History

Entrance Sign at Stone Mountain

Entrance Sign at Stone Mountain (photo by Jim Thorpe)

In 1968, Stephen and Robin Larsen two graduate students from New York (with some family members) purchased Stone Mountain Farm, a hidden valley in a graceful gerrymander between the towns of Rosendale (Tillson) New Paltz, and Rochester (on their West Boundary. During the 1980’s and 90’s, the Larsen’s arranged for adjoining Landowners to sell to the Mohonk Preserve for Forever Wild status, they also sold approximately 40 acres of inacessible (but exquisitely beautiful) cliffs and grottoes to the Preserve and the Nature Conservancy.

The net outcome is that Stone Mountain Farm is contiguous to one of the largest ecologically-protected land preserves in the state. (Mohonk and Minnewaska together comprising some 17,000 acres.) All manner of habitats from rocky slabs and caves, pitch pine, meadows and slabs, wetland and waterfall, are found here. Trails vary from woodland trails, bridle paths suitable for riding or mountain biking to the railtrail (see section on the railtrail).

This website is a digital document that endeavors to record some of the many milestones and celebrations that have filled the 40 years leading up to 2008. This site thus includes both family and community lore, and has links and information about the Center for Symbolic Studies (CSS), a not-for-profit, with many activities, founded in 1989, and Stone Mountain Counseling (SMC) Stephen’s professional counseling and healing practice. But along with this you will find much more. Over the years, cultural creatives from far and wide have come into residents at Stone Mountain, writers, scholars and poets, artists and musicians. Creative individuals, and even whole families have lived out part of their sojourn on Stone Mountain Farm. We have invited, and on this website is a place for ongoing invitations to help document this rich and fertile history.

An Aerial view of Stone Mountain Farm (as depicted on a recent tax map)

Cruise around this website and you will find a photo and video gallery, some history on the Larsen family and the rich and varied community that has formed around them. You will get a glimpse of some of the wonderful (and outrageous) history that make up the doings of Stone Mountain. You will read some history, essays and poems, and hear some music, if you wish, and see some videos. If you are a participant (a “farmie”) please feel free to contribute your own creative photo, story or poem, and we will endeavor to include it here.

Dragonfly Pond was built by Stephen and Robin in 1988 in a swampy area on the valley floor. It is gravity fed by a reservoir 80 feet above the valley. Stones for the obelisk were gathered from the talus of Stone Mountain Farm.

Farm.Stones and Water

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