Oneida Community (1848-1880)
Founded in 1848 by the itinerant preacher, John Humphrey Noyes, this religiously-based Perfectionist community challenged contemporary social views on property ownership, gender roles, child-rearing practices, monogamous marriage, and work. The Oneida Community’s insistence on life-long learning and determination to make all work enjoyable as they built their utopia, fostered a work ethic and well of industriousness that sustained the group for over thirty years, making them one of the most successful and longest lasting communal experiments of the 19th century.
Post-Community & the Rise of Oneida Ltd. (1881-present)
Influenced by both internal and external pressures, the Community disbanded in 1880 and formed a joint-stock corporation, Oneida Community Ltd. to take control of their communally owned properties and businesses, including the Mansion House. The joint-stock company changed its name during the early 20th century to Oneida Ltd. and achieved world-wide recognition for the tableware it produced in Sherrill, NY.
Construction of the Mansion House (1862-1914)
If where and how you live defines who you are, a perfect example exists in the Oneida Community Mansion House. Built in four phases (1861-1878) by the Oneida Community, the 93,000 square foot Mansion House is a testament to the Community’s core beliefs about communal life. Its large scale and interior layout served the social practices of the 300-person commune that lived and worked here as one family. The design of each building phase typifies different architectural styles and innovations of the mid-1800s. A Lounge was added in 1914 by Oneida Community, Ltd. to facilitate the new additional use of the building as a meeting space and accommodations for their salesmen and managers.