What a fantastic celebration of Free Acres!

Over the weekend of July 24th and 25th, we had more than 300 guests, both adults and children, ranging from current residents to real old-timers take part in the Centennial weekend!

If you have any questions, contact Cheryl Venter, the Centennial Committee Chairperson, at mail@venter.com.


Photo by Terry Conner.

Some who were expected didn't show, probably because of the oppressive heat. We actually had about 250 guests and Free Acreites participate.

Allen Abramson, Robin Anderson, Eric Anderson, Grace Anderson, John Anderson, Maryann Anderson, Lois Ruben Aronow, Gil Aronow, Dave Arthur, Michael Bak, Alex Bartenieff, Thomas A Battaglia, Elliot Beinfest, Adrienne Beinfest, Sarah Belote, Lee Bene, Ellen Bene, Chelsea Bene, Michelle Benoit, Tarum Bhardwaj, Marty Bierbaum, Joan Bierbaum, Lauren Bierbaum, Ariel Bierbaum, Michele Blake, Erick Blohm, Gerda Blohm*, Marty Blume, Anna Blume, Helaina Blume, Erynn Blume, Victor Bono, Eugene Bouton Clay, Judy Borsellino, Joe Bowes, Bob Brady, Anita Brady, Harold Breene, Marianne Breene, Fred Breuning, Bruce Briggs, Dan Broche, Leora Broche, Linda Broche (guest), Lili Brohal, Gabby Cabrera, Mario Cadavid, Toni Cain, Fred Caldarelli, Gerri Caldarelli, Dick Cawood, Robert Chalfin, Leita Chalfin, Chip Clay, Guest Clay, Richard Clay, Katharine Clay, Carol Clay Wiske, Alexander Clay Wiske, Peggy Comegys, Fiona Comegys, Dawn Comerford, Jim Comerford, Nancy Connell, Terry Conner, Hazel Conner, Tim Conner, Kelly Conner, Lora Cooper, Keith Cooper, Christopher Covert, Cris Cristina, Delores Cronenberger, Michael Cudia, Anne Damianos, Guest Damianos, John Delaney, Doug Delaney, Theresa Delaney, Susanne Delaney, Elaine Dill, Guest Dill, Bernice Diskin, Jamie Divine, Jay Doros, Micki Doros, Susan Doughty, Barbara Drum, Brian Drum, Kristen Drum, Mary Edwards, Maxine Elliot, Alan Fagenbaum, Cathy Fagenbaum, Melissa Faitoute, Joan Facey, Alex Farin, Sue Felshin, Terri Fergus, Rich Fergus, Crystal Field, Adele Filson, Paul Filson, Lauren Franck, Robert Frazer, Harry Fulton, Lisa Garbell, Guest Garbell, Roseanne Gaspar, Tony Gaspar, Donna Gaspar, Lois Gloss, Walter Gloss, Leonard Gold, Stella Gold, Jay Goldberg, Ira Goldman, Adele Goldman, Karin Gopinath, Norma Greenfield, Dan Greenwood, Daryl Hafter, Monroe Hafter, Anne Hardina, Ed Hardina, Denise Hartigan, John Hartigan, Sylvia Heerens, Don Heerens, Hans Heerens, Laurel Hessing, Shlomo Hessing, Ilana Hessing, Ariel Hessing, Judy Heyman, Art Heyman, Jay Heyman, Karen Heyman, Pamela Hollie, Janet Hotson Baker, Julia Huse, Alan Huse, Donna Kidd, Melissa Kidd, Hank Kita, Patricia A Klein, Richard B. Klein, Nick Kleinberg, Yvonne Kleinberg, Charles Kleinberg, Lorrie Kleinberg, Jeff Kleinberg, Jenny Kleinberg, Beverly Kleinberg Van Cleef, P.F. Kluge, Maja Kluver, Kristian Kluver, Guest Kluver, Guest Kluver, Guest Kluver, Janet Koch, Guest Koch, Christina Kruus, Jim Lackaye, Pat Lamiell, Mikhail Litvin, Tatyana Litvin, Jakov Litvin, Cynthia Loewy, Betsy Loffland, Grace Mack, Dave Mack, Scott Mack, Kate Mack, Kathy Malanga, Bob Malanga, Eric Marshot, Julie Martin, Rick Martin, Teri Martin, Guest Mattocks, Velma McKenzie, Betty Miles, Marty Miles, Dylan Miles, Jimmy Mooney, Anna Muster, Barry Muster, Julian Muster, Matt Netter, Michele Netter, Carol Newlon, Mike Newlon, Bill Nichols, Delores Nichols, Elaine Nichols, Paul O'Conner, Venus O'Conner, Michael O'Hara, Marla Pacifico, Elaine S. Paris, Sal Passalacqua, Tami Passalacqua, Lauren Passalacqua, Joe Passalacqua, Michael Passalacqua, Frank Passalacqua, Leonard Plotch, Eleanore Plotch, Gary Plotch, Jennifer Pottle, Aakash Rao,Meera Rao, Mike Rhodes, Sue Romano, Joe Romano, Al Romano, Karen Romano, John Romano, Christina Romano, Evan Rosen, Hazel Rosen, Larry Rosen, Hank Ross, Ron Rothman, Jeffrey Rothman, Karen Ruben, Peter Ruben, Laurie Ruben, Harris Ruben, Irena Ruchlicki, Robert Ruchlicki, Alan Runfeldt, Ted Runfeldt, Rose Runfeldt, Steve Runfeldt, Dick Rychlick, Jean Rychlick, Linda Schade, Steve Schade, Debby Schade, Brodie Seagrave, Betty Seidel, Herb Seidel, Linda F. Seijas, Cheryl Semanchik, Rich Semanchik, Linda Sercus, Paul Sercus, Ruth Shapiro Kornblatt, Shashi Sharma, Scott Sherman, Martin Silverstein, Marion Silverstein, Paul Simonson, Ed Simonson, Walter Smith, Heidi Sorger, Rona Stern, Ruth Tamaroff,
Marcia Tamaroff Schachter, Daria Tarbaeva, Barry Tarmy, Rich Tomasetti, Grace Tomasetti, Holly Turner, Peter Van Cleef, Sabine Velma, Cheryl Venter, Chris Venter, Milo Venter, Nina Venter, Eric Vigil, Girly Voon, Michelle Voon, Dave Warde, Mindy Warde, Diane Weiss Rothman, Linda Weltcheck, Andy Weltcheck, Ray Willer, Joyce Willer, Raymond Willer, Karen Williams, Victor Wilson, Lauren Wilson, Rachel Wintemberg, Tim Wintemberg, Barbara Zdep Mattocks, Lenok Zhiguli, David Zuckerman, Moreen Zuckerman, Abe Zoss

