List of American utopian communities

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A list of American Utopian communities.


Name Location Founder Founding date Ending date Notes
Zoar Ohio Joseph Bimeler 1817 1898 Founded by German religious separatists who wanted religious freedom in America.
Old Economy Village Pennsylvania George Rapp 1824 1906 A Harmonites Village. The Harmony Society is a Christian theosophy and pietist society founded in Iptingen, Germany, in 1785.
Nashoba Tennessee Frances Wright 1825 1828 An abolitionist, free-love community. (LEP)
New Harmony Indiana Robert Owen 1825 1829 Former Harmonite Village bought by Owen that then became a Owenite colony
New Philadelphia Colony Pennsylvania Bernhard Müller[1] 1832 1833 A libertarian socialist community
Oberlin Colony Ohio John J. Shipherd and 8 immigrant families[1] 1833 1843 Community based on Communal ownership of property[1]
Brook Farm Massachusetts George Ripley
Sophia Ripley
1841 1846 A Transcendent community. Transcendentalism is a religious and cultural philosophy based in New England.
North American Phalanx New Jersey Charles Sears 1841 1856 A Fourier Society community. The Fourier Society is based on the ideas of Charles Fourier, a French philosopher.
Hopedale Community[2] Massachusetts Adin Ballou 1842 1868 A community based on "Practical Christianity", which included ideas such as temperance, abolitionism, Women's rights, spiritualism and education.[3]
Fruitlands Massachusetts Amos Alcott 1843 1844 A Transcendent community.
Skaneateles Community New York Society for Universal Inquiry 1843 1846 A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Sodus Bay Phalanx New York Sodus Bay Fourierists 1844 1846 A Fourier Society community.
Wisconsin Phalanx[4] Wisconsin Albert Brisbane[5] 1844 1850 A Fourier Society community.[4]
Clermont Phalanx Ohio Followers of Charles Fourier 1844 1845 A Fourier Society community.
Prairie Home Community Ohio John O. Wattles[1]
Valentine Nicholson[1]
1844 1845 A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Fruit Hills Ohio Orson S. Murray[1] 1845 1852 A community based on Owenism and anarchism.[1] Maintained close contact with the Kristeen and Grand Prairie Communities.
Kristeen Community Indiana Charles Mowland[1] 1845 1847 Founded by Charles Mowland and others who had previously been associated with the Prairie Home Community.[1] A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Bishop Hill Colony Illinois Eric Jansson 1846 1862 A Swedish Pietist religious commune.
Spring Farm Colony Wisconsin 6 Fourierite Families[1] 1846 1848 A Fourier Society community.
Oneida Community New York John H. Noyes 1848 1880 A Utopian socialism community. Oneida Community practices included Communalism, Complex Marriage, Male Continence, Mutual Criticism and Ascending Fellowship.
Icarians Louisiana, Texas,
Nauvoo, Illinois,
Iowa, Missouri, California
Étienne Cabet 1848 1898 Egalitarian communities based on the French utopian movement founded by Cabet, after his followers emigrated to the US.
Amana Colonies Iowa Community of True Inspiration 1850s 1932 The Amana villages were built one hour apart when traveling by ox cart. Each village had a church, a farm, multi-family residences, workshops and communal kitchens. The communal system continued until 1932.
Modern Times New York Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews 1851 1864 Founded upon individual sovereignty and equitable commerce.
Raritan Bay Union New Jersey Marcus Spring
Rebecca Buffum
1853 1858 A Fourier Society community.[1]
Aurora Colony Oregon William Keil 1853 1883 Christian utopian community
Free Lovers at Davis House Ohio Francis Barry[5] 1854 1858 A community based on Free love and spiritualism.[5]
Reunion Colony Texas Victor P. Considerant 1855 1869 A utopian socialism community.
Octagon City Kansas Henry S. Clubb
Charles DeWolfe
John McLaurin
1856 1857 Originally built as a vegetarian colony.
Workingmen's Co-operative Colony (Llewellyn Castle)[6] Kansas followers of James Bronterre O'Brien 1869 1874 A community based on the political reform philosophy of Chartist James Bronterre O'Brien.
Silkville Kansas Ernest de Boissière 1869 1892 Sericulture farm in Kansas that was founded on Fourierist principles. Later shifted away from Fourierism before its collapse.
Zion Valley Kansas William Bickerton 1875 1879 Bickertonite Mormon religious colony that secularized in 1879 to become the town of St. John, Kansas.[7]
Danish Socialist Colony[8] Kansas Louis Pio 1877 1877 A utopian socialist community
Rugby Tennessee Thomas Hughes 1880 1887 A community based on Christian socialism.
Am Olam Across the US Mania Bakl and Moses Herder 1881 Most disbanded by the 1890s Jewish social movement that sought to create agricultural communities in America.[9]
Shalam Colony New Mexico John B. Newbrough
Andrew Howland
1884 1901 A community in which members would live peaceful, vegetarian lifestyles, and where orphaned urban children were to be raised.
Ruskin Colony Tennessee Julius Wayland 1894 1899 Attempt to create a co-operative communal movement.
Altruria California Edward Byron Payne 1894 1896 Christian socialist colony inspired by the novel A Traveler from Altruria.
Home, Washington Washington George H. Allen
Oliver A. Verity
B. F. O'Dell
1895 1919 An intentional community based on anarchist philosophy
Nucla Colorado Colorado Cooperative Company 1896 Established following the Panic of 1893. Originally called Piñon.[10][11]


