In the simplest terms, the goal of this project is to rebuild the wonderful place that Harry had built. Not to reconstruct the precise buildings or layout, but to restore a place that will replicate his goals. There is no place like it. A low-key getaway, open to the public, that provides cottages and a dining hall and access to the beautiful surroundings.
There are NO FACILITIES on the NJ side of the river beyond the simple camp grounds of Worthington State Forest.
Our goal at this time is to convince the National Park Service that their goals of preservation and service to the public are vastly better served by allowing us to fulfill this dream, than by letting the Farm remain untended and unloved.
The History of Harry's Farm
Harry Freedman was an American Success Story. Arriving in the USA as an infant before the turn of the century, the oldest of a handful of brothers and a little sister, he was hell-bent for success. By his late teens he already owned his own business. His great success was to come in the trucking industry: he rapidly built a business of carting New Jersey truck farm produce to NYC into the nation's first and largest interstate trucking company. His success allowed him to be a community leader and philanthropist.
In the 1930's he acquired the property that was to become Harry's Farm. He took the failing, small, riverside farm and renovated the buildings and the property into his vision of a rural getaway: a retreat in the country. It became a place for the city-folk to get away to the country for a few days or a season. There were plenty of guest rooms and cottages. Many civic and religious groups used the facilities as a retreat or meeting place. The Rutgers College football team used Harry's Farm as their summer training camp. Professional boxers trained there.
Perhap's the most notable addition to the beautiful rural setting was the renovation of the large barn into a large kitchen and dining hall on the ground floor, a bar-dance-floor-meeting-hall-indoor boxing ring on the second floor, and a series of "cottages" ringing the balcony on the third floor. The dining kitchen was often staffed by Harry himself, but he delighted in luring noted chefs from the fanciest NYC restaurants to cook for his guests.
The beautiful surroundings, the mountains, the river, the fields and the stocked trout pond were the perfect setting to fulfill Grampa Harry's vision.
Email to Harry's Grandson Joe
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