Three Visionary Womyn
Alapine Village was started in 1997 by three visionary womyn: Morgana, Fayann and Barbara Lieu. Morgana was also one of the founders of the Pagoda by the Sea in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1977. The Pagoda flourished for over 15 years with hundreds of women visiting every year, enjoying the cultural programs, circles, and oceanfront scenery. A core community of womyn lived in 12 tiny cottages at the Pagoda. Several current residents of Alapine lived there and played an integral part in keeping the Pagoda going. In the early 90’s it became clear that the dreams they had for the Pagoda were difficult to pursue at that location. Three of the womyn started looking for a larger piece of property to continue doing community, as well as looking to provide for our needs as we age. Because of Morgana’s connection with our present area, where she went to summer camp, they found this property and started Alapine Village, in a beautiful Alabama mountain top rural setting.
Alapine Village is approximately 108 acres. The first 2 womyn moved onto the land in 1997 before electricity or water had been set up. Slowly through the years other womyn moved here and established homes. Currently we have more than 30 womyn living on the land. We have well maintained non-paved roads, electric, and water. Each resident can choose to hook up to the local electric and water systems or to live off grid with rainwater collection systems, wood burning stoves, and composting toilets.
Along with the struggles, we have learned that playing together is absolutely necessary!!! We have a wide variety of activities such as game or movie nights, hiking, kayaking, picnicking, and anything our minds can think of. We are a diverse group and celebrate many forms of spirituality. Some women celebrate nature-based holidays and moon circles. Around 2006 we started having regular meetings to discuss what living in community means to each of us. One thing that came out of that was a desire to have a community building. Later in 2006, we established our 501(c)3 to help raise funds for a building.
In 2009 we were contacted by the New York Times which sent a photographer and a reporter to our community to write the article that appeared in the newspaper Feb.1st, 2009. For many of us here life became a whirlwind of activity as a result of that article, with inquiries, a visitors’ weekend with nine womyn coming from all parts of the country, new womyn moving here, and interesting connections with university students and professors. By the end of 2009 we had received donations of a lot at Alapine and a 10 year old doublewide manufactured home in good condition, all through the generosity of four Alapine womyn. Every year we work on many fundraisers, obtaining enough money to maintain and improve our Community Center.