Tag Archives: hippies

Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992

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Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992

BROOKE VALLEY, Ont.

Ormond Lee has a question. And he’s serious: “Have you ever done a psychedelic?” The 40-year-old tree planter seems disappointed that his visitor has not experimented with hallucinogenic “psychedelic” drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms. “If you haven’t, you might not know what we’re talking about.”

Lee and his friends are discussing how they’ve managed to hang on to hippie values and lifestyles long after most fellow baby boomers traded their love beads for power suits. Brooke Valley is one of numerous pockets across North America where the 1960s never really went away. This rural area west of Perth became known by locals as “hippie valley” after it was settled by American draft dodgers in the 1960s. Young people from all over Canada came here to drop out of mainstream society and turn on to drugs, communal living and cosmic love. Today, several dozen people subsist in a variety of odd houses, including one with a sod roof. They make their own music, run an alternative school and shake their fists at police helicopters patrolling for marijuana over their organic vegetable gardens.

Yet within the privacy of the community there is whispered debate about whether they have truly escaped consumer culture and expanded their spiritual’ consciousness or whether they are being tainted by the materialism of the 1990s. “This is a very yuppie community .now,” says Dawn King, 45, one of the original Brooke Valley hippies. “Ours is one of the few families without a TV or VCR.”

Morning Glory Farm is a former hippie commune that has learned to adapt to the 1990s with success. Located about 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa near Killaloe, it started 23 years ago with about 15 people in two houses sharing work and meals. Today six adults and nine children live in six houses. Each family owns a share of the 100-acre site. “Everyone is happy with the way it is now,” says resident Christina Anderman. 33. “We consider it a neighborhood except closer. We have our separate lives, but we take care of the land together.” Anderman’s husband Robbie, 44, was one of the founders. He dropped out of University of Toronto’s Rochdale College (which later earned notoriety as a drug centre) to help buy the $4,300 parcel of land. “The original idea was to learn to live on the land as a community, with everyone helping each other,” he recalls. “Basically it was an open door for years.” It eventually evolved into separateon: dwellings because of disagreements about lifestyle (some wanted to build new buildings, while others got stoned and disappeared for days), gardening techniques and food. “People couldn’t agree whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should just eat grains or macrobiotic or raw food,” says Robbie. Similar disagreements and tendencies towards individualism led to the breakup of a commune at McDonald’s Corners, near Brooke Valley, where Or-mond Lee lived for 11 years. He had taken a vow of poverty and shared his material wealth with anywhere from 18 to 60 fellow residents. The commune disbanded in 1985 and many of its residents drifted into Brooke Valley.

“Up to that point we put all our money into one pot and shared it out as we needed it,” said Lee. “Then people started wanting to have their own money. That’s when I stopped enjoying it.” While Iee won’t disclose whether he still uses dings, he says they’re one reason he has maintained his hippie values. “Good clean acid opens up your heart. It shows you compassion. It shows that you’re one with the universe, that you have to take care of everything around you.” Dawn King challenges this rosy picture. “They’re using it to deaden consciousness, not expand it.” Today the word “commune” is a faintly embarrassing anachronism that conjures up an image of group sex. The current hip term is “intentional community.” “The word ‘commune’ makes people think we want a whole bunch of people to keep coming and living here and that’s not really true,” says Christina An-derman. “It also tends to attract guys who are drunk and want to see if we’re working in the garden with no clothes on.” Kenneth Westhues, a sociology professor at University of Waterloo who studied the hippie movement, estimates that tens of thousands of North Americans are still living communally. “But most (hippies) got married, got kids, got a mortgage and now vote left,” says Westhues. The goals of the movement were transformation of western society through social justice, peace, spirituality and a back-to-the-land lifestyle. “We don’t want to spend as much money or spend that much time making it,” explains Olga Zuyderhoff, 39, of Brooke Valley. She and her common-law husband Cam Gray, 41, support themselves and their three children on about $15,000 a year.

