Belle Mead is an unincorporated community which straddles Montgomery Township and Hillsborough Township in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Up until about 1875, Belle Mead, then named Plainville, was part of Harlingen. It was a quiet farming region when about that time a New York City contractor named Vanaken bought up all the local farms and set out to develop a city. He had the farms laid out into lots, some streets put through and named after the style of New York. He donated land for the railroad station that had a dining room underneath (the station was torn down in February, 1940). There is an abandoned train station in Belle Mead. When Vanaken went broke, the property was sold to a U.S. Senator, John R. McPherson, who changed the name from Vanaken to Belle Mead in honor of his daughter, Edna Belle Mead McPherson, according to one popular story. Woods Tavern in Belle Mead was a popular stop for travelers for more than 100 years and played an important social and political role. Horace Greeley spoke there in 1872 as part of his campaign for President of the United States. The tavern burned down in 1932. James Baldwin, the 20th-century author and civil rights advocate, lived in Belle Mead in the early 1940's. The abandoned train station is said to have been built circa 1913, and was removed from service in the early 1980s. Since then, restoration projects have been announced, however, not one has progressed any further than cleaning up tree debris and graffiti. The Belle Mead section straddles the northern portion of Montgomery Township and the southern portion of Hillsborough Township. For many years residents of Belle Mead had been serviced by the Belle Mead Post Office located on Route 206 in Montgomery Township having zip code 08502. In the late 1990s Hillsborough Township was granted its own post office servicing the entirety of its residents (zip code 08844), including that section of town formerly serviced in the Belle Mead area. Since that time the Belle Mead post office and its associated zip code (08502) services only the remaining area of Belle Mead located in the northern section of Montgomery Township.