If your home is a reflection of who you are, no more perfect example exists than the Oneida Community Mansion House. Built brick by brick in stages beginning in 1861 by the utopian Oneida Community (1848-1880), the 93,000 square foot Mansion House testifies to the Community’s core belief in the possibility of personal and social perfection. In plan and decoration it reflects popular architectural styles of the mid-19th century, but its large scale epitomizes the needs of a society that lived as one family with more than 300 members.
For 33 years under the leadership of John Humphrey Noyes, the religiously-based Perfectionist Community challenged contemporary social views on property ownership, gender roles, child-rearing practices, monogamous marriage, and work. From their insistence on life-long learning and vigorous health, the abandonment of the self for the good of the whole, they developed a work ethic and well of industriousness so deep it flowed into one of the most impressive manufacturing companies of the 20th century.
Succumbing to internal and external pressures, the Community disbanded in 1880 and formed a joint-stock corporation, Oneida Community Ltd. Eventually changing its name to Oneida Ltd., the company achieved world-wide recognition for the tableware it produced in Sherrill, NY.
A non-profit organization chartered in 1987 by the New York State Board of Regents oversees this magnificent National Historic Landmark.
Using its historic site and collections, the non-profit Oneida Community Mansion House shares the story of the Oneida Community – one of the most radical and successful of the 19th century social experiments – to explore pressing social issues that still confront audiences today.
To achieve our mission, we will:
1. Develop and use our collections and facilities for public exhibitions, tours, educational and interpretive programs, and special events that engage audiences of all ages in the examination of the societal impact and legacy of the Oneida Community
2. Publish original documents, research and related materials as a basis for educational programming, scholarly collaboration, and for enjoyment by the general public
3. Make available our site and collections for the benefit of scholars, students, and an interested public
4. Maintain and preserve the historical integrity of the Mansion House and its surrounding cultural landscape
5. Expand our collection of Oneida Community artifacts and related primary source material to create a more complete context for understanding the Oneida Community's history and impact as a social and economic model
Continually inhabited since 1862, the Mansion House features a museum, overnight lodging, residential apartments, and banquet and meeting facilities. Century old trees define the grounds where meandering paths lead to peaceful gardens that continually change with the seasons.For more information, see New York Times article and corresponding video (under multi-media).