Vineland was formed on July 1, 1952, through the merger of Landis Township and Vineland Borough, based on the results of a referendum held on February 5, 1952. Festivities on July 1, 1952, when the merger took effect, included a parade and speeches from such notables as Senator Estes Kefauver. The name is derived from the plans of its founder to use the land to grow grapes.
Charles K. Landis purchased 30,000 acres (121 km2) of land in 1861 and another 23,000 acres (93 km2) in 1874, near Millville, New Jersey, and along the West Jersey railroad line with service between Camden and Cape May, to create his own alcohol-free utopian society based on agriculture and progressive thinking. The first houses were built in 1862, and train service was established to Philadelphia and New York City, with the population reaching 5,500 by 1865 and 11,000 by 1875.
Established as a Temperance Town, where the sale of alcohol was prohibited, Landis required that purchasers of land in Vineland build a house on the purchased property within a year of purchase, that acres (10,000 m2) of the often heavily wooded land be cleared and farmed each year, and that adequate space be placed between houses and roads to allow for planting of flowers and shade trees along the routes through town. Landis Avenue was constructed as a 100-foot (30 m) wide and about 1-mile (2 km) long road running east-west through the center of the community, with other, narrower roads connecting at right angles to each other.
After determining that the Vineland soil was well-suited for growing grapes (hence the name), Landis started advertising to attract Italian grape growers to Vineland, offering 20 acres (81,000 m2) of land that had to be cleared and used to grow grapes. Thomas Bramwell Welch founded Welch's Grape Juice, and purchased the locally grown grapes to make "unfermented wine" (or grape juice). The fertile ground also attracted the glass-making industry and was home to the Progresso soup company. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, most of the city was involved in the poultry industry, which led to the city being dubbed "The Egg Basket of America."
Vineland Poultry Laboratories (operations were closed by Lohmann Animal Health in 2007) was started by Arthur Goldhaft. Dr. Goldhaft is credited with putting "a chicken in every pot" after developing the fowl poxchickenvaccine that saved millions of chickens from death. Dr. Goldhaft's work at Vineland Poultry Laboratories in Vineland, helped protect the world's chicken supply from the fowl pox disease.
The city of Vineland celebrated its 150th birthday in 2011. Mayor Robert Romano initially ordered a custom cake from Buddy Valastro of Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken; the business is featured in the TLCreality television series Cake Boss. After outcry from local business owners, the order was canceled and five Vineland bakeries were commissioned to create elaborate cakes for the event.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 69.029 square miles (178.785 km2), including 68.424 square miles (177.218 km2) of land and 0.605 square miles (1.568 km2) of water (0.88%). Of all the municipalities in New Jersey to hold the label of City, Vineland is the largest in total area. (Hamilton Township in Atlantic County is the largest municipality in New Jersey in terms of land area. Galloway Township, also in Atlantic County, is the largest municipality in total area, including open water within its borders.)
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Clayville, Hances Bridge, Leamings Mill, Menantico, North Vineland, Parvins Branch, Pleasantville, South Vineland and Willow Grove.
Vineland has a Ukrainian community and is home to the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church among several other Ukrainian churches.
There were 21,450 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.7 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $54,024 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,798) and the median family income was $64,185 (+/- $2,216). Males had a median income of $48,974 (+/- $1,402) versus $35,513 (+/- $2,565) for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,512 (+/- $895). About 11.0% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.
There were 19,939 households out of which 80.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,076, and the median income for a family was $47,909. Males had a median income of $35,195 versus $25,518 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,797. About 9.8% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
The marquee of the Landis Theater
Portions of Vineland are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.
The main street in Vineland is Landis Avenue. The traditional downtown area is located several blocks east and west of the intersection of Landis Avenue and the Boulevard. The Boulevard is a pair of roads that flank the main north/south railroad, which connected Vineland with Cape May to the south and Camden/Philadelphia to the north. After many years of decline there has been much recent activity to restore the vitality of "The Avenue" and the center city area. New construction includes a new transportation center, courthouse, post office, elementary school / community center and sidewalk upgrades. In 2005, Vineland was designated a Main Street Community and, through the work of this group, money has been earmarked to continue this improvement through property and facade improvements, business retention and marketing.
