The Sarah Farmer Inn
"There is a legend in Eastern countries that when a man first becomes conscious of his true nature as a child of God, he makes a pilgrimage still further eastward until he finds a green spot, in which, under the grateful shade of trees, he can lie down and in his mind, see a vision of the City of Peace. Such a spot is our Green Acre—A place where beside still waters one may realize the peace that passeth all understanding—the peace which the world can never give nor take away. This is the Place; the Idea is too great to be put into words—it must be felt. Those to whom it has become a living reality can be numbered in the thousands . . . "
"It has been our privilege to stand with open door, calling to all who hunger and thirst for the abundant life to come and be assured that it is possible to find it now."
— Sarah Jane Farmer, 1899 (opening quotation of Green Acre on the Piscataqua)
‘Abdu’l-Bahá on Monsalvat
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith and the Center of His Covenant, visited in 1912 conferring upon Green Acre another unique distinction as the only school imbued with the spirit of His presence.
In 1926, Green Acre came under the direct supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the U.S. which was elected at Green Acre for the first time in 1925. Both Sarah Jane Farmer and her successor administrator of Green Acre, William Henry (Harry) Randall, were named Disciples of 'Abdú'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
Green Acre continues to pursue Sarah Farmer's vision and the principles of the Bahá'í Faith. It specifically focuses on the establishment of world peace, the equality of women and men, racial unity, and spiritual transformation.
Sarah Jane Farmer
A Unique Place in History
Referred to as "the most important institution of its kind in the world" by the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, Green Acre occupies an unique place in history. It was built as the Eliot Hotel in 1890. The name Green Acre came from poet John Greenleaf Whittier, a personal friend of the Farmer family, who much enjoyed its beautiful setting. Sarah Jane Farmer, a partner in the hotel, was the daughter of prominent transcendentalist and inventor Moses Gerrish Farmer and philanthropist Hannah Shapleigh Farmer.
While listening to a lecture in Boston, Sarah realized how much more receptive the heart and mind would be if the body were in a healthy and beautiful environment. She met with participants in the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 and in 1894, Green Acre became a universal platform for the comparative study of religions. It was opened with the raising of the world's first known "peace" flag. Sarah had chosen the theme of peace for Green Acre because it represented to her a call to everybody as well as the message brought by prophet after prophet.
While the first mention of the Bahá'í Faith in the U.S. occurred at that Parliament of Religions, a quotation from Bahá'u'lláh first appeared in the 1899 Green Acre program. From 1900 to 1909, Green Acre provided a focal center for the development of the early Bahá'í community. For Sarah, the Bahá'í Faith fulfilled her ideals and provided the vehicle through which she could contribute to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.