You are here

Ruskin Society

Image - John Ruskin

John Ruskin

Description of the Ruskin Colony and Commongood Society Collection

The Ruskin Commongood Society attempted to put the ideals of John Ruskin into practice by creating a utopian socialist colony near Tennessee City in Dickson County, Tennessee which existed from 1894 to 1896. We present here manuscript and printed materials related to the Ruskin Commongood Society borrowed from the owner for purposes of digitization.

 

Background

In 1907, Dr. George McAnelly Miller and his brother-in-law Albert Peter Dickman relocated their families to the shore of Tampa Bay, Florida. They purchased land and started to set up homes, a saw mill, and a school. The Ruskin Commongood Society platted Ruskin on February 19, 1910. Lots were apportioned for a college, business district, two parks, and for the founding families, with only Whites allowed to own or lease land in the community.

The Millers began Ruskin College in 1910 with Dr. Miller and his wife Adeline serving as president and vice-president. By 1913, the community had a cooperative general store, a canning factory, a telephone system, an electric plant supplying electricity to both public and private buildings, a weekly paper, and regular boat freight and passenger service to Tampa. The onset of World War I hastened the demise of the college, which was destroyed by fire in 1918. Dr. Miller died in August 1919.

External Resources

Research on site at Hamilton College

To schedule a research visit, please contact us in advance.

Christian Goodwillie, Director and Curator of Special Collections and Archives
E-mail: cgoodwil (at) hamilton (dot) edu
Telephone: (315) 859-4447

Special Collections
Burke Library
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
Regular hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Materials Digitized

Thanks to the Ruskin Woman's Club, Dr. Arthur McA. 'Mac' Miller, and Dr. Tina Trent for making it possible for these collections to be archived and digitized as part of the Communal Societies Collection of Hamilton College.

  • 5 - Minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee
  • 2 - Minutes of the meetings of the Trustees
  • 3 - Journals of the Ruskin Women's Twentieth Century Club
  • 3 - Catalogue and records of the Ruskin Public Library

Display Options

Catalogue of Ruskin Public Library
Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization
Catalogue of Ruskin Public Library
Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization
Journal
Records and correspondence of the library of the Ruskin Commongood Society., Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization
Minutes Book #1 of Excutive [sic.] Bd., 7/3/1912 to 11/9/1915
Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Ruskin Commongood Society, July 3, 1912 to November 9, 1915., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Minutes Book #1, 11/6/1909 to 11/26/1910
Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Ruskin Commongood Society, November 6, 1909 to November 26, 1910., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Minutes Book #2 of Executive Bd., 1/11/1916 to 5/5/1928
Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Ruskin Commongood Society, January 11, 1916 to May 5, 1928., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Minutes Book #2, 12/3/1910 to 4/14/1917
Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Ruskin Commongood Society, December 3, 1910 to April 14, 1917., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Minutes Book #3, 6/13/1917 to 3/3/1928, Note: Bye-Laws Page 150
Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Ruskin Commongood Society, June 13, 1917 to March 3, 1928., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Record book of the Ruskin Women's Twentieth Century Club, 1916-1949
Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization
Record book of the Womans 20th Century Club of Ruskin, Florida
Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization
Trustee's minutes book #1 (?), 2/26/1910 to 12/1/1911
Minutes of trustees meetings of the Ruskin Commongood Society, February 26, 1910 to December 1, 1911., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Trustee's minutes book #2 (?), 1/4/1912 to 2/5/1919
Minutes of trustees meetings of the Ruskin Commongood Society, January 4, 1912 to February 5, 1919., Provenance: Gift of the Ruskin Commongood Society
Woman's Twentieth Century Club: reports beginning the year 1918 to 1933
Provenance: Loaned by the Ruskin Commongood Society to the Hamilton College Library for digitization