The City of Vineland is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council (Plan A), implemented based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission as of July 1, 1952, months after the city's formation. The mayor serves as the city's chief executive, while the City Council is its legislative branch. The mayor and council are elected concurrently to serve four-year terms of office in non-partisan elections held in leap years as part of the November general election. An ordinance passed by the council in 2011 shifted elections from May to November, effectively extending the term of those members serving at the time by six months.
As of 2017[update], the Mayor of Vineland is Anthony Fanucci, a lifelong resident of the town. His term of office ends on December 31, 2020, along with those of all members of the City Council. Members of the Vineland City Council are Council President Paul F. Spinelli, Council Vice President David Acosta, Angela Calakos, Ronald John Franceschini Jr. and Albert Vargas.
In January 2013, Ruben Bermudez took office as the city's first Hispanic mayor.
Federal, state and county representation
Vineland is located in the 2nd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 1st state legislative district.
Cumberland County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve staggered three-year terms in office, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting held each January, the freeholders select one member to serve as Freeholder Director and another as Deputy Director. As of 2018[update], Cumberland County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Joseph Derella Jr. (D, Millville, term as freeholder and as freeholder director ends December 31, 2018),
Deputy Freeholder Director Darlene R. Barber (D, Upper Deerfield Township, term as freeholder ends 2019, term as deputy freeholder director ends 2018),
George Castellini (D, Vineland, 2020),
Carol Musso (D, Deerfield Township, 2020),
James F. Quinn (D, Millville, 2018),
Joseph V. Sparacio (R, Deerfield Township, 2019) and
Jack Surrency (D, Bridgeton 2020). The county's constitutional officers are
Clerk Celeste Riley (D, Bridgeton, 2019),
Sheriff Robert A. Austino (D, Vineland, 2020) and
Surrogate Douglas M. Rainear (D, Upper Deerfield Township, 2018).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 37,583 registered voters in Vineland, of which 10,388 (27.6%) were registered as Democrats, 6,109 (16.3%) were registered as Republicans and 21,059 (56.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 27 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 64.9% of the vote (15,299 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 34.2% (8,074 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (218 votes), among the 23,880 ballots cast by the city's 39,605 registered voters (289 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 60.3%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.6% of the vote (15,743 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received 35.2% (8,862 votes), with 25,144 ballots cast among the city's 39,098 registered voters, for a turnout of 64.3%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 53.8% of the vote (12,506 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 43.6% (10,131 votes), with 23,253 ballots cast among the city's 35,943 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 64.7.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 55.5% of the vote (7,171 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 42.8% (5,527 votes), and other candidates with 1.7% (221 votes), among the 13,243 ballots cast by the city's 37,789 registered voters (324 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 35.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 52.2% of the vote (7,457 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 40.1% (5,725 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.8% (681 votes), with 14,289 ballots cast among the city's 37,092 registered voters, yielding a 38.5% turnout.
The city is home to two Catholic elementary schools, Bishop Schad Regional School (combining St. Francis and Sacred Heart Schools) and St. Mary Regional School Both schools operate under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.Sacred Heart High School served grades 9-12 from 1927 until its closure by the Camden Diocese in June 2013 due to declining enrollment.
The Ellison School is a private, nonsectariancoeducationalday school located on South Spring Road in Vineland. The school, with an enrollment of about 120 students in pre-K through 8th grade, is known for rigorous academics and a small (6:1) student/teacher ratio. The school was founded in 1959 and moved to its current site in 1968.
The Palace of Depression was built by the mustachioed eccentric George Daynor, a former Alaska gold miner who lost his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929; the house was known as "The Strangest House in the World" or the "Home of Junk", and was built as a testament of willpower against the effects of the Great Depression. As of March 2018,[update] a full restoration, undertaken by The Palace of Depression Restoration Association, is ongoing.
The Landis MarketPlace opened in 2011 as a two-level indoor public market and would go on to include several vendors on the upper level. In July 2015, the Amish vendors on the lower level departed and the market was purchased by the city the following month. As of 2016,[update] Spataro's Pizza was the sole remaining tenant.
Clear Communications owns two locally-licensed radio stations; WVLT (92.1) and WMIZ (1270), with WPOV-LP (107.7) owned by the local branch of Calvary Chapel. Vineland is also the city of license for WUVP-DT (channel 65), Philadelphia's Univision station, which has studios in Franklin Township and their news operation and transmitter based in Philadelphia proper.
