History

Born of those who came under the wing to some barns bought by octogenerian Bill Henry. Dubbed by area historian and ARC38 advisor Evan Pritchard as the ‘Whalerider’ — Bill made a stand for peace in 1960, and spent most of 1961 in Danbury State Prison as a personal sacrifice against the claim of perpetual war, and the first placing of nuclear missiles in submarines.

Just south down the glacial Harlem Valley from the lands of the Great Peacemaker, of whom epic stories are still told, of the actual burying of the hatchets which led to the Confederation of Tribes— so inspiring in later years to Benjamin Franklin as he sought to instill collective wisdom in forming a representative system of self-governance.

After forming as “Empower People Peace & Justice Center’ Bill Henry & Bard alum Devin (Eco) brought a vision forward for a ‘Truth Museum’ and restorative space aiming to eventually become a demonstration site for regenerative community solutions with an alternative currency exchange, timebank, and any number of mutual aid agreements & social infrastructure. With the bright minds engaged in ‘Environmental Solidarity,’ ‘Alternative Currencies’ & the Occupy Farms Working Groups of the NYC General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street— a group formed which by May of 2012 chose the name together: ARC38, Autonomous Resilient Community, and just one of many such formative nodes potentiating a circuit of makers, methods, players & prayers for a better world through regenerative practices on participating sites.

Originally the land of the Schagticoke, Lenape, Wappinger and other tribal groups — this land here in Eastern Dutchess County became colonized as part of the “9 Partners” deed. After being clearcut in the 1850s and turned into charcoal at the nearby charcoal kilns of Wassaic, these fertile hills and surrounds became known as “milk valley” and the signs as one enters the Hamlet of Wassaic still reads: “Home of Borden’s First Condensed Milk Factory.” Now home to the Wassaic Project, Pawling Rubber, a quaint general store, a tavern called the Lantern, Olio House and the World Peace Prayer Sanctuary— we are truly blessed to take part in a regional recognition of the sacredness of land, peace & community.