The Village on Sewanee Creek

Tracy City, Tennessee, United States

  • Last updated: August 30, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: February 21, 2008

Mission Statement

Self-sufficient, Free, Living the Love of Christ through Service

OUR MISSION is to be a self-sustaining community
in harmony with nature and people.

Community Description

Sustainability at The Village on Sewanee Creek is at the intersection of creativity, personal liberty & accountability, love of nature and mutual caring. Private property ownership is valued as a key to accountable stewardship. We believe that people with the right values require little in the way of intrusive oversight. We tend to be conservative or libertarian in outlook, but welcome diversity of thought, background and skills.
We seek people with diverse skills and backgrounds for self-sufficient community life in an old-fashioned neighborhood with strong Christian values.

Located on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, the property abounds with waterfalls, hemlock & harwdood forests, clear bluff views of the Sewanee gorge and wooded mountains. Recognized as one of the most bio-diverse areas in the US.

Why Tennessee?
• no income taxes,
• low property taxes,
• low cost of living,
• lush woodlands and rocky bluffs overlooking canyons and streams,
• a diverse culture, from “mountain folks” (who know how to live simply) to academia. (Nearby, Historical U. of the South -rich cultural heritage).

Villagers have diverse experience and enjoy working together and teaching each other how to be self-sufficient in:

Water: Rainwater collection systems encouraged. Such systems make us completely independent of municipal water although city water is also available.

Food: (A community garden is maintained with help from an organic gardening coach.) Lots are large enough to be food self-sufficient. Some raise chickens, cows, goats or other livestock and we all share or barter.

Energy: Solar PV, Wood gasification, micro-hydroelectric, other forms of sustainable energy practiced.

Healthy living: Use of local herbs, healthy diet.

Community: 50 of the 207 acres are a nature preserve. Hiking trails wander pristine woodlands past waterfalls to the secluded Sewanee Creek. A common area features breathtaking canyon and mountain views. Outdoor pavilions with barbecue pits welcome picnics. A natural rock amphitheater surrounds a stage and large screen where family movies are shown against the backdrop of a dark, starlit sky.

Located between Chattanooga and Nashville in a rural setting, with shopping, restaurants, etc., an easy 5 to 25 minutes away.

Perfect for a primary residence in a prepared community or a second-home safe haven. Home sites feature stunning bluff views, creeks, and magnificent waterfalls.

Check us out at the website listed above, see my blog at or email [email protected]


  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2006
  • Start Living Together: 2007
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Grant Miller
  • Phone: 9314502426
  • Community Address:
    5049 Browns Hollow Rd
    Tracy City, Tennessee, 37387
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 207 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on, All facilities are owned by individuals. Some are available for rent.
  • Current Number of Residences: 12
  • Planned number of residences: 35
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    45 acre designated nature preserve + 2 acre commons with amphitheater, pavilions, community garden, etc.

    Approximately 30-35 residences anticipated


  • Adult Members: 19
  • Child Members: 5
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    1. Email or phone inquiry
    2. Phone interview
    3. visit, tour, meet members
    4. Select & purchase lot

  • Additional Comments:

    The Golden Rule – Love, Service
    Open to all religious views of people who practice the golden rule, desire to live in a harmonious community, and in harmony with nature.


  • Decision Making: Voting (majority or super-majority rule)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Grant Miller – Founder
    5 members of Village Board of Directors
    Community Property owned by “The Village Owners Association, Inc.”


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $25
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Encourage debt-free living

    Weekly + as needed work projects are voluntary. We rotate projects each week between Village families. Each Project sponsor organizes and manages the project and provides necessary materials. Participants provide labor and bring tools.
    Land is independently owned by members

    $300 annual Village Owners Association

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric, Biomass
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Tractor & Farm Equipment, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Waterfront access
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Kosher, Halal, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    While alcohol and tobacco are permitted, they are Discouraged. No current members smoke. If any members drink it is discreet and unknown to others.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Protestant, Ananda Community, LDS, Daoist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

“Voluntary” is a key word for us. Expectations, demands or compulsory involvement are kept low in favor of personal choice and circumstances. We trust that the primary reason for joining our community is the desire for community. Largely due to lack of pressure, the community has flourished with high levels of regular, voluntary, joyful involvement.

Regular traditions include:

Weekend Project. Rotates weekly by homestead as calendared on the Private Village website. The designated home owner plans and gathers materials. Everybody shows up to work as time and circumstances allow. Simple meal or refreshments provided by home owner. Usually planned to last two hours, but frequently ends up an all day project as members generously volunteer time and enjoy the company and learning project, leadership and social skills. Hundreds of discrete projects have been completed including building a primary home, guest house, chicken coops, a 2,000 s.f. hoop greenhouse, raised bed gardens, maintenance on the community amphitheater, trails, installing several rainwater catchment systems.

Monday Evening Family Home Evening (FHE): Games, discussion, lesson, problem solving, planning, followed by light refreshments.

Bi-monthly formal potluck dinner. Host rotates between families

As the community has continued to grow in numbers, greater specialization has emerged. Assigned callings include: director/coordinator of music, drama, facilities, community scheduling, security, beekeeping, Open-Source Ecology (distributed manufacturing), etc. Although similar to a residential development in some respects, Village CC&R’s are minimal and open to revision. In early 2016 we are working together on a basic re-write of covenants and by-laws.

We maintain shared, online virtual libraries of books and movies and private website for sharing of ideas and general communication.

The community is composed of active, accomplished individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds that include PhD’s in plant genetics, Psychology, Bio-Chemistry, Organizational Development, Counseling & Philosophy. Masters in Engineering, Bio-Chemistry, Business, Computer Engineering.
BA’s / other certifications in mathematics, elementary and secondary Ed., textiles, registered nursing, political Science, etc.
Perhaps more important and respected are our member’s practical skills in construction, plumbing, electrical, landscaping and excavation, military and police, bee-keeping, water purification and management, horticulture (organic & greenhouse gardening, orchards), animal husbandry and the performing arts (singer/songwriters, instrumental music, thespian, film directing and editing). Practical skills are the foundation of creative and productive work and play.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery


Self-reliant, independent, inter-dependent, freedom loving, creative, conservative