Nicholas Asselta (born 1951), member of the New Jersey Senate, who served on the Vineland Board of Education (1993-96), Vineland Planning Board (1992-93) and Vineland Environmental Commission (1992-93).
^"Merger Campaign Arouses Vineland; 'Hole' in Jersey 'Doughnut' Fights for Civic Status in February 5 Referendum Merger Defeated in 1929 Wide Interest Noted", The New York Times, November 25, 1951. p. 58
^Jacobs, Frank. "293 - Come Visit New Jersey... You'll Never Leave", Bigthink.com. Accessed June 26, 2017. "Here Vineland - famous for its contributions to our knowledge of the feebleminded. Another arrow elucidates: Here the Vineland Training School and Vineland State School."
^Barnett, Bob. Population Data for Cumberland County Municipalities, 1810 - 2010, WestJersey.org. January 6, 2011. Accessed October 24, 2012. Totals for 1880-1900 represent combined population of Landis township (3,486 in 1880, 3,855 in 1890 and 4,721 in 1900) and Vineland borough (2,519 in 1880, 3,822 in 1890 and 4,370 in 1900).
^Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 270, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Landis was created a township in 1864, from the township of Millville. Its population in 1870 was 7,079. The thriving town of Vineland is in this township. It is a place of considerable note having increased greater in population than any other city in the state."
^The Main Street ApproachArchived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Main Street, Vineland. Accessed August 27, 2011. "In 2005, Vineland was designated a Main Street Community. This designation is part of a state and national revitalization program that is intended to help businesses make the most of their location, whether it is on Landis Avenue or elsewhere in the Main Street District."
^Barlas, Thomas. "Vineland may switch elections from May to November", The Press of Atlantic City, April 6, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2012. "Vineland - Local residents likely will elect a mayor and City Council candidates in November starting next year. City Council will introduce an ordinance when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday that would move the municipality's non-partisan election from May to November."
^About Cumberland County Government, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed June 7, 2018. "By law, Cumberland County is allowed 7 freeholders, who serve staggered, overlapping three year terms. Two are elected in two successive years, three in the third year, elected from the county at-large. A Director of the Board is selected by his colleagues for a one year term."
^Woods, Don E. "Tour Cumberland County tech school's new $70M campus", NJ.com, August 16, 2016. Accessed October 15, 2017. "Vineland -- Seventeen months and approximately $70 million went into the construction of Cumberland County Technical Education Center's new, state-of-the-art campus in time for the incoming class of 2020. Starting this year, CCTEC will be a four-year, full-time high school and its inaugural class -- 241 students -- will be entering the hallways on Sept. 12. The Cumberland County Improvement Authority handled the construction of the 200,000-square-foot school."
^History, Cumberland Christian School. Accessed August 27, 2011.
^Home Page, Bishop Schad Regional School. Accessed October 20, 2016.
^Home Page, Saint Mary School. Accessed October 20, 2016.
^About Us, Delsea Drive-In. Accessed July 30, 2013.
^Genovese, Peter. "Vineland drive-in movie theater a ticket to the past", The Star-Ledger, August 31, 2011. Accessed July 26, 2012. "When the Route 35 Drive-In in Hazlet closed in 1991, New Jersey, the birthplace of the drive-in, was left without a drive-in theater. It stayed that way until 2004, when DeLeonardis purchased and re-opened the Delsea Drive-in, which had closed in 1987."
^Howard, Jen. "The Delsea Drive-in keeps a vintage summer tradition alive", WHYY newsworks, July 15, 2011. Accessed August 27, 2011. "Delonardis feels his drive-in must be the best, partly because it's the only one in New Jersey--the birthplace of the drive-in. In 1933, the first one opened on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken."
^Broder, John M. "Without Superfund Tax, Stimulus Aids Cleanups", The New York Times, April 25, 2009. Accessed August 27, 2011. "Vineland's former owners, now deceased, paid $3 million toward a cleanup that began a decade ago and has already cost more than $120 million. The site will get $10 million to $25 million in stimulus money to speed a continuing project to purge arsenic and other chemicals from soil and water on the site's 54 acres."
