Short Mountain Sanctuary, Inc.

Last updated: August 21, 2006 (10 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Short Mountain Sanctuary, Inc.

(Liberty, Tennessee, United States)

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1979
  • Start Living Together: 1980
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: No
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community.
  • Website address:
  • Phone: 615-536-5176
  • Address:
    247 Sanctuary Ln
    Liberty, Tennessee, 37095-9215
    United States

Mission Statement:

Rural Queer Sanctuary

Community Description:

Short Mountain Sanctuary (SMS) is a collective providing queer safe space. We strive to live lightly on the land and to maintain an environment that is open, free, and stimulating to each person’s growth and creativity. We make decisions by consensus. Life here is simple and rustic. We drink springwater, use an outhouse, and heat with wood. What electricity we have we collect from the sun. The heart of the community is an antebellum log cabin that serves as kitchen, dining, library, and common space. Residents live in a variety of homebuilt one- to five-person dwellings. We grow much of our food, herbs, and dazzling flowers. Goats supply us with milk and chickens with eggs. We publish _RFD: A Country Journal for Queer Folk Everywhere_ and host two faerie gatherings a year (May and October). Since SMS started in 1981 we have become a magnet for queers and the people who love us who wish to live rurally with a sense of community. Three new intentional communities have formed nearby: Ida, Sun Valley, and Pumpkin Hollow, and a growing group of friends lives independently in the surrounding countryside. As an extended community we share resources, party, and help each other out. We are a sanctuary and welcome visitors anytime.



  • Area: 200 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 9
  • Land owned by: Community controlled land trust


  • Adult Members: 18
  • Percent Women: 1-10%
  • Percent Men: 91-99%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: No


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: self-determined;flexible;group feedback hours/month

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Paganism/Earth Religions

Photo Gallery

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network