The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
2352 Route 10 West
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
(973) 540-0311

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Craftsman Farms is the former home of noted turn-of-the-century designer Gustav Stickley, founder of The Craftsman, a periodical that expounded the philosophy of the "Arts and Crafts" style of home building and furnishing. Built in 1911, the log house is one of the most significant landmarks of the American Arts and Crafts movement.

Today the Stickley Museum makes its home at Craftsman Farms, now a National Historic Landmark occupying 30 acres of the original 650-acre tract. Craftsman Farms is also an Official Project of Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation dedicated to the preservation of our nation's irreplaceable historic and cultural treasures for future generations.

Stickley, a well-known spokesman for the Arts and Crafts movement, combined the roles of furniture designer and manufacturer, architect, publisher, philosopher and social critic. Proponent of "a fine plainness" in art and the art of living, he is best known today for his straightforward furniture, sometimes called "mission" or "Craftsman furniture."

In 1908, Stickley began acquiring the property on what is now the western edge of Parsippany-Troy Hills, an area formerly part of Morris Plains, where he envisioned establishing a farm school for boys. The focal point of his "Garden of Eden" was a large log house constructed of round, hewn chestnut logs that were cut from the property's woods and local stone also found on the property. In that respect, Craftsman Farms exemplifies Stickley's philosophy of building in harmony with the environment by using natural materials.

Stickley originally designed the main house at Craftsman Farms as a "club house", a gathering place for workers, students and guests. In its huge kitchen, meals could be prepared for 100 people. The living and dining rooms, reaching fully 50 feet and warmed by copper-hooded fireplaces, made ideal meeting rooms. The porch opened to a vista of the farm and brought in light and air. The property also contains numerous support buildings including craft workshops, stables, a dairy barn, chicken coop, other farm buildings, and three cottage dwellings.

Gustav Stickley and his family lived at Craftsman Farms until 1915, when he filed for bankruptcy after several years of financial difficulties. By then the taste of the American people that 15 years earlier had embraced the clean, strong lines of Craftsman furniture changed once again, this time towards the revival of early American and other styles.

When the property was threatened with development for 52 town houses, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, with the encouragement of community groups and others interested in the importance of the site, obtained the property through eminent domain. The Craftsman Farms Foundation has completed the third phase of restoration of the Main House to its 1910-1917 appearance. Work on the historic landscape has begun as well.

Today visitors — families and groups alike — can enjoy a tour of this remarkable home. Educational activities are held here throughout the year. Call for details or visit the Museum's official website, linked above.

Photos courtesy of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

Hours: The grounds are open year-round from dawn till dusk. The Museum is open Thursday thru Sunday, 12 - 4pm. Last tour begins at 3:15. Groups of 8 or more may schedule a tour throughout the year on weekdays or weekends.

Admission: Admission to grounds, FREE. Call to confirm hours and admission.

Adults $10.00
Seniors $7.00
Students $7.00
Children 12 and under $4.00

Groups: $10.00 per person.

Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.

Lunch: Picnicking welcome (bring a blanket).

Handicapped Access: Limited.

Directions: I-80 West to I-287 South, exit 39. Rt. 10 west, 3 miles. Past Rt. 53, go approximately ¼ mile and turn right into Powder Mill Estates entrance. Turn into first driveway on right. About an hour from the George Washington Bridge.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.