Chorus (Saturday only) (addtional to some of the above-named)
Gail Tilsner, Karen Massey, Dave Marsh
Fujiko Nakaya, Robert Whitman
Sunday Only
Sharon Lovit, Bryan LaBella, Sherry Addonizio
*Sadly, Gerda passed away the morning of the 24th.

This is what took place.

Saturday, July 24th
  • 9:00 – 11:30 Registration at the Farm House Tent
Continental Breakfast at the Centennial Tent (on tennis court)
  • 9:00 – 1:00 Free Acres History at the Farm House
Interactive Map
Hands-on Archive Materials
Will Crawford Exhibition
Marionette Exhibition
Free Acres Artists, Writers and Activists
Free Acres Quilt / Special Raffle Items
  • 9:00 – 1:00 Oral History Interview Booth at the Centennial Tent Booth
Noon Ringing of Bell
Town Proclamation on the Farm House Lawn
Welcome Speech
Inauguration of Fujiko Nakaya Fog Sculpture
  • 1:00 – 3:30 Community as Museum: Gershon Benjamin at the Centennial Tent
Meet at Tent for Walking Tour
“Selected Works on Paper” Exhibition at the Benjamin Cottage 328 Emerson Lane
  • 2:00 Scavenger Hunt (ages 5 – 18) – Farm House Tent
  • 3:00 – 5:30 Open Houses See list at the Farm House Tent
Free Acres History at the Farm House
Lunch at the Centennial Tent
  • 6:00 Centennial Group Picture at the Sycamore Tree
Announcement of Winner of Scavenger Hunt
  • 6:30 Dinner Centennial Tent
Birthday Cake at the Centennial Tent
Handbell performance at the Centennial Tent
Centennial Chorus Singalong at the Centennial Tent
Voices of Free Acres Film Screening at the Centennial Tent
  • 8:30 Bonfire on the Meadow (depending on rain/drought)
  • 9:30 Ugetsu, Nakaya-Whitman Performance on the Farm House Lawn

