Eighty years ago, a group of German immigrants purchased 35 acres for $3,440 in a remote area of New Jersey on the outskirts of historic Liberty Corner Village.
Unlike many properties elsewhere throughout Basking Ridge, that land still is used for the purpose it was originally intended. It remains Sky Farm Nudist Club, nestled in a still-wooded area not far from the Sons of Liberty Farm municipal park, and next door to the Fellowship Village Retirement Center.
"We have had the property so long," said Cindy Thiboutot, membership chairwoman. The cooperative, owned by its members as it has since the beginning, has no intention of selling or changing the club at this time, she said Friday.
In fact, Sky Farm, to celebrate its 80th anniversary, held a special daylong benefit on Saturday—"Nudestock 2012."
"Nudestock 2012" was scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with a rain date of Sunday.
UPDATE: But it definitely rain on Saturday. In fact, following days of stifling heat and glaring sun, followed by thunderstorms, the day of Nudestock turned out to be a dry, sunshiny day in the 80s.
Nudestock also is a benefit for the American Red Cross.
"This 'Nudestock 2012' event will feature live music by the pool, volleyball, swimming and sunning," according to an announcement by the club. A barbecue lunch is included in the price of admission, which is $25 in advance, or $30 at the gate, along with door prizes to be given away.
Along with being a benefit and an anniversary celebration, Nudestock also is another of Sky Farm's annual open house membership drives, Thiboutot said.
"It's to have people come in who might be interested in recreation," Thiboutot said. "It might generate some interest." This year's event will also offer live music, she said.
Most of Sky Farm's members are from the area—mostly from within a 50-mile radius—although some come from Pennsylvania and New York, Thiboutot said.
She said she doesn't believe there are any other nudist clubs closer to New York, although Sandy Hook does have a nude beach, she noted. Other clubs exist in Hackettstown and Stockhom in Sussex County, she said.
Thiboutot said one of the goals of "Nudestock 2012" is to attract more younger members.
The nudist movement tends to attract participants in the 40 to 60 age category, she said.
But, overall, Thiboutot said, "I think nude recreation is on the upswing."
Admission to the open house is limited and by reservation only. Visit the club's website and click on the “visit” button to secure a reservation. Potential visitors also can call in a reservation by phoning 908-419-5443, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The property is located on Allen Road, further down Fellowship Village from the road's intersection with Martinsville Road.
"Sky Farm has been operating from the same location in Basking Ridge since 1932, and holds the distinction of being the oldest landed nudist club in North America," according to the club's announcement of the event.