The Community Overview

Locally referred to as “No God”, due to their atheist beliefs, the utopian Skaneateles Community was established in 1843 on a farm near Mottville, in Skaneateles, NY. The Society of Universal Inquiry and Reform founded the group. It also shares a relationship with the American Owenite Community as well as e Fourierists. “No God” lasted for only three years under the leadership of abolitionist, John A. Collins. The society contained roughly one hundred members who shared living quarters, and a community meeting house, worked together on a farm, sawmill, and print shop. The meetinghouse, called the Community Place, still exists today as a bed and breakfast. The community also published a weekly newspaper called “The Communitist” from 1844-1846. Collins began the community based on strong ideals but in an attempt to keep his vision alive many compromises were made. Due to internal conflict and the greed of one of the founding member, Quincy A. Johnson, the community failed in 1846.

Because “The Skaneateles Community” was criticized for their beliefs and looked upon so negatively, it is difficult to find records of their three year experiment. Family members or people with ties to the community destroyed letters and documents connecting them to the group.

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