Taking a Summer Stroll in the Independent State of Caledon: Exploring One of Second Life’s Oldest Victorian Steampunk Communities

Please note that I am taking the rest of the summer off as a self-imposed vacation from the blog so I can focus on my other work, except for sponsored blogposts, and the occasional exception such as this post. See you in September!

I make no secret of the fact that one of the ways I cope with the isolation and social distancing imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, while working from home for my university library system, is to wander and explore the many different communities in Second Life (my preferred means of escape from the dumpster-fire year of 2020).

A couple of days ago, I had just picked up the latest group gift from Antaya, a lovely black lace Victorian umbrella (the group join fee is L$50), and so I decided to put it to immediate good use by going out for an invigorating stroll through Caledon! It’s truly the perfect accessory to protect the complexion of this aristocratic maiden, lest she acquire a tan which establishes her a member of the—gasp!—working classes. 😉

My Victorian avatar, Fidelity Constantine, at the Caledon Oxbridge University

Founded in 2006, the Independent State of Caledon is one of Second Life’s oldest and longest-running Victorian/neoVictorian/steampunk communities. According to the SL Fandom wiki:

Caledon is a small, windswept forested country at a temperate latitude. Wild creatures, country estate life, sights and sounds that were common well over 100 years ago are the hallmark of the land.

Technology is approximately that of the 19th Century, though some astonishing breakthroughs have provided for incredible wonders. Ground vehicles, airships, and even a device known as a ‘telehub’ are made possible through the power of exotic material properties and the wonders of Steam Technology.

If you are new to Caledon, a highly recommended place to start is the Caledon Oxbridge University (website; SLURL), which has a board listing all the things to see and do in this steampunk community:

I find it enjoyable and relaxing to stroll the many sims which make up the Independent State of Caledon. People’s homes range from tiny rustic shacks to large ornate mansions, and include fantastical tree houses, steampunk airships, and just about anything and everything in between! I always admire the creativity of the owners in designing and decorating their abodes.

Many of these homes proudly display the circular plaques which mark each year of their participation in the Caledon community, up to fourteen years in some cases!

Every so often, I will come across a Caledon resident and stop and have a chat:

Victorian dress is encouraged in Caledon, but if you have no suitable clothing in your wardrobe, simply load up the Abigail or Jasper starter steampunk avatars from SL’s own starter avatar collection:

You can also choose from a wide array of free clothing (all non-mesh, system layer and flexiprim clothing) available at Caledon Oxbridge University, available at this exact SLURL. Mix and match outfits, and you’ll blend in with the locals in no time!

Miss Fidelity Constantine is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Juliet by Altamura (a Valentine’s Day group gift in 2019)

Gown: Day Flower by Junbug (an ultrarare gacha item)

Parasol: Victorian lace umbrella (free group gift from Antaya; the group costs L$50 to join)

Hair: the Pulled Back Bun hair is already in your Second Life inventory! Just open your inventory, and scroll down to the very bottom of your inventory window to find the Library folder. It’s in Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder. It’s free, completely adjustable, tintable, and uncomplicated, and it fits well under hats and hoods, too!

Animation Override: the Ballroom gown AO from the Caledon Oxbridge University, which I picked up when it available was free for avatars aged under 30 days (the black lace parasol comes with its own high-priority hold animation)