Last updated: August 21, 2006 (8 years ago)
Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Short Mountain Sanctuary, Inc.

(Liberty, Tennessee, United States)

  • Status: Established
  • Formed: 1979  Established: 1980
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: No
  • Website address:
  • Phone: 615-536-5176
  • Address:
    247 Sanctuary Ln
    Liberty, Tennessee, 37095-9215
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: Yes

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: No

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.


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

Social Factors

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Paganism/Earth Religions


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

Land and Buildings

  • Housing Provided: Yes, for all or most members.
  • Location: Rural, Rural
  • Area: 200 acres
  • Land owned by: Community controlled land trust
  • Current number of residences: 9

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Shared Expenses: Little or no share of expenses
  • Required Labor contribution: 0
  • Join Fee: No
  • Regular Fee: 0
  • Additional Comments: self-determined;flexible;group feedback hours/month


  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used often.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
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
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.