In 1909 Charles Weeks pioneered what
was then a new method of raising poultry, by concentrating birds into coops. In 1923 he
established a small farming community in Owensmouth known as the Weeks Poultry Colony. This
collection is comprised of various publications which document the activities and lifestyle
of Charles Weeks and the farming community he helped create in the San Fernando
Charles Weeks was a visionary in the world of poultry and communal farming. Born on an
Indiana farm in 1873, Mr. Weeks grew up with a thorough understanding of farming and farm
life. In 1904, Mr. Weeks moved to Los Altos, California with a plan to raise poultry on a
ten-acre farm he had purchased there. Unfortunately, due to inadequate water supply, Mr.
Weeks' Los Altos farm was doomed to failure. In 1909, Mr. Weeks moved to a five-acre farm on
the outskirts of Palo Alto, California. It was here that he established new methods of
raising poultry, concentrating birds into coops. Previous to this time, it was a commonly
accepted farming practice to raise chickens in large, space consuming, chicken runs. The
"Weeks Poultry Method" of raising poultry in compact houses became so successful that
visitors from all over the world began arriving at Mr. Weeks' farm to study and learn his
method. William E. Smythe, a socialist utopian, promoted his vision of independently-owned
farming communities after visiting. Weeks in turn adopted these ideals and established his
own version of a utopian farming community.
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