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Lindbergh Kidnapping Trial, Dvoor Farm Connection
In our ceaseless efforts to learn as much as possible about the history of the Dvoor Farm, we were surprised to learn about its connection to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial in Flemington in January and February of 1935.
The information comes to us from author Jim Davidson through his new book When the Circus Came to Town.
The trial resulted several years after the kidnapping of Charles and Anne Lindbergh’s first son, Charles Jr., on March 1, 1932. The Lindberghs lived in the Sourland Mountains on the East Amwell/Hopewell border. (It was decided to hold the trial in Flemington after surveyors confirmed the house was situated in East Amwell by 800 feet.)
During the “Trial of the Century” about 50,000 people descended upon what at that time was a relatively sleepy town, including more than 700 reporters and 50 photographers.
Reporters frequently found themselves in a rush to get the news out first “because being first in getting a special edition on the street could make or break an issue,” Davidson writes.
Motorcycle engines revved curbside outside Hanson’s Bakery on Bloomfield Avenue, which had been converted into a darkroom to develop photos taken during the trial. Drivers were handed envelopes and would race off to one of several airports set up outside Flemington.
“One airport was north of Flemington on the Bohern farm, along Route 30,” Davidson records. “A second was at the Dvoor farm, at the circle where Rt. 12 and Mine St. (now) meet. Fourteen airplanes were used, typically three times a day, to ferry pictures to the various cities.
He also notes, “At the Dvoor farm, lights were installed so planes could take off and land at night.”
We searched, but had no luck finding photos of the Dvoor Farm set up as an airfield. If you have one, please let us know.
The trial impacted farm owner Jacob Dvoor in another way. As we noted in 2019, Jacob and George Dvoor hurried to the Midwest to purchase additional cows to help alleviate a milk shortage in Flemington as a result of the trial. You can read that story here.
If you’d like to learn more about the fascinating story of Flemington during the trial, Davidson will discuss his new book at the main branch of the Hunterdon County Library on Route 12, on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. The program, sponsored by the Hunterdon County Historical Society, is free. Seating is limited, but you can reserve a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.