“Having these alternate values is really swimming upstream,” says Gray. “Lots of people pay lip service, but even around here people are getting bigger and better cars and swimming pools.” Gray is a self-employed carpenter by day and rock musician by night. Zuyderhoff is homeschooling their children, Orion, 9, Flinder, 7, and Marlen, 3. They have an outhouse, chickens and a 1975 Buick Regal. “We try and define what our values are and maintain them by staying close as a family,” says Gray. The entire family sleeps in two double beds pushed together. Zuyderhoff had her children at home and nursed them until they were two years old. “It’s an experiment,” she says of their child-rearing. “I don’t know what the end result will be. I think my children are learning to become nice human beings.” But Dawn King, who worked as a midwife while raising four children without electricity or running water, is tired of experimenting. “That lifestyle is so physically exhausting and time-consuming that it was self-abusive,” says King, who is on social assistance. “We were trying to go back to the way pioneers did it. I’m much more realistic now.” Although she still raises most of her own food, she has electricity and a washing machine. “I’m not going to wash clothes by hand anymore.” At the Morning Glory commune, Robbie Anderman also recalls the difficulties of the early days. He shakes his head at the memory of middle-class city kids learning how to garden, chop wood and survive winter in the bush. “We made a lot of mistakes.”

Robbie avoided the Vietnam War draft because his parents got a psychiatrist to write a letter saying drug use made him unfit for service. Today Robbie is the volunteer principal of the farm’s alternative elementary school. He makes dulcimers, a wood folk instrument, while Christina works part-time at a health-food store in Killaloe. They have a well and a solar panel, which provides energy for their fridge and stereo. The Andernians support their children Daniel, 13, Daryl, 11, Ethan, 8, and Benjamin, 4 on $12,000 a year. His parents bought them a car. And they are hoping to earn some savings through sales of a child backpack carrier they invented. “Basically it’s fun here,” says Daryl, adding: “I don’t miss having a TV. Some of the stuff they put on it is pretty absurd.” The Andernians stopped smoking marijuana with the birth of their first child. “If a child needs me, I can’t be too spaced out,” says Robbie. The “free love” of the ’60s was part media invention and part sad myth, says Robbie. He and Christina got married barefoot in an apple orchard near his parents’ home in New York. He is Jewish, she is Quaker and the ceremony was American Indian. “Part of free love is avoiding responsibility,” he says. “That’s why in this area there are a lot of women with children and no men around.” While most former hippies have become mature adults, others retain a certain narcissistic, self-indulgent quality, says Westhues. Indeed, Cam Gray shows impatience when attention is directed to someone else during a discussion at Brooke Valley. “You’re losing me,” he snaps. “I’m getting uninterested. This is just trivialities.” Westhues says the hippie movement’s legacy is greater sexual freedom, feminism and environmentalism. But he says it fell short of genuine political change because people don’t get involved. Gray sees it differently: “Our lifestyle is a political statement.”

The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada29 Sep 1992, Tue  •  Page 21

The beginnings of a wonderful school-

Brooke Valley School
click here

Brooke Valley School –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Documenting The Brooke Valley Hippies – 1981

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Documenting The Brooke Valley Hippies – 1981

1981

The locals call it Hippie Valley. But on the map it’s known as Brooke Valley, a sprawling spread west of Perth that looks more like the Ponderosa than a hippie haven. It’s a place where the folk are so self-sufficient, some have decided to take the education of their children into their own hands. Jim and Ruth Dcacovc, both former public school teachers, did it for 12 years. Recess for the Deacove girls used to be a game of basketball or a cross-country ski in the back field with Dad. Science class was helping out in the garden. “We’re self-admitted renegades,” says Jim, who with his wife Ruth now make cooperative games. “We did our 12-year duty and fulfilled our social work contract with society.”

This year Tanya, 13, and Christa, 12, went back to the public school in preparation for high school. The girls are products of young professional parents who have joined a number of Canadians who believe public schooling is not all it’s chalked up to be. The Canadian Alliance of HomeschoolerS now numbers about 300 families across Canada. It was founded two-and-a-half years ago as a support system for parents who wished to take their children out of public school, by Wendy and Rolf Priesnitz who live in a rural area near Hamilton. “There are a lot of people very unhappy with the school system,” said Priesnitz.

