Heartland Utopias Part 7: Conclusion

A white building with an orange roof. Windows are arrayed along the front, and a small tower is set in the center of the roof.

The variety of Iowa’s intentional communities on display throughout this series is stunning. From Icaria to Vedic City, each had their own philosophy and reasons to come to Iowa, but some definite themes emerge. The key similarity between most of these communities is simple: timing. Utopianism in Europe peaked during the 1830s and 1840s – the same time that settlement in Iowa was hitting its stride. These communities, secular or religious, sought out cheap land free from outside influence, and Iowa was the place to be.

Read more

Heartland Utopias Part 1: Introduction

The view of Iowa prairie and fields from the French Icarian Village near Corning, Iowa.

This post marks the start of a project I have been working on for almost a year. The project, Heartland Utopias: Intentional Communities in Iowa, is a deep dive into the range of utopian, communal, intentional, and otherwise unique communities in my home state. It also happens to be my honors project, as I prepare to graduate from Iowa State University.

Read more