Butch Marolda not only has divided loyalties, he has a divided tax bill. The 20-acre farm he owns is located in two different towns in two different counties. Eleven acres of property and the three-bedroom all-brick rancher where Butch grew up stands on Vine Road in Buena Vista Township, Atlantic County. The other nine acres are in the Cumberland County City of Vineland.
Butch says the property has been in his family since the late 1800s, when his grandfather, an Italian immigrant, bought it for $200 from Charles Landis, the founder of Vineland.
Butch, who was born in 1953, spent the first six years of his life in a three-room house his grandfather built on the property. He shared the house with his parents, two brothers and a sister.
Talk about a starter home.
"We only had a kitchen, a living room and one bedroom, where all six of us stayed," Butch recalls. "Our bathroom was an outhouse and my mother used to put us in the sink to give us a bath."
In 1959, Butch's father, who went into the plumbing business, built the ranch home where Butch spent the rest of his childhood. It featured 1,800 square feet of living space and included a large country kitchen, hardwood floors and plaster walls - not to mention indoor plumbing. Butch still had to share a bedroom with his two brothers, but to him it might as well have been Buckingham Palace.
As adults in the 1970s, Butch and his brother, Richard, went into produce farming. Their business, Marolda Farms, began on the 10 cleared acres behind their parent's house and grew to include hundreds of acres in the surrounding area.
Over the years, Butch has maintained and improved the family homestead. He put on a large, sun drenched addition off the kitchen that features a full wet bar that would also make a great sun room. He updated the kitchen with new cabinets, appliances and Corian counters. He also installed a hot water baseboard heating system and had the yard professionally landscaped.
In addition to the three bedrooms, kitchen, sunroom and living room, the floor plan includes a wonderfully preserved hall bathroom. It's a vintage 1959 model, with pink tile floors and walls and pink fixtures.
Outside, a recently resurfaced concrete driveway leads from quiet Vine Road to a side-entry two-car attached garage. An unfinished storage basement is accessed from the garage.
The backyard is dotted with large shade trees and backs up to several acres of woods and about 10 acres of cleared farmland where Butch's brother still grows vegetables.
The grounds also include Butch's pride and joy – an enormous pole building that Butch built about 15 years ago to store and maintain farm equipment. The 96-by-54-foot structure has 16-foot high ceilings, a 14-foot door and includes a workshop with a hydraulic lift and a living area with under-floor radiant heat, a full kitchen and a full bathroom with walk-in shower. Like everything else on the property, the pole building is meticulously maintained and clean as a whistle.
"I keep it nice," says Butch, who is no longer involved in the farm. (It's now run by his brother, Richard and his son, Richard Jr.)
It can be an emotional experience selling off a home that's been in the family for more than a century. But Butch isn't the sentimental type.
"I love this place," he says. "It's nice and quiet and very private. But it's time to move on. I don't know what I'll do when I sell the place. Maybe I'll move to Florida."
For more information on this property, which is listed for $565,000, call Paul Tomasello of Maturo Realty, 856-498-3690.
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