In the Perth area there are just two children now in home instruction and just a handful of “homeschooled” children in urban areas. Right now, there are none in Ottawa-Carleton. The concept of home instruction seems to attract the young professionals who have moved to rural areas to seek a different lifestyle. The Kerrs, who live abcut 80 kilometres east of Ottawa, just outside the little village of Dalkeith, Ont., still practise “homes-chooling.” The Kerr kids learn about fractions by baking whole-wheat bread or bran muffins. “I guess we were considered mavericks at first.” says Pat Kerr. The Deacoves and the Kerrs say they enjoyed their years in the school system. All four are university graduates, but they, began to realize with their own children that public schooling was not the answer. As well, the two couples wanted to be closer to their children, watch them grow up and have more of a hand their development than is possible in most families. While home instruction is not encouraged by boards of education, parents do have the legal right to educate their children.

“I wouldn’t contemplate it (home instruction) knowing the benefits of the school system to children,” says Bob Cressman, director of education for the Lanark County Board, whose board takes in the Brooke Valley area. Parents are not required to have a teaching certificate in order to teach their children at home. As long as the program and studies set out by the parents is satisfactory to education officials, parents are allowed to excuse their children from school for one year.The inspection process is usually repeated on an annual basis. Cressman considers the idea a “fad” that started in the early 1970s with the increase of communal living.

“I’m not even sure from my point of view if it’s a good idea having everything come from the wife and husband … I don’t see it as a broad enough education. “Home instruction depends a lot on parents,” he says. “If they are former teachers, the instruction given them could be excellent, but how they would develop on a social and emotional level in a restricted environment is perhaps questionable.” Ken Johnson, provincial school attendance counsellor, is in charge of investigating all complaints by school boards if children are not attending school. He and his staff are asked to investigate about two cases of home instruction every year.

“A child is excused from attending school if he or she is receiving a satisfactory education at home or elsewhere.” Parents who teach their children at home can be charged by their boards of education if the program is not found suitable by board officials with neglecting a child’s education and if found guilty, can be fined a maximum $100. Few charges in year Johnson figures there are about two or three cases a year in the six Ontario educational regions. “We have to protect the child’s right to education,” said Johnson. “Most parents 99.9 per cent of them are well-meaning, but some are over-indulgent or over-protective of their child. “Of course it causes concern with boards because of declining enrolment, but there is no panic,” said Johnson. “It’s not popular.” Parents who teach their children at home agree it’s not for everyone. The Deacoves say parents must be dedicated and be willing to devote a lot of time to their children. Their days must be structured and disciplined, but the benefits to learning at home are immense a one-to-one teacher-student relationship and incorporating education into everyday tasks.

The family began their routine at 9 a.m. and finished at 3:30 p.m. The day consisted of reading, writing and math. Subjects such as home economics were picked up by the girls when they mended clothes, science class became working in the garden and learning about crop rotations and pollination of flowers. “After teaching in public school systems we experienced a lot of discontent about the role we had to play,” said Jim. “An immense amount of time is spent on things other than learning and developing as a person.” They wanted an alternative for their children a system in which the kids wouldn’t be under constant competitive pressure. “There are an awful lot of tests and exams going on perpetually … in our view they tend to shift the emphasis on learning to extraneous factors such as rewards, status and privileges,” said Jim. “But with our homeschooling approach they took our progress checks and if they didn’t understand a concept we tried a different perspective. “Academically I don’t think they suffered,” said Ruth, who did question the lack of social contact the girls might have missed. But they always had friends and at one time were part of a small school started in the valley by her parents.

Time to join others last September, the Deacoves felt it was time for their girls to go to regular school. Tanya would soon be entering high school and taking subjects the Deacoves felt they couldn’t handle. “She (Tanya) needed a thorough year of immunization before the big pressure situation.” They say they’re enjoying it and finding it easy. “Teachers don’t expect very much,” said 12-year-old Christa. “They ask you to do an assignment and expect it in two weeks . . I figured we had to hand it in the next day.” Both girls said they had trouble adapting to some things. Tanya is worried about exams and Christa said grammar was foreign to her when she first started back at school. “I didn’t even know what a noun or a verb was, but I passed my exam with 90 per cent.”

