In 1895 George H. Allen and B. F. O'Dell built a rowboat and sailed into the Puget Sound in search of a perfect place to found their new utopian colony. They settled on a small tract of land in Joe's Bay, on the eastern side of the Key Peninsula, right in the heart of Washington State. There, along with Oliver A. Verity, future editor and publisher of Discontent, and their families, they settled HOME, a community devoted to personal freedom, radical intellectual pursuits, and a retreat from the failings of modern society. Quickly Home grew into a fertile and eclectic community of Anarchists, Spiritualists, Free Lovers, Hermits, Theosophists, Vegetarians, the occasional cross-dresser, and other people holding all manner of radical political, sexual, and philosophical attitudes and practices. They published numerous radical newspapers and journals, and built a community center named Liberty Hall where speakers ranging from Emma Goldman to Christian ministers to an advocate for all men wearing dresses were given a serious and respectful audience. Each Home resident became a member of the Mutual Home Association, and in doing so bought a piece of land where they would build a handmade shelter, be it log cabin or treehouse. Until 1919, longer than any other community of its kind, Home survived as a peaceful, creative, and liberated center of wild American dreamers and individualists.
Home still exists, though much of it's fantastic past has been forgotten, even by its contemporary residents. Yet the narratives that have survived, in apocryphal histories, and personal orations, give much to consider for those who still imagine building a society that is more just and more free. The Utopian spirit that has inspired so many Americans from the days of the first settlers, to the religious colonies of the 19th and 20th century, to the Back-to-the-Land movement of the 60's, to the Libertarian visionaries who designed the World Wide Web, still exists today, and needs to acknowledge and celebrate its heritage.
In 2008, Red 76, with the aid of Gabriel Saloman and students and staff of the CADRE Media Lab at San Jose State University , began work on forming a Second Home Colony, this time located in the virtual world of Second Life. Second Home offers itself as an Archive of this colorful past, and the context which birthed it, as well as an opportunity for everyone who is interested to begin conversations about these histories and their contemporary parallel's. Within there are opportunities to publish radical ideas, to discuss them with an international audience, and to co-create a new colony as an experimental pedagogical form. We are hoping to create a platform for a continued exploration of communal activities in a space that provides a common ground for people all over the world. You, as a visitor and potentially a resident, are the one who will determine the fate of this new space. Welcome to Second Home... stay a while.