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Fred Schoonmaker papers
1990-15  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Frederick Schoonmaker was a gay man who spent the last three years of his life trying to establish a gay intentional community, to be called Stonewall Park, in rural Nevada. The bulk of the collection spans the years 1984-1987 and pertains to Stonewall Park and related ventures, as well as the National Association of Lesbians and Gays (NALAG) and the Lavender Press.
Background
Frederick Schoonmaker spent the last three years of his life trying to establish a gay intentional community, to be called Stonewall Park, in rural Nevada. Schoonmaker and his partner, Alfred Parkinson, dreamed of creating a “safe and peaceful place” where they could live without interference as a gay interracial couple (Schoonmaker was white, Parkinson Black). They first tried to build on a ranch in the existing town of Silver Springs, then in the ghost town of Rhyolite, which Schoonmaker attempted to purchase for this purpose; both times, they were thwarted by local homophobia. The final attempt was the successful purchase of land near Thunder Mountain in rural Pershing County, but this work, too, was halted after opposition and threats. The venture left Schoonmaker and Parkinson destitute. In 1987, Schoonmaker was diagnosed with AIDS, and he died the same year.
Extent
5 linear feet (two cartons, three manuscript boxes, one half-manuscript box)
Restrictions
Availability
Collection is open for research.