The Kerr’s have five children. Their eldest, Carolyn, is back at school after two years at home. Sunny, 7, will stay out of school until he feels ready to attend. The Kerrs said they set up a schedule for their children a rigid school-like system that lasted only two weeks. It didn’t seem to work. “I felt she, (Carolyn) was demanding too much … she expected me to be her teacher.” Their oldest child, Carolyn, had a difficult time at school. She just hated going. “We also wanted to keep in touch with them and see them learning and growing,” said Pat. “We wanted to be with them while they were doing it.” A lot of what she did was practical working in the kitchen and outside. The Kerr’s pick up books for their children at book sales and taught them to read from them. While Carolyn has a well-rounded vocabulary, she was behind in math. Remedial classes fixed that. The Kerr kids will attend school when, they decide they are ready.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 May 1981, Thu  •  Page 45

The beginnings of a wonderful school-

Brooke Valley School
click here


Brooke Valley School –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Documenting Brooke Valley Hippies 1992

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

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The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Sep 1981, Wed  •  Page 49

KILLALOE Along the rural concessions of Hagarty Township, you can still hear them called “hippies.” Even after more than 10 years, the newcomers who came here in the late 1960s to escape the cities and the Vietnam War and start new lives still find a gap between themselves and the lifelong residents. The community includes some 200 families who began taking over abandoned farms in this rugged area 150 kilometres west of Ottawa and gradually developed a working if not always harmonious relationship with the natives.

They’re the survivors the families who stayed on through the hard years. Neighboring farmer Jack MacDonald says there are fewer of “them” around than there once were. “It used to be that you couldn’t look up but there were three or four of them on the road.” And he still wonders why they came in the first place. “They thought they could make a go of the farms. But if good men couldn’t do it, how could they?” Phyllis Kirby-Hershoff, from Cleveland, who lives here with husband Lester, a canoe builder, admits that while there’s a nucleus of city people who came here several years ago, and new ones continue to move in, many return to sublime urban living.

“After a while, this no-hydro business gets you down.” That’s part of what Renfrew North MLA Sean Conway, who owns land in the area, calls the “intangible gap” that still exists between the new and old residents. “After all,” he says, “they’re coming at the world from pretty different points of reference.” Retired farmer Gordon Schleen confides, “There are lots of hippies around here,”when asked why his neighbours along the back concessions draw so much police interest around harvest time every year.

Farmer MacDonald claims the smell of marijuana is so powerful during the Killaloe Craft and Community Fair that “you can get drunk on it,” and adds: “I just wish they wouldn’t grow that marijuana. It’s illegal.” While Conway, 30, says the disfranchised city slickers are among his most astute constituents, he wonders about the lifestyle. “Some of what goes on along those back concessions is a little beyond the pale . . . benign neglect.

“Collections of cars which long ago gave up the ghost are a trademark of their homes. Large gardens and livestock feed the families, members of which live largely by their wits. Home decor is self-expressive among the “hippies.” One unpainted frame house has a large exterior mural covering one wall. In contrast, farms of native residents have manicured lawns wrapped around tidy houses. Morning Glory Farm is a collage of battered trucks and weather-worn buildings in these hills. At the end of a rutted track off, a township road, the faded farmhouse looks like it might belong to Ma and Pa Kettle.

Mere mention of the commune-style farm draws a knowing smile from Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Ben Burchat, a lanky Polish-Canadian from nearby Wilno. He admits the police helicopter has dropped down for a close look at activities there. It seems everyone around here knows about Morning Glory Farm. A back-to-the-land stockbroker who now lives in the Killaloe community says its residents are transient, “mystical,” not typical of other hill dwellers who are more.

Related reading

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Every year, a police hunt for grass A policeman’s lot: Sergeant Ben Burchat ‘harvested’ this marijuana spotted by helicopter f KILLALOE The Hagarty Hills “hippies” are churned up about the helicopter buzzing local farms in the annual police hunt for marijuana plots among the jackpines. “If someone was peeking into your backyard, you’d get your back up too,” says woodsman Terry Walsh, 34. “They flew over my place. I just hung a moon at them.” Members of the counter-culture readily admit there’s grass growing in them thar hills. The terrain, climate and cover are ideal, they say. But they claim no large-scale trafficking originates here.

