Octagon City – The Vegetarian Haven That Didn’t Succeed

At FishTankBank, we’re big advocates of a vegetarian lifestyle. We’re also big advocates of octagon shaped fish tanks. We feel that animals, even fish, are equals and should be treated so. One of the main reasons that we encourage fishkeeping is that we want people to see fish as more than just food. So the idea of living with a bunch of vegetarians is pretty cool to us!

If you’ve never heard the story of Octagon City then buckle up, it’s a pretty interesting one. Essentially it was created to be a place where vegetarians could live together and do vegetarian things. The idea was to create a self-sufficient community where everyone looked out for one another. The name ‘Octagon City’ came from the architecture of the place, which mainly consisted of octagonal buildings. This was due to an architect who inspired¬†the project, called Orson Squire Fowler. He believed that an octagonal shape was the best shape for a building to be, so the community adopted this belief during the planning of Octagon City.

However, Octagon City actually didn’t get much further than the planning stages. Like a lot of these ideas, it sounded great in theory, but in practice didn’t function as they hoped it would. By the time people started to turn up with their belongings, Octagon City wasn’t much more than a few buildings – not exactly a ‘city’.

Some people decided to stay (all they had was tents), but they didn’t stay for long. Thunderstorms and mosquitos were an immediate problem, and the residents of Octagon City didn’t have much to protect themselves against either of these threats.

Plus, it would take them time to become completely self-sufficient, something that the residents clearly didn’t think about, as they turned up without any food. This was a problem, as the nearest place where they could get food was around 50 miles away.

I’ve not mentioned it yet, but this was during the late 1800s too, so not exactly the easiest time to be trying to live in a tent. You didn’t have any of the gadgets and gizmos that we take for granted these days.

So what happened in the end? Well, Octagon City eventually became a ‘ghost town’, which is far less cool than it sounds. Everyone left, and the city eventually became part of a railroad.

You can still visit the site, but there isn’t much too see there nowadays!

RIP Octagon City, maybe one day we’ll create our own vegetarian community….