offers history (for us adults) and fun for the kids. I call that a win/win in my book.
Until our next adventure, my friends! -The Yummygal