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.
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 had to build a house on the purchased property within a year of purchase, that 21⁄2 acres (10,000 m2) of the often-heavily wooded land had to 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 (now Lohman Animal Health) 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 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.
There were 21,450 households, 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, 24.5% of the population were 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 age 18 and over, 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.
Vineland has a Ukrainian community and is home to the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church and several other Ukrainian churches.
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 members serving at the time by six months.
As of 2014[update], the Mayor of Vineland is Ruben Bermudez, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2016 (along with those of all members of the City Council). Members of the Vineland City Council are Council President Anthony Fanucci, Council Vice President Paul Spinelli, Angela Calakos, Maritza Gonzalez and John Procopio.
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 two or three seats coming up for election each year. 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 2014[update], Cumberland County's Freeholders (with committee liaison assignments, political party, residence and term-end dates listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Joseph Derella (Administration / Public Safety; D, Millville, term ends December 31, 2015), Freeholder Deputy Director Douglas M. Long (NA; D, Upper Deerfield Township, 2015), Darlene Barber (Education; D, 2016, Upper Deerfield Township), Carol Musso (Community Services; D, Deerfield Township, 2014), James Sauro (Agriculture; R, Vineland, 2014), Thomas Sheppard (Health; R, Lawrence Township, 2016) and Tony Surace (Public Works; D, Millville, 2014). The county's constitutional officers are County Clerk Gloria Noto (Vineland, 2014), Sheriff Robert A. Austino (Vineland, 2014) and Surrogate Douglas M. Rainear (Bridgeton, 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 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.
Vineland Public Schools serves students in public school for pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 17 schools had an enrollment of 9,734 students and 895.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.88:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Casimer M. Dallago, Jr. Preschool Center / IMPACT (230) and Max Leuchter Preschool Center (202) for preschool, Dane Barse School (396), D'Ippolito Elementary School (696), Marie Durand School (565), Johnstone School (458), Dr. William Mennies School (653), Petway School (571), Gloria M. Sabater School (575), John H. Winslow School (554) for grades K-5, Landis School (487), Anthony Rossi School (550), Veterans Memorial School (521) and Thomas W. Wallace, Jr. School (492) for grades 6-8, Vineland High School (2,717) for grades 9-12 and Cunningham Alternative School for students with "personal or academic challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential" (68) in grades 7-12.
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-Kindergarten 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.
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 Palace of Depression was built by the eccentric and mustached George Daynor, a former Alaska gold miner who lost his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and 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. A full restoration was scheduled to be completed in late 2010.
The Landis MarketPlace opened in 2011 as a two-level indoor public market and includes an Amish market on the lower level and several vendors on the upper level.
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
^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."
^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."
^Woods, Don E. "Vineland celebrates 'new vision' at inauguration for Mayor Ruben Bermudez, council", South Jersey Times, January 5, 2013. Accessed January 10, 2013. "Promising a “new vision,” Ruben Bermudez, the first Hispanic mayor of Vineland, said that he will battle the many ills that impact the quality of life for city residents.... They appointed Fanucci as city council president.... The council also appointed Spinelli as the vice president."
^About Cumberland County Government, Cumberland County, New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2014. "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."
^Marko, Deborah M.; and Kov, Daniel. "GOP keeps two seats on freeholder boardRainear re-elected as surrogate; Mercado ousted", The Daily Journal (New Jersey), November 6, 2013. Accessed July 28, 2014. "GOP candidate Tom Sheppard wins a three-year seat. His running mate, James Sauro, wins a one-year seat. The pair will be the only GOP representatives on the seven-member freeholder board. Darlene Barber, a Democrat in her first race, won the other three-year freeholder seat that was available.... In the surrogate race, incumbent Democrat Douglas Rainear defeated Republican newcomer Timothy Codispoti."
^What are SDA Districts?, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed August 26, 2012. "SDA Districts are 31 special-needs school districts throughout New Jersey. They were formerly known as Abbott Districts, based on the Abbott v. Burke case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the State must provide 100 percent funding for all school renovation and construction projects in special-needs school districts.... The districts were renamed after the elimination of the Abbott designation through passage of the state’s new School Funding Formula in January 2008."
^The Main Street Approach, Maint 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."
^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."
^Martin, Douglas. "Robert Butler, Aging Expert, Is Dead at 83", The New York Times, July 7, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2011. "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."
^Kallman, Dave. "Road America Notes", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 17, 1996, accessed April 25, 2007. "Other support series: Jeret Schroeder of Vineland, N.J., led a group of 12 Player's / Toyota Atlantic drivers who bettered the track record in provisional qualifying for the race Sunday."
^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."
^Biography, Mona Sue Weissmark. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Mona Sue Weissmark was born in Vineland, New Jersey."