Hatch Estate Drives Jobless From Gardens

Garden - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – June 20, 1933

Gives Them 24 Hours to Get Out; City Offers Aid to Victims

Sixteen unemployed gardeners have been given 24 hours’ notice by the city to vacate their plots on the Hatch estate, planted under supervision of the Camden City Emergency Relief Administration, it was revealed last night.

Some of the legal tangle between the owners of the property and the city of Camden was given as reason for the move.

The disclosure was made at a meeting of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, held at 312 Market Street. A committee of the union will call on the relief administration today to protest against the removal order.

The gardens were planted to provide fruit and vegetables for families of the unemployed. The Hatch estate tract is one of several sites throughout the city where this work has been under way.

The Unemployed Union, through Frank J. Manning, president, and Clarence E. Moullette, executive secretary, question the right of the city to order the gardeners from the field. They hold that under a New Jersey law, no contract, no matter under what terms negotiated, can be abrogated after a crop is planted until it has been reaped.

The notice to the gardeners was sent to Raymond A. Miller, 761 Carman Street, by Arthur M. Taylor, work relief director under Dr. Arthur L. Stone, municipal relief administrator. It follows:

Mr. M. Bergen Stone, an attorney representing the Hatch Estate, owners of the property on which are located the Miller Gardens, has given us notice of repossession within the next 24 hours.

It seems that some legal tangle has arisen between the owners of this property and the city of Camden and it is necessary for the present owner to have sole and complete possession and occupation of these premises. It will therefore be necessary that the shack you have begun to build be dismantled and that the gardeners on your tract be notified of this action before noon on Tuesday, June 20.

“Be assured that I will do the best, that I possibly can to relocate your gardens and that anything that you have growing that is transplantable, you will be allowed to transplant. Please see that this information is given to your other gardeners at once so that the owners can get possession immediately.”

The union also drafted a letter to Mayor Roy R. Stewart, charging neglect in connection with the collapse on Sunday of two house fronts on Bridge Avenue, in which one man was injured fatally.

The union urged demolition of all unsafe properties in the city and recommended the city commissioners seek a loan from the federal government to “abolish slums” of Camden. Such a project, the union points out, would greatly relieve unemployment here..


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