A Brief History of the Tiny House Movement

And once again you find yourself going down the tiny house rabbit hole. You can’t stop thinking about the alternate universe where you drop everything and either build or buy your own miniature abode. Now it’s quite obvious that your thirst for travel and adventure is how your journey through this rabbit hole started, but how did the tiny house movement start?

Beautiful tiny home in the forrest on a lake at dusk.

 The Precursor Years: 1854, 2000, and 2002

Starting out, there were a couple of precursors that led to the original movement. In the year 1854, Henry David Thoreau, wrote Walden. The story is about his experiences living alone for two years in a small log cabin. Now, what does a story that is over 165 years have to do with the movement? Well the book contains themes of self-reliance, simplicity, and minimalism. These directly relate to why people want a tiny house in the first place and what the ideas the movement continues promote today

About 150 years later in 2000 these ideas came back in full force. A man of the name Jay Shafer popularized this way of living by writing an article that put a spotlight on the benefits of simple living and condemning a proposal to ban small homes. This article gained traction pretty fast and Shafer started to receive a lot of calls, emails, and letters about his way of life. 

This ragtag group of people that were mildly interested in the lifestyle grew more and more the next couple of years. In 2002 Shafer and other big names in the tiny house movement created the Small House Society, which supports the movement from a grassroots level. This organization promotes living in small spaces, research, and development. 

 Group of people hanging out in between a cluster of tiny homes on a lovely spring day

What Has Come of This? 

From tiny house YouTube channels to tiny house communities this once small community has grown so big it is now worldwide. 

Some notable tiny house communities can be found in rural parts of the country. A couple notable ones include communities located in Lyons, Colorado and Cloudland, Georgia. WeeCasa is a tiny house community located in Lyons, Colorado. What makes this community unique is that it was formed by builders and private owners of tiny houses that have decided to partner with WeeCasa. Each house has its unique style and personality making this community a memorable experience each time you visit.

Group of unique tiny homes on a warm summers day

River Ridge Escape, another notable tiny house community, shares similar uniqueness with WeeCasa. Although there are some similarities like the personalization of tiny houses, the communities range from being near caves to being next to a lake. A distinct quality of this community is that before buying a plot of land for your tiny house they have the “try before you buy” program. So if you are unsure about your future purchase you can rent a tiny house before you commit yourself to actually buying one. 

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Written by:

Ben Rosamond

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