The John Brown Farm State Celebrates 125th Anniversary!

On March 27, 1896 the Adirondack home of abolitionists John and Mary Brown became a state-owned property “to be dedicated and used for the purposes of a public park or reservation forever.”  In this straightforward fact, there are numerous stories to be told, urgent questions to be raised, and public and private efforts to be heralded for their significance in the promotion, preservation and interpretation of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site over these 125 years.   Throughout the year we will be celebrating the 125th anniversary with public programs, special events, and moments of remembrance. 

While this anniversary is an occasion for retrospection and commemoration, it also an opportunity to project the Farm into the future.  As the Friends Group, we see ourselves as inheritors of the many farsighted individuals whose care, vision and advocacy have protected and preserved the site for more than a century.  We cannot help but ask ourselves what can—and must—we do now to ensure that the John Brown Farm will be of use to all New Yorkers, to freedom-loving people everywhere, for generations to come.    

March 24th press event info- here.

Upcoming Anniversary Events!

Save the Dates for these Special 125th Programs and Events (visit our calendar for our full list of programs)

May 1-2: I Love My Park Day

May 8:  Histories of the John Brown Farm with Margaret Washington, Alice Keesey Mecoy and Sandra Weber.  Moderated by Lavada Nahon

May 9:  John Brown Day Observance (Spirit of John Brown Awards and Celebration will occur at a rededication of the Farm in July)

May 19:  Author discussion with Jefferson Hall, author of A Prison in the Adirondacks: Environment and Incarceration in New York’s North Country.

June 18:  Re-installation of the Memorial Field for Black Lives at the Farm

June 18-20:  Juneteenth Celebration Weekend!  Special tours, African Drumming, storytelling  dancing and much more.

July 4:  July 4th Celebration at the Farm marking the day in 1860 when Osborne Anderson, the only surviving Black Raider, visited the Farm and read from the Declaration of Independence.

July 17: 125th Anniversary Celebration and Spirit of John Brown Awards

125th Anniversary Honorary Committee

JBL! would like to thank the Honorary Committee Co-Chairs, Russell Banks and Nell Painter, and members Raoul Peck, Penny Fujiko Willergodt, and Nicky Hylton-Patterson along with our Honorary Committee  Circle Members who have answered the call to promote, preserve and interpret the legacy of John Brown on this 125th Anniversary.      

New York Abolitionists Circle

Barbara Linell Glaser and Paul Zachos 

Alice Green and Charles Touhey                

Kate Field and Friends Circle

Alice Keesey Mecoy                 

Timbuctoo Settlers’ Circle

Nell Painter

David and Sylvia Goodman

Willie and Mary Janeway 

Matthew Melewski and Jenna Schwartzkopf    

Richard Reed Arnold                  

Shields Green & Fellow  Raiders Circle

Franny Nudelman and David Holt

Karen Ranucci

Gary and Kathy Smith

Freedom Seekers Circle

Sandra Weber and David Hodges  

Mark Levy and Céline Keating

Martín Espada and Lauren Marie Espada

Ellen and Michael Bettmann

Nancy Battaglia

Paul and Suzanne Murray

Debby and Michael Stevens Smith

David G. and Mary A. Welch

Dot Willsey and Norm Dann

Janet Millstein and Dao Chung                   

Friends of the John Brown Farm 

Curt Stager and Kary Johnson

Jane Haugh and Christian Brammer

Click here to learn how you can join the 125th Anniversary Honorary Committee and support the work of John Brown Lives!