Book on High Breeze Farm to be featured
VERNON — "High Breeze: An American Family Farm" and it's author and artist Bob Fletcher will be the feature presentaitons of the Vernon Township Historical Society at 7 p.m. March 21 at the Vernon Senior Citizen Center, 21 Church St.
Fletcher, who lives in the hamlet of New Milford just across the Vernon border and recently published the book, was a close friend of Luther Barrett from 1968 to Barrett’s death in 1986.
Located on Wawayanda Mountain, High Breeze was a 184-acre farm owned and operated by the Barrett Family from 1860 to 1983. The historic farm is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. Fletcher’s 170-page book captures what life was like on the Barrett Family Farm, which was known as High Breeze Farm. The book is a compilation of first-person narrative stories told by Luther Barrett, the last surviving Barrett descendant to live on High Breeze Farm, and Fletcher’s museum quality illustrations and artwork.
Fletcher developed a friendship with Luther Barrett in 1968. This friendship lasted 18 years until Barrett’s death. Luther’s words come alive in Fletcher’s book, and they are concise, descriptive, and colorful. The stories are native to the area and typical for the period.
Fletcher hand recorded the stories from High Breeze soon after Luther Barrett told them. The stories and artwork in the book form an excellent example of farmland conservation and preservation in 20th century America. The book is dedicated to family farmers of America. According to Fletcher, family farms have always been an essential part of the American fabric.
Fletcher’s book also details the great demands on family life to operate a farm with its daily routines. Luther Barrett was an expert farmer, a ferrier, and a nature lover.
During the Revolutionary War, the area where High Breeze is located was part of the Wawayanda Patent given to Thomas DeKay, Vernon’s first settler, by the English in payment for services to the Crown. During the Civil War, iron ore was mined on Barrett Farm. Throughout the area and the Hudson Valley, Fletcher is known for his artwork.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity for book signings. For additional information call 973-764-6545.
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