Name Location Founder Founding date Ending date Notes
Arden Village Delaware Frank Stephens
Will Price
1900 Currently Active An art colony founded as a Georgist single-tax art community.
Zion, Illinois Illinois John Alexander Dowie 1900 1907 A Utopian Christian religious community, reorganized following fraud allegations and founder's death into modern city.
Holy City California William E. Riker 1919 1959 Founded by a sect that promoted celibacy, temperance and a segregationist interpretation of Christianity.
Druid Heights California Elsa Gidlow

Isabel Quallo

Roger Somers

1954 1987 Bohemian community
East Wind Community Ozark County, Missouri Kat Kinkade 1973 present A secular and democratic community in which members hold all communities assets in common.
Equality Colony Washington Norman W. Lermond
Ed Pelton
1900 1907 Socialist Colony
Fairhope Single Tax Corporation, Fairhope, AL Alabama Fairhope Industrial Association 1894 currently still in operation Fairhope was first settled in 1894 by Georgist. The Single tax experiment was incorporated as the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation under Alabama law in 1904. The municipality of Fairhope was incorporated in 1908.[12]
The Farm (Tennessee) Lewis County, Tennessee Stephen Gaskin 1971 present Hippie Buddhist-inspired vegetarian community. De-collectivized in 1983.
Freeland Association Washington Dissident members of the Equality Colony 1900 1906[5] A socialist commune. The first settlers dissident members of the nearby Equality Colony.[13] While the Freeland Association dissolved in 1906[5] the census-designated place (CDP) of Freeland, Washington continues to exist.
Post Texas C.W. Post 1907 now Post, Texas
Padanaram Settlement Indiana Daniel Wright 1966 currently active Christian fundamentalist commune in rural Indiana
Llano del Rio California Job Harriman 1914 1918 Unbuilt project by architect and planner Alice Constance Austin with strong emphasis on shared domestic work
New Llano Louisiana Job Harriman 1917 1937 Founded by Job Harriman & other members of the California Llano del Rio colony who relocated to Louisiana.
Twin Oaks Virginia Kat Kinkade, others 1967 currently active Originally a behaviourist utopian society based on the novel Walden Two; eventually becoming an egalitarian commune.
Acorn Community Farm Virginia Ira Wallace 1993 currently active egalitarian commune; branched off of Twin Oaks.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Morris, James M.; Kross, Andrea L. (2009). The A to Z of Utopianism. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810863354.
  2. ^ Spann, Edward K. (1992). Hopedale: From Commune to Company Town, 1840-1920 (Urban life and urban landscape series ed.). Ohio: Ohio State University Press. ISBN 0814205755. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  3. ^ Spann, Edward K. (1992). Hopedale: From Commune to Company Town, 1840-1920 (Urban life and urban landscape series ed.). Ohio: Ohio State University Press. p. 71. ISBN 0814205755. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b McCarville, Colin (2012). "Ceresco: A Utopian Community in Ripon, Wisconsin". Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Morris, James Matthew; Kross, Andrea L. (2004). Historical Dictionary of Utopianism. Scarecrow Press. pp. 108 and 111. ISBN 0810849127. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  6. ^ Entz, Gary R. (2013). Llewellyn Castle: A Worker's Cooperative on the Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803245396.
  7. ^ Entz, Gary R. (2006). "The Bickertonites: Schism and Reunion in a Restoration Church, 1880-1905". Journal of Mormon History: 8.
  8. ^ Miller, Kenneth E. (1972). Danish Socialism on the Kansas Prairie. Kansas State Historical Society.
  9. ^ "Am Olam". Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  10. ^ "Colorado's Utopian Colonies: Greeley and Nucla". Denver Public Library History. 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  11. ^ "Frontier in Transition: A History of Southwestern Colorado (Chapter 7)". Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  12. ^ Fairhope 1894-1954, The Story of a Single Tax Colony, Paul E. and Blanche R. Alyea, University of Alabama Press 1956
  13. ^ Charles Pierce LeWarne, Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885–1915, Seattle, University of Washington State Press, 1975; pp. 114-28.