Rather, small amounts of the drug are grown for personal use and distribution among neighbors. “A small amount might be grown with the potatoes and tomatoes,” says Walsh. Some of the hill people many of the natives still call them “hippies” calmly dismiss the regular passes by the police chopper. “It’s a seasonal inconvenience,” says Shelley McCarthy, a former Toronto legal-aid worker who moved to a farmhouse in this rugged area four years ago. But others, like the onetime Toronto stockbroker who came to the hills eight years ago to start a new life of “fresh air, healthy food, and honest work,” feel the sweeps are an invasion of privacy. “The cops are inflating the whole thing to justify the chopper,” says the 36-year-old resident, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of police harassment.

“The value of the marijuana has been grossly overrated.” Some of the more established residents agree. Gilbert Coulas, a lumber planing-mill operator who has lived in the hills for 50 years, can see how a low-flying helicopter detracts from the usual serenity. Residents complain the chopper’s buzz invades their privacy but admit nearly all smoke dope “You couldn’t have a party in your yard without them knowing everything that was going on. So far, says Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Ben Burchat, the chopper has pinpointed nine marijuana plots in Hagarty and surrounding townships, two of which had already been harvested.

Street value of the grass picked and destroyed by police has been estimated at more than $200,000. No charges have been laid. The hill people scoff at the police estimate and claim much of the pot pulled in by police was punch’.css wild weed. The former stockbroker says much of the marijuana growing in the hills is perennial and was used by early settlers to make hemp. He says the police chopper makes his horses and cows skittish, and the machine’s roar scares his two young children. He’s just as angry at the legislation which outlaws marijuana as he is at the police method of enforcing it.

“Almost everybody smokes dope around here it’s part of the lifestyle. We don’t tell the cops not to drink scotch.” If the problem is so acute, residents wonder, why don’t police mount surveillance at the marijuana plots they unearth and nab the culprits? Burchat says such surveillance would be too costly. The former stockbroker suggests the helicopter hunts may be in retribution for criticism the OPP received for enforcement procedures during the Killaloe Craft and Community Fair, an annual celebration staged and attended by members of the counter-culture. Organizers complained of roadblocks, vehicle searches, and over-zealous application of liquor laws. Burchat strongly denies the suggestion of retribution, and other residents point out the helicopter tours have occurred in previous years. In one way, Burchat says, he can sympathize with people who claim the helicopter infringes on their rights.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Sep 1981, Wed  •  Page 49

Just Beat it! The Carnival Riot of 1969–Newspaper Articles

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Anyone Remember The Farm???? The Hippie Years of Lanark County

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Apr 1978, Fri  •  Page 3

MACDONALD’S CORNERS Down a winding road and up a long ..twisting laneway from here is a place called The Farm. The young people who live there describe The Farm as a “spiritually-oriented rural co-operative community.” The locals call them the “hippies.” Both the word “hippies” and the young men and women at The Farm have their origins in the social “movement of the 1960s.

And while much of the merit of the hippies’ probing of society was lost when the movement degenerated into an excuse to misbehave, people like those at The Farm kept in mind the original purpose. Not only did they keep it in mind, they acted upon it. One member of the community, Norman Ayerst, calls The Farm one of the ‘”good spiritual things that came out of the ’60s.”. A look behind the long hair and beards reveals some fairly conservative people with some down-to-earth ‘attitudes. To the 21 adults at The Farm “”(about 25 kilometers from Perth), plain, old-fashioned work is the key “to personal satisfaction.

They are deeply committed to their lifestyles, having taken a vow of poverty (they call themselves “voluntary peasants”). They work to supply themselves with the necessities, but no effort is wasted on acquiring luxuries. Extra time and energy are put into helping neighbours, community projects, or into a charitable organization. At The Farm, the family unit is strongly believed in and supported. Parents are directly responsible for their children, but other adults are like aunts and uncles to the little ones. Divorce is unacceptable: “Once you’re married, you’re committed to each other for life,” explains Norman. “We don’t believe in abortion, and courtship is kind of formal,” he said. “We do have a moral structure considered conservative by some.”

All the members of The Farm are vegetarians and none of them smokes or drinks. At The Farm, says Norman, “We act like a family. All things are held in common (all income is pooled in one bank account). “We’re trying to pay attention to the real things,” he said. “And we’re trying to create an alternative for people who don’t have anything else.” The group wants The Farm to be a sanctuary which can “take on certain people who don’t have a place to go. “We had one guy probated to us instead of going to jail,” he said, explaining that members of The Farm went to court with the offender who was subsequently released to their care.

