Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community records: 1933-1937
Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community records
Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community.
2 linear feet, 2 microfilms, 1 oversize volume
Jewish settlement established during the depression in Alicia near Saginaw; include minutes and reports, newsletters, financial records, membership materials, and court papers.85446 Bj 2 BJ Outsize
The material is in English
Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff
Ann Arbor, MI
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Access and Use
The bulk of this record group came from Philip Trupin (donor no. 6638) in 1981. A letter containing remembrances came from Samuel Gonick (donor no. 3976) in 1962.
The record group is open to research.
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[item], folder, box, Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community Records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
The Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community was founded in 1933 by New York anarchist Joseph Cohen. Located on an established, economically depressed farm near Alicia in Saginaw County, the commune was intended as a Jewish self-help agrarian colony in which everyone would work for the good of all and disparities of wealth would not exist. The membership requirements were strict and meant to insure the success of this experiment in cooperative farming. No one over age 45 were permitted to join. There would be no large families with many children, nor would conservatives, religious people, or professed communists be allowed to join. Although most members were Jewish, this was not a requirement.
The Community drew members from fourteen states. Each was required to pay a membership fee, some of which went to pay hired men needed to restore the neglected farm to commercial viability. Financial stability would always be a problem for the commune as would organizational struggles within the commune.
By 1936, many of the original members hoped to return to the cities for steadier employment opportunities. Others looked to the government's Resettlement Administration to purchase the farm and then resell it in smaller parcels with assistance given to the building of homes, barns, and fences. The sale was finalized on December 7, 1936. With the sale, a large portion of the settlers moved away. Others, who hoped to continue the communal existence, took their share of the sale and purchased a farm in Samos, Middlesex County, Virginia.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community records document the organization and operation of the farming community. The record group is divided into the following series: Historical/Informational; Minutes and other organizational records; Newsletters; Financial Records; Membership Materials; Topical Files; and Litigation.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
- Agriculture -- Michigan -- Saginaw County.
- Alicia (Mich.)
- Cooperative societies -- Michigan -- Saginaw County.
- Depressions -- 1929 -- Michigan -- Saginaw County.
- Jews -- Michigan.
- Saginaw (Mich.)
- Sunrise Cooperative Farm Community.
- Abbott, Leonard Dalton, 1878-1953.
- Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955.
- Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940.
- Hall, Bolton, 1854-1938.
- Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.