Thursday, December 13, 2007

utopia in New Jersey

Today's issue of the Newark Star-Ledger has a news story about various utopian communities that have been in the state of New Jersey, including the anarchist Stelton Ferrer colony, Upton Sinclair's Helicon Hall, and the single-tax colony Free Acres: "Utopia, N.J.: Trying to create a better world in the Garden State" by Vicki Hyman. (Hyman contacted me due to my post on Stelton.) The article is based on a new book of the same name which examines the above and several other utopias, Utopia, New Jersey: Travels in the Nearest Eden by Perdita Buchan, published by Rutgers University Press. The article touches on the range of leftist ideologies behind the colonies, and about what remains of them (Free Acres is the only one that still exists, with "a lush, wooded feel and cooperative air"; remnants of some of the others survive, for example here is some information about the buildings that still remain from Stelton).

UPDATE: I found an online article by Buchan on Free Acres, from New Jersey Monthly magazine.

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