Rugby Colony, Tennessee; October 6, 1880: ”We are about to open a new town here. A new center of human life, human thought, and human activities… in this strangely beautiful solitude.”
With those words, Thomas Hughes, noted British author and avowed Christian socialist, dedicated the Rugby Colony here in northeastern Tennessee, yesterday, amid great fanfare, applause, and adoration among the 200 people who are about to make this colony their utopian dream come true—their utopian home.
Since it is being populated primarily by British immigrants, it is being described by some as “the last British colony in America.”
A prerequisite for a utopia, of course, is to be located in a beautiful place. Rugby certainly meets that criterion. Looking over the development drawings, while visually looking at the terrain around it, the settlement is laid out perfectly between the picturesque gorges of clear Fork River and White Oak Creek on the gently rolling, foliage laden Cumberland Plateau.