Because they live so near to each other and their lives are so closely allied, members of The Farm have to be serious about their decision to become part of the community. “A lot of people come through The Farm to check it out,” says Sarah Ayerst. “We like them to visit and stay for awhile to soak it in so they can see if they like it before committing themselves to it.” The soak-in period can last a couple of weeks or a month. If the newcomer comes from a large, loving family, notes Norman, he’s not likely to have any trouble. But if he’s an only child and spoiled rotten, “he might bump up against a few things.” When a person decides to become part of The Farm, he must give up his large possessions. He puts whatever he has into the common pot. If he has debts, they are paid from the pot. Obviously, communication within such a unit has to be good,, or it could fall apart. “We believe heavily in telling the truth,” says Norman. “We keep a running, truthful commentary on what’s going on.”

Obviously, communication within such a unit has to be good,, or it could fall apart. “We believe heavily in telling the truth,” says Norman. “We keep a running, truthful commentary on what’s going on.” Another way to help keep things running smoothly is “to try not to overreact,” he says. “You try to stay compassionate and nurture the best aspects of each person.” A major involvement of The Farm is a charitable organization it founded called the Plenty Relief Society of Canada. “Plenty is the way The Farm gets out and realizes its obligation to the rest of the world,” explains one member of the community.

The Farm supports itself with its construction firm,: the Rapids Construction Company. Donations which Plenty receives are totally separate from The Farm. Only the people are the same. (Plenty is registered with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.) It is also a registered charity with the federal revenue department. Sarah explains that “Plenty is an extension of The Farm. It’s the way we extend ourselves and do whatever we can do to help in the rest of the world.” At present, Plenty has people in Guatemala and Bangladesh. Members of Plenty went to Guatemala about a year ago to offer relief to victims of the 1976 earthquake.

The scope of their aid broadened, and they are still there, working with native Indians. “We can go into a country as visitors, and see what we can do and what people need,” says Sarah. “Our hands aren’t tied by different loyalties, and we’re not a political organzation, so we have more direct contact with the people.” As for the amount of time they spend helping with relief work “It’s indefinite; it just keeps growing. “In Guatemala, we don’t try to push technology on the native people. We show them how ours works and how to build one,” she says. “They can step into our culture as much as they want. “We’re very receptive to what the elders see for their people. If we disrupt their way, we could destroy their whole culture.” Plenty volunteers abroad receive food, clothing, medical needs and shelter from the organization. They are not paid. “The money goes for relief supplies.” Last year, Plenty received $32,600 for Guatemala relief. Five per cent of the money went to administration costs, the rest to relief.





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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1979, Sat  •  Page 45
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1979, Sat  •  Page 45
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1979, Sat  •  Page 45
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1979, Sat  •  Page 45

It’s a cult, by any dictionary’s description, but it’s no Jonestown. The hippies, back-to-the-landers, comtminalisls, or whatever you want to rail them, live quietly on a 560-acre stretch of rugged land near Lanark called The Farm and follow the doctrine of a nurtured cultural guru named Stephen Gaskin. There are no strange religious riles here; no wide-eyed radicalism; nothing more bizarre than a quiet hour of group meditation and taped Gaskin recordings on Sundays The Farm’s people call themselves “folks.”

The neighbours call them “the hippies” but any wariness has worn off since The Farm took root three years ago. The folks help with one farmer’s haying. In return, he ploughs The Farm’s Garden. The folks and a local youth group put together a benefit for a family whose home burned. And so forth. “1 think they’re way off base with some of their religious views,” says local United Church minister. Rev. Gordon Smyth, “but as for being good neighbours, I can’t fault them there.”

The Farm’s members fit anyone’s idea of what hippies should be like. The hair is long, the men don’t shave, the women wear braids and long, farmer’s wife dresses. Clinging to the dresses, scampering through fields, there are children (11 of them) everywhere. Folks don’t smoke, drink, eat meat, or use pharmaceutical forms of birth control a sort of potpourri of religious conservatism and naturalism. A few members attended Gaskins Monday Night Class, a weekly gathering, in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the late 1960s where The Farm concept was spawned.

