In most of our 50 states, there is clearly a single largest landowner in each state.

New Jersey is one of a handful of states where that information is unavailable.

There are large landowners in the Garden State but narrowing it down to one in the whole state is apparently too complicated to know.

In Central Jersey, one name comes up as one of the largest landowners in that region and that is W. Bryce Thompson.

Thompson returned from military service in 1956 and started his real estate business in 1958.

He started small and grew to own about 6,500 undeveloped acres in the Princeton area as well as some improved properties as well.

Not a bad chunk of real estate in a very pricey area of a densely populated state.

Getty Stock / ThinkStock
Getty Stock / ThinkStock

While other states have large parcels of land owned by the federal government or giant farm or ranch operations, in New Jersey only 3.6% of the land is owned by the feds with the 12 federal National Parks in the state.

However, there is one large farming landowner in the southern part of the state, named William Haines Jr., who owns a 14,000 acres cranberry farm in the Pinelands.

National Park Service
National Park Service

Haines' great-grandfather started the farm operation in 1890.

If you live in South Jersey, you've seen the name Haines on roads, town names and several businesses.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Some form of the Haines family has been in Southern New Jersey for well over a hundred years.

William Haines Jr. is the fourth-generation farmer on the land, which is largest cranberry farm in New Jersey and in the top five in the country.

It's a mystery as to why there is no definitive "largest landowner" in the entire state, but after all, it is New Jersey and perhaps you'd have to dig where some people don't want you to dig to find the exact answer.

Getty Stock / ThinkStock
Getty Stock / ThinkStock

You can find the largest landowner in most other states here.

The federal government, which only owns a small portion of the land here, does own 171,956 of the 4.8 million acres in the state.

With the enormously obscene amount of property taxes we pay to own our very small piece of the state we might qualify for big acreage in most other states!

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