Fred Schoonmaker papers

Finding aid created by GLBT Historical Society staff using RecordEXPRESS
GLBT Historical Society
989 Market Street, Lower Level
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 777-5455
reference@glbthistory.org
http://www.glbthistory.org/
2020


Descriptive Summary

Title: Fred Schoonmaker papers
Dates: 1927-1987, bulk 1984-1987
Collection Number: 1990-15
Creator/Collector:
Extent: 5 linear feet (two cartons, three manuscript boxes, one half-manuscript box)
Repository: GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco, California 94103
Abstract: 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.
Language of Material: English

Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Fred Schoonmaker papers. GLBT Historical Society

Acquisition Information

Gift of Roy D. Baker on December 18, 1990. Additions gift of Dennis McBride on January 11, 2005.

Biography/Administrative History

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.

Scope and Content of Collection

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. It includes organizational records, board materials, correspondence, financial records, marketing materials, news clippings, and court records from a lawsuit filed against Schoonmaker by former Stonewall backer Robert Askew. The collection also includes legal documents Schoonmaker collected from other court cases related to Askew. The collection also includes family papers, including Schoonmaker’s Bible and high school ring; materials from his father’s memorial; and photographs of family and friends, including Alfred Parkinson.

Indexing Terms

Gay men
Black people

Additional collection guides