In 1971, Gaskin wound up in Tennessee where he and 1,200 other folks now occupy 1,750 acres, the parent firm of 14 other Farms. The Lanark group is the only Canadian branch. The Canadian folks are a mixed bag of former members of other communal groups, carpenters, an agriculturalist, and a Dalhousie Township councillor. “The word ‘cult’ is misused,” says Farm member Norman Ayerst. “l prefer to think of us as a tribe.”

Folks wince at any comparison of their operation to the Jonestown experience. “One of the biggest differences is that we are here completely of our free will,” says Ayerst. “You really have to want to be here.” “Jim Jones (the Jonestown leader) came out of a fire-and-brimstone sort of thing. We’re not there at all. “We identify pretty strongly with the quote ‘religion’ of the native people.” Though Gaskin is like Jim Jones in that he has a large, devoted following. The Farm’s ties to its spiritual chief, though well-defined philosophically, are more relaxed, Ayerst says. “We pretty much go our own way here.”

The Farm’s quarters are less than luxurious. The folks live in a crowded, cluttered, 130-year-old log house at the end of a winding, bumpy laneway. Two small camper trailers take care of the overflow. A two-storey solar house is going up nearby. Members take a vow of poverty. New folks turn over their possessions to the group but any debts they have are paid off out of the communal holdings. “More people show up with debts than with wealth,” says Ayerst.

Farm bills are met by annual tree-planting jobs in various parts of Ontario for the provincial forestry department. That, The Farm’s small general contracting firm. Rapids, and sales of soybean products to health food stores net-led $32,000 after business expenses last year, enough for 30 people to live on and little more. The folks grow little of their own food. The Farm’s relief work goes far beyond Lanark County. The folks’ Plenty Canada program, as an offshoot of the Tennessee-based Plenty International, sent volunteers to Guatemala after the 1976 earthquake there. One Lanark branch member is still in Guatemala. The Farm here raised about $10,000 for earthquake relief and like causes at jamborees, picnics and other benefits last year. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) contributed another $22,000.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 Sep 1979, Sat  •  Page 45

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Just Beat it! The Carnival Riot of 1969–Newspaper Articles

Hippies Wars in Carleton Place

The Hagarty Township Hippies 1981 – The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Do You Remember Yoshiba’s Retreat? Clayton

Looking for Stories About the Hare Krishna in Carleton Place

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Taylor Family Business- where the Blossom Shop now stands- Photo —Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum ( look at the side steps to the town hall that are not there anymore)

Jayne Munro Ouimet, president of the Lanark County Genealogical Society told me about the Hare Krishna coming to Carleton Place.

“One of the locals who lives in our complex recalls the Hare Krishna events. They stood and chanted in front of where the Blossom Flower shop was on Bridge Street in Carleton Place. She thinks it would have been 1973 or 1974 so, as it was just before I moved to Toronto”.

So I have written about The Children of God and all the hippies in Carleton Place. Who can tell me any stories about the Hare Krishna coming to Carleton Place. PM me here or leave notes in the comment section or email me at sav_77@yahoo.com

Thank you..

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

 

 

Just in case you forgot….

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

 

 

Just Beat It! Carnival Riot in Carleton Place

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Sometimes you don’t find local epic stories in the newspaper archives. It begins as hearsay, and the more you dig around, the more infuriated you get– until you finally get the story. When I did the stories about the hippies in Carleton Place I kept hearing about a huge fight at Riverside Park in Carleton Place. But, the story only came in drips and drabs, and there was no mention anywhere. Until last week…

At the Town Hall tea celebrating the Queen’s longevity I heard the rumour once again from the St. James table, and Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum suggested I ask Duncan Rogers. In the space of 10 minutes of asking I had a copy of a newspaper report in my hands from 1969. Wow Mr. Rogers- wow–is all I can say.

The riot at Riverside Park had nothing to do with the local hippies. It was created by a long running feud between angry local teenagers and a visiting King’s Carnival troupe. Tempers had flared after a town youth had been badly beaten while walking his girlfriend through the park.

Shortly after 1 am on a Sunday night about 150 local Carleton Place youths gathered close to the Carnival at Riverside Park brandishing tire irons and wrenches. The teenagers