Aurora Colony Historical Society

15018 Second Street North East
Aurora, OR 97002

503-678-5754

History

The Old Aurora Colony Museum houses all that remains of a way of life which began arriving in Aurora in 1856. Dr. William Keil, a strong, religious man, organized his followers under the Golden Rule: “Every man and woman must be a brother or sister to every other man or women in our family under the fatherhood of God – EVERYDAY.”

The Utopian society of Aurora, Oregon was established by Dr. Keil as the site of what was to be his last communal settlement. Keil was a charismatic Prussian tailor and self-styled physician who began preaching soon after his arrival in the United States in 1831. He attracted a following for his fundamental Christian preaching which centered on the Golden Rule and his belief, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Like the Shakers, Rappites, and other religious Utopian groups of the 19th Century, Aurora Colony was inspired by the description of the earliest communities of Christians in Acts 2: 44-45: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. [RSP]”

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