Jim Kopp (Feb. 13, 1952 - Aug. 5, 2010) was director of the Aubrey R. Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College. His scholarly interests included utopian and communal studies, and he was the author of Eden Within Eden: Oregon’s Utopian Heritage (OSU Press, 2009). Jim had an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon, a master’s in history from the University of Portland, a master’s in library science from The Catholic University of America, and a doctorate in American Studies from George Washington University. He was a member of the board of directors of the Aurora Colony Historical Society.
In response to pogroms in the early 1880s, two reform-minded organizations of Russian Jews sought opportunities outside their native Russia. One group, BILU (Beir Ya'ako Leku Ve-neklja, or "Let the house of Jacob go"), chose Palestine as its destination. The other group, Am Olam (Eternal People), with its largest concentration …
One of the more successful American utopian communal societies in the nineteenth century was founded on the Pudding River in Marion County in 1856. Named for a daughter of the leader of the Christian communal group, the Aurora Colony (or Aurora Mills, as it was also known) grew to a …
Wilhelm Keil (1812-1877)
Known by his followers as Father Keil and as Dr. Keil and King Keil to others, Wilhelm Keil was the leader of one of the most successful nineteenth-century utopian community experiments west of the Rocky Mountains. He was born in Bleicherode, Prussia in 1812. In 1836, he married Louisa Reiter, …