Utopia

Name:

Utopia

County:

Clermont

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

38° 46′ 34 N, 84° 3′ 26 W

Elevation:

 

Time Zone:

Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)

Comments:

Utopia was founded in 1844 by the followers of Charles Fourier, after the failure of an earlier Fourierist phalanstère called the Clermont Phalanx. Fourier’s writings inspired his readers to create their own utopian society — hence the name “Utopia.” Within three years, the community broke up. It was soon reorganized by Josiah Warren, who founded the town as a means of a small cooperative community that could still carry out functions like the outside world. For instance, the town existed with a market economy and the belief in owning private property.

Remains:

Flood of 1847 – On the night of December 13, 1847 the Ohio River had flooded its banks dramatically and was getting dangerously close to the town hall. However, people were still seeking shelter in the hall because their houses were becoming flooded. During a party that was being held at the hall that evening, the river, many feet above flood stage, washed out the south wall of the building, sweeping out a large number of Spiritualists. Some who were swept away did survive, but most drowned or were overcome by hypothermia in the icy river.

Established:

1844

Disestablished:

 

Current Status:

Utopia is an unincorporated community in far southern Franklin Township, Clermont County, Ohio, United States, along the banks of the Ohio River. Utopia has been referred to as a “ghost town” although there are still people who live there.

Remarks:

First settlers – The sect believed that the world would enter a 35,000-year-long period of peace, and that in order to achieve enlightenment, they must live in communes with one another. Fourier’s followers had attracted several families to live in Utopia for the fee of $25 a year, and in turn each family would receive a wooden house on a small parcel of land. Second settlers – The land that was owned by the sect was then sold to John O. Wattles, the leader of another group of Spiritualists. Despite the warnings of the locals, Wattles and the Spiritualists moved the dining hall/town hall brick by brick to the river’s edge. The move was completed in December 1847 mere days before one of the biggest floods of the 19th century.

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