Above: The Swede Run Barn in 2006.
The historic Swede Run Barn has been a sight for many generations traveling along Westfield Road in Moorestown, NJ.
It’s a small shed, measuring 16-by-27 feet with 14 inch walls built of local sandstone. According to the Historical Society of Moorestown, it probably stored milk and vegetables, and later a tractor used to tend the farm where it lies in. There are various claims to its age, but many believe it was built over 200 years ago.
The Swede Run stream (from which the barn is named) starts off in the Delaware River, goes past Swedes Lake in Delran and under Route 130 by Target, runs around Swedes Run Drive, travels around the barn, through a large field across the street, and ends in Stokes Woods off of Moorestown-Lenola Road. Two miles of trails wind around the barn and cross over the stream.
The name “Swede” probably comes from New Sweden, a colony formed in 1638 in modern-day Wilmington, DE by 24 Swedish settlers. It was the first permanent settlement in the Delaware Valley area, lasting 17 years until it was conquered by the Dutch. Moorestown was a trading point for early settlers but was never part of New Sweden, so the name was most likely chosen later on to honor the legacy of the region.
Once connected to a house, the barn has remained in disrepair for many years. Although articles have claimed that the Historical Society of Moorestown and its partners have raised the necessary funds to preserve it, a sign on the front fence still urges people to call HSM to give a donation. It appears as though a back and front door still need to be installed.
For more photographs, visit Old Jersey’s flickr group.