^Schurman, Mike; and Gonzales, Patrisia. "The Downfall Of A Drug Kingdom In A.C.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 11, 1989. Accessed October 18, 2015. "Like an imperial highness, Hakeem Abdul Shaheed was prone to wearing a St. Edward's crown, a bejeweled, gold crown around a red cushion that is a symbol of the British monarchy. And from his ranch home in Vineland, Shaheed, a.k.a. Robert 'Midget' Molley, ruled quite a kingdom - a drug kingdom that law enforcement authorities say spanned the clapboard housing neighborhoods of Mays Landing to the crumbling Atlantic City housing projects."
^Staff. "Tribute to Judge Stanley S. Brotman", Seton Hall Law Review, 1990-1991. Accessed October 18, 2015. "Born in Vineland, New Jersey on July 27, 1974, Judge Brotman first answered his country's call to service during the Second World War."
^Martin, Douglas. "Robert Butler, Aging Expert, Is Dead at 83", The New York Times, July 7, 2010. Accessed October 18, 2015. "Dr. Butler's mission emerged from his childhood, he wrote in his book. His parents had scarcely named him Robert Neil Butler before splitting up 11 months after his birth on Jan. 21, 1927, in Manhattan. He went to live with his maternal grandparents on a chicken farm in Vineland, N.J."
^McGurk, Tom."Jamil Demby works out for two NFL teams in Vineland", The Daily Journal (New Jersey), April 4, 2018. Accessed May 27, 2018. "The National Football League came to Vineland on Wednesday. Later this month, a city native son hopes to go to the NFL. Jamil Demby, a star offensive lineman at Vineland High School and the University of Maine, worked out for coaches and scouts from the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers at the Joseph E. Romano Sports Complex."
^DiStefano, Joseph N. "The Long and Shorti of It", SJU Magazine, Summer 2012. Accessed October 8, 2015. "Wawa President Chris Gheysens '05 (M.B.A.) wakes up and smells the coffee every day, whether he's rallying management and store associates, sifting new-product sales and cost analytics, or pairing breakfast with a fresh-brewed cup.... Gheysens, a native of Vineland, N.J., whose father ran a chain of car washes, was taught compatible ideals in his own Catholic schooling -- he graduated from St. Augustine Prep and Villanova University."
^Staff. "IRL: Jeret Schroeder Lands Tri Star Ride", Motrosport.com, December 6, 1999. Accessed June 26, 2017. "Larry Curry, Tony Stewart, Andy Card and Rick Ehrgott of Tri Star Motorsports announced today that they have signed Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J., to drive one of their Dallara Auroras in Indy Racing League (IRL) events in 2000, including the Indianapolis 500."
^Marc Stern, The Los Angeles Coalition. Accessed October 18, 2015. "A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Mr. Stern holds degrees from Dickinson College, Columbia University Graduate School of Public Law and Government and Columbia University School of Law."
^Procida, Lee. "Vineland's Mary Treat helped Charles Darwin publish his work", The Press of Atlantic City, March 23, 2012. Accessed June 4, 2018. "When Charles Darwin needed help finishing his 20th book, the legendary English evolutionist turned to an amateur woman naturalist from Vineland named Mary Treat.... Treat was born in upstate New York in 1830, then married and moved to Vineland in 1868, only a few years after Charles Landis established the town."
^Richard Veenfliet, askART. Accessed October 25, 2018. "d. 20 August 1922- Kearny Soldiers' Home, Vineland, N.J."
^Van Embden, Edward. "Umpire makes Vineland fame wall", The Press of Atlantic City, June 1, 2009. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Behind that moment in history, and several others, was Vineland native Vic Voltaggio.... Voltaggio, 68, is being inducted into the Vineland Hall of Fame tonight at Vineland High School's all-sports banquet at Merighi's Savoy Inn in East Vineland."
^Coppola, Anthony V. "Vineland native to compete in Winter Olympics", The Daily Journal (New Jersey), February 5, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2018. "Anthony Watson was content knowing he'd miss the Philadelphia Eagles play in Super Bowl LII. After all, Watson, a Vineland native and 2008 Cumberland Christian graduate, had a decent excuse for missing the big game on Sunday.... Watson, 28, is set to represent Jamaica in the Winter Olympics as the country's first-ever skeleton competitor."
^Biography, Mona Sue Weissmark. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Mona Sue Weissmark was born in Vineland, New Jersey."