Sunday, July 25th
  • 8:00 – 10:30 Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Breene Family at Camp Riverbend, 116 Hillcrest Road, Warren
  • 9:15-10:15 Henry George's Single-Tax Idea: Then and Now at Camp Riverbend
Panel: Ariel Bierbaum, Marty Bierbaum, Joe Romano
  • 11:00 Boat Float (kids of all ages) at the Pool
  • 11:00 – 12:30 Historical Tour with Joe Romano at the Centennial Tent
  • 11:00 – 12:30 Free Acres History at the Farm House
Oral History Interview Booth at the Centennial Tent
11:00 – 3:00 Gershon Benjamin: Selected Works on Paper at the Benjamin Cottage,
328 Emerson Lane
  • 1:00 Raffle Drawing and Boat Launch at the Pool


The Centennial Celebration has inspired us to think about the future of Free Acres and how we can use this special occasion to launch new initiatives into the next 100 years. Many Free Acres folk from all corners of the world, who are planning to join in on the festivities, have also been asking how they can help to ensure that the spirit of Free Acres endures.

The Centennial Committee has decided to establish the Free Acres Archive Museum at the Farm House to preserve the legacy of Free Acres into the next century. With this Archive Museum we can collect the myriad of archival materials, first-edition books, news clippings, photographs and essential Free Acres memorabilia in one place and have the ability to preserve, digitize and exhibit them. The Archive Museum will also be an active, growing archive where we can collect and preserve documents on Free Acre life as it happens. The Museum can also be a focus for educational and cultural activities – exhibitions, lectures, classes – inspired by our history and ideas.

We are setting up a Free Acres Centennial Fund that will enable us to fund some of the activities at the Centennial Weekend and provide the initial resources to establish the Free Acres Archive Museum. The major effort in creating the Archive Museum will be the physical renovation of the top floors of the Farmhouse to bring them up to museum and archive standards and installation of the archival storage and presentation facilities, so that the Museum can be used for research on and presentation of our holdings. The process of digitizing historical documents has already begun as part of the Centennial effort, and the Historical and Archive Committee has a large core collection of archival material ready for deposit in the museum archive.
We are asking you to join us in founding the Free Acres Archive Museum by donating to the Free Acres Centennial Fund.

All Donors to the Centennial Fund will be acknowledged in the Centennial Program and on a permanent Centennial Fund plaque at the Farm House as well as receive other items of appreciation. Click here to contribute to the Centennial Fund.

We have established several levels of Participation –

Archive Museum Founder $2,500 - $5,000
Henry George Benefactor $1,000 - $2,000
Bolton Hall Patron $500 - $1000
Amy M. Hicks Supporter - $500
Will Crawford Sponsor - $250

Souvenirs and Keepsakes

We are still taking orders to ship later.
These will be specially made after the centennial, and shipped when received.
Shipping costs will be extra.

We have many wonderful items for purchase, including Tee shirts (Gershon Benjamin-designed) and Coffee Mugs as well as reprints of major historical documents.

To order T-shirts and mugs, contact the

Free Acres Centennial Keepsakes
17 Elm Place, Berkeley Heights NJ 07922

to get a final price, including shipping.


Steve Schade, Joan Bierbaum, Hazel Conner and Terry Conner organized this exhibition of the drawings and carvings of Free Acres artist Will Crawford.
It was on display at the Berkeley Heights Library (290 Plainfield Avenue) through July 22nd, 2010.

The exhibition (plus a lot more Will Crawford stuff) was on prominent display at the Centennial Celebration.