The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was authorized by Congress for inclusion in the National Park System by P.L. 89-158 (79 Stat. 612) on September 1, 1965. Slateford Farm is one mile below the scenic Delaware Water Gap, considered in the last century to be a natural wonder, and south of Kittatinny Mountain (Blue Mountain). The tract containing the core farm totals 169.38 acres and was purchased in 1966.
The origins of the farm can be traced to the Walking Purchase of 1737, wherein Richard and Thomas Penn, sons of the province's founder, acquired a large tract of land from the Delaware Indians under what has been considered, historically, suspect circumstances. The Penns sold 391-1/4 acres to the province's surveyor general in 1753, and this property remained intact under several owners until 1812. In that year the farm's owner, Samuel Pipher, split the property into three sections among three of his children at his death. The central section of the farm, containing the home built by Samuel's son Peter, remained in Pipher family hands until 1868. In the last 100 years the property has been both quarried by a slate company and farmed by tenant inhabitants. The cultural resources at Slateford Farm, as represented in the land itself, in the extant farm buildings, and in the slate quarry, can be viewed in the context of ethnic, cultural and industrial development in southeastern Pennsylvania, and in the continuum represented by the nearly 200 years of farming and slating practices which occurred on the land.
No historical name for the farm was found in the primary source materials. The National Park Service named the tract "Slateford Farm" out of respect for local history. The name Laurel Hill has, on occasion, been applied to the farm. In this text, both Slateford Farm and Pipher Farm are used to refer to the property.
Last Updated: 2009