Celo Community

Burnsville, North Carolina, United States

  • Last updated: January 28, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Social Responsibility

Community Description

Celo Community is a land trust with 1,200 acres occupied by some 40 households. Members do not own the land in fee simple but purchase “holdings” that carry most, but not all, the privileges of regular ownership. A holding may be sold only to another member or to the community. Plans for building houses, roads, or power lines must be submitted to the Property Committee for approval.
The community includes a few single people and unmarried couples but is made up predominantly of families. The member families live in separate homes and make their livings independently. They come together once a month for a meeting and function on a variety of committees. Now and then they have a “community workday” in which groups come together to carry out community projects or to assist a member family. Lifestyles are simple, and there is concern with ecology and social issues.
Families wishing to join Celo Community apply for trial membership, which runs for eight months if the family is housed in the community or one year if they are living nearby. At the end of the trial membership period the family and community decide whether the family should become accepted as a regular member.
At present there are about 30 families waiting to become trial members. Since only two trial members are accepted at a time a family applying now could expect to wait several years to become a member. Also, holding sites are limited, and that introduces an element of uncertainty.
I should mention, however, that it is a common practice for candidates to move nearby and take part in community activities while waiting. We sometimes refer to these folks as “our sane fringe.” In fact, in most Celo Community activities the community members are outnumbered by the nonmembers.
  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1938
  • Start Living Together: 1939
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members:
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Attn: Walters
  • Address:
    7965 White Oak Rd
    Burnsville, North Carolina, 28714
    United States
  • Location



  • Area: 1000 acres
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 113
  • Child Members: 40
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes


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


  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Required Labor Contribution:

Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • 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 occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private Schooling at the Community, Private School off the property, Public Schooling

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