If you have ever driven behind Livingston Campus in Piscataway, NJ and made a turn down School Street, you have driven through the grounds of what was once a thriving libertarian community. I’ve been fascinated by this place for years, and I’ve just posted an article about it.
On a rainy day in May of 1915, the first settlers of the Ferrer Colony of Stelton got off their train from New York and walked about a mile to their new homes. The crowd on its way to the old farmstead included 32 children who would be enrolled in the radical school that anchored the community.
While there was no political test to participate, committed anarchists and reformers with libertarian leanings were the driving force behind the school and made up a large number of Stelton residents. They were leaving the city behind to build a community where the Modern School model of Francisco Ferrer could be tested away from the struggles and investigations that the school in New York could not avoid. The community they founded was not without its problems, but it would grow and thrive for years, creating a pocket of freedom that nurtured many students and gave all residents a chance to participate in cooperative living that respected their individual liberty. Even after the community lost its identity and the school closed in 1953, many former residents recall their time at Stelton as a good time that shaped them into the people they are today…
Read the rest at Center for a Stateless Society.