This is not actually a town, but rather a section of Jackson Township in Ocean County.
The land for this Russian 'colony' in Jackson was purchased in 1934 by the Russian Mutual Aid Society, according to the 'official website' of Rova Farms, which you can find here.
A great deal of information concerning the Orthodox church, St. Vladimir's, that stands just up the street from Rova can be found here.
A court case involving at least one man who stayed at Rova in the 1980s is cited in many places on the web, such as this site.
What I don't know is why this property has been allowed to become so run down. It's all boarded up and overgrown now, and I was hoping someone out there could give a little more information than just the superficial information found on the above websites. Clicking the links below will show you some more photographs of what remains of Rova farms today. If you can shed any more light on the situation with this place, please send us an e-mail.
Picture #3 (close up)
Picture #5( view from the side street)
Picture #6 (rear view)
Picture #7 (a shot of what looks like a motel immediately behind the main building)
Picture #8 (another shot of what looks like a motel immediately behind the main building)
I recently received an e-mail from someone who attended Rova as a child, and she had this to say about it:
" Rova Farms was a wonderful place. It was crowded every week-end in the summer. Dancing every Friday and Saturday night. What looked like a motel behind the main building was actually the childrenís camp that I went to for many years. Later, after I was too old for camp, they turned that building into a motel and bought an old school across the lake and that became the childrenís camp. On the main property was what we called the White House. It was rented to seasonal roomers. The main building had a restaurant, bar and dance hall. There was a separate room between the restaurant and bar where the children ate. Across the road was a building where the bus stopped and rooms could be rented. Just up the path on the right-hand side was a building where there were showers. On Fridays, they took us from camp and we all had a hot shower. The camp itself had only cold showers outside. Since the lake was filled with water colored by the cedar trees, we always came out looking awfully dirty. By the way, they rented rowboats at the end of the lake and we all learned how to row there. Behind where the hot showers were was a pigsty and there was a dear old man who worked with the pigs and also took care of the lawn in front of the main building. The people who came to Rova held a raffle (automobile prize) for the building of the church just above the property. As things went, the church went into the hands of the church outside of Russia and there was a big falling out over that. Also as people began coming in from Russia after the war, things changed. A man who claimed to have run a restaurant in Russia took over the restaurant and management of the property and Iím told he really stole all he could. Little by little the old-timers became disenchanted and they didnít come there anymore. Then when the young man who had no business jumping into the lake broke his neck and sued and the insurance company would not cover the liability, Rova went down the drain. I hope this gives you some insight. Rova was integral in my growing up and I still love it and visit it every St. Vladimirís Day, with sadness."
Another visitor also had similar comments:
"Today for some odd reason I stumbled upon a box of my grandmothers old papers. Inside I fund some capital stock certificates for Rova Farms Incorporated. When looking up information on the status of the stock, I found your site.
I would spend my summers there in the 1950s and 1960s at my grandparents summer house. In fact, all of my grandparents are buried in the Russian Orthodox cemetery. Back then there were many of the White Russian immigrants who lived there year round besides the others who visited the camp in the summers. As the older generation of original residents died off, so did it appears Rova Farms.
I heard also that, one of the reasons why the entire place, including the lake are is all run down is that someone drowned or hurt themselves in the lake and had sued the community. The last time I was down there, which was maybe 20 years ago, the lake had a fence around it. Of course that other lawsuit that you have in your site was another reason.
Its funny that I remember that building from when I was a child.
I just spoke to the woman who president of Rova Farms and she told me that my 3 shares of stock are worth a big $30.00 after almost 50 years!
She did give me their new website so if interested, here it is. http://www.rovafarm-rcc.org/"
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