[Letter ca. 1907] The Helicon Home Colony, Englewood, N.J.

Dublin Core


[Letter ca. 1907] The Helicon Home Colony, Englewood, N.J.


Helicon Home Colony (Englewood, N.J.)
Communal living.


Sinclair writes about "The Colony" and the plans for building cottages or a dormitory. Sinclair then writes about the decision to restrict plans regarding the colony.


Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968


Edwin Markham Archive, Horrmann Library


ca. 1907


Wagner College, Staten Island, NY


Please contact the Horrmann Library at Wagner College for rights to use this digital image.









Document Item Type Metadata


A month ago I sent out a confidential statement regarding the affairs of the colony. I succeeded in raising $16000, to be expended for either cottages or a dormitory building. Since then there has been a reconsideration of the colony's plans.
My idea of the colony has always been a large organization, a little village, so to speak. Actual test convinced however, that if such a colony were to be put upon its feet, I should be chained to the work until it was entirely completed. I had to be responsible for the proper spending of the $16000 which had been pledged; and I should have to see that the people were found to occupy the new buildings after they were completed. This would have meant all my time for at least a year; and it would have kept the colony in a state of unrest for as long a period. It has been found in practice that growth means nervous tension and worry of all sorts for everyone in the colony. The spending of much capital involves the necessity of accepting new colonists rapidly, and leaves insufficient time for the consideration of questions of congeniality. It means also newspaper publicity -in short, nearly everything incompatible with the existence of a home. Those who have had the enterprise at heart have for long time been troubled by the fear that these features of the plan were keeping away from the colony the very people whom it was intended to attract.
The whole question was threshed out the last meeting of the members with the result that a complete change of policy was decided upon . So far as depends upon the colony itself, its growth will be limited to Helicon Hall and its grounds. The land not needed for purposes of recreation will be sold once, the first option being given to persons who are interested in the colony and would like to avail themselves of its privileges. If any cottages are built on the colony land, the money will be furnished by the intended occupant, the colony simply approving the plans. The alterations and improvements of the Hall now under way will be concluded by the 15th of April, by which date the colony will get rid of the staff of mechanics which it present maintains. From that time on a policy of rigid selection will be enforced, the energies of all devoted to the task of making the Hall attractive as a place of residence to people of refinement. A determined attempt will be made to avoid newspaper notoriety in future. The price of rooms has been changed from three dollars a week to four, which price will give a margin of safety of 15% of all expenses. Sufficient funds are on hand to carry the colony for a year or two should the policy above outlined compell it to run below capacity.

Date Digital


Digitization Specifications

IBM ThinkCentre Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz running Windows XP Professional Version 2 Service Pack 2; Epson Expression 10000XL scanner; Master Scanner Settings: 24-bit RGB, 400 dpi resolution; File Format: TIFF; Compression: none; Reference Images resized and converted with Adobe Photoshop CS2 version 9.0.2: 8-bit RGB; 400 ppi resolution; Compressed jpeg.


Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968 , “[Letter ca. 1907] The Helicon Home Colony, Englewood, N.J.,” Wagner College Digital Collections, accessed October 22, 2021, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/5207.