The Free Acres Association

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Twentieth Anniversary of the Free Acres Association, 1910-1930 (Scotch Plains, N.J., 1930). 9 mounted photographs by William Armbruster (1865-1955). Graphic Arts collection GAX 2011- in process

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The community of Free Acres was founded on the ideals of Henry George, a 19th-century political economist. According to George, all land is a gift of nature and all people have an equal right to use the land and its fruits.

One of George’s followers, Bolton Hall (1854-1938) founded Free Acres in 1910. Originally just a social experiment, the community continues to thrive. Today, Free Acres is a seventy-five-acre wooded community of eighty-five households, located about 33 miles west of New York City within Berkeley Heights and Watching, New Jersey. People can own the houses on the lots they lease, but they can never own the land. All the land is held collectively by the community, along with a century old farmhouse and a spring-fed pool.

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See for a complete list of names of the Free Acres members seen here.

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