Vineland is a city in Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 60,724, reflecting an increase of 4,453 (+7.9%) from the 56,271 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,491 (+2.7%) from the 54,780 counted in the 1990 Census. Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton are the three principal New Jersey cities of the Vineland–Millville–Bridgeton Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses those three cities and all of Cumberland County for statistical purposes and had a population of 156,898 as of the 2010 Census.
Vineland was formed on July 1, 1952, through the merger of Landis Township and Vineland Borough, based on the results of a referendum held on February 5, 1952. Festivities on July 1, 1952, when the merger took effect, included a parade and speeches from such notables as Senator Estes Kefauver. The name is derived from the plans of its founder to use the land to grow grapes.
Charles K. Landis purchased 30,000 acres (121 km2) of land in 1861 and another 23,000 acres (93 km2) in 1874, near Millville, New Jersey, and along the West Jersey railroad line with service between Camden and Cape May, to create his own alcohol-free utopian society based on agriculture and progressive thinking. The first houses were built in 1862, and train service was established to Philadelphia and New York City, with the population reaching 5,500 by 1865 and 11,000 by 1875.
Vineland was established as a temperance town, where the sale of alcohol was prohibited. Landis required that purchasers of land in Vineland build a house on the purchased property within a year of purchase, that 2 1⁄2 acres (10,000 m2) of the often heavily wooded land be cleared and farmed each year, and that adequate space be placed between houses and roads to allow for planting of flowers and shade trees along the routes through town. Landis Avenue was constructed as a 100-foot (30 m) wide and about 1-mile (2 km) long road running east–west through the center of the community, with other, narrower roads connecting at right angles to each other.
After determining that the Vineland soil was well-suited for growing grapes (hence the name), Landis started advertising to attract Italian grape growers to Vineland, offering 20 acres (81,000 m2) of land that had to be cleared and used to grow grapes. Thomas Bramwell Welch founded Welch's Grape Juice, and purchased the locally grown grapes to make "unfermented wine" (or grape juice). The fertile ground also attracted the glass-making industry and was home to the Progresso soup company.