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2004-09-25
Lacey, NJ. Wal-Mart Readies to Destroy 200 Year Old Farm

The "old barns and pastoral fields" of Lacey, New Jersey, are on the endangered list, as another Wal-Mart superstore bears down on a 200 year old farm known ironically as the Good Luck Farm. For many Lacey residents, all the Luck is with Wal-Mart, and none of the Good. The farm's owner made a handsome profit from the sale of the historic property, and is literally leaving the town behind to live with her decision. This week, Grace Ross, owner of the property, auctioned off the contents of her farm, and prepared to "head south for the sunny climate of Florida," according to the Press at Atlantic City. Ross justified selling out by telling reporters she had little choice in the matter. Her husband had died, and she was facing a growing tax burden. Instead of working with local groups to try and preserve the Good Luck farm and historic home, she sold out to the chain store. "I did not have much of a choice," she told the Press. "Anyway, people here need a place to shop, and I needed a buyer so that is what happened." Local activists had worked to try and protect the 13 acre farm with its ten bedroom home, but in the end, Ross went with the big money. The newspaper noted that local residents took Wal-Mart to court over the project, and that "For many of the old-timers, the idea of a Wal-Mart at this site is like watching flies land on their ice cream." In place of her historic home, Ross is leaving the town with a "narrative history" of the site, and dozens of photos. The owner told the newspaper that after Wal-Mart tears down her homestead, people will soon forget it ever existed. "People will come to Wal-Mart and ask, 'What was here before this?' And the answer will be, 'I don't remember,'" Ross said.

What you can do: People will come to Lacey and ask: "What makes this town distinctive from any other town in New Jersey? And the answer will be: "I don't remember." The real culprit here, of course, is not the elderly widow who cashed out the value of her land and deserted, but the corporation that had no sense of history, no sense of culture, no sense of community values. This is emblematic of the decisions made every day by Wal-Mart Realty. From Teotihuacan, Mexico, to Hawaii, to Lacey, New Jersey, Wal-Mart is locating on inappropriate sites, where the history destroyed can never be measured by the value of cheap underwear. The Good Luck Farm met a bad fate, in the form of a giant corporation from Arkansas. For earlier stories on this subject, search this database by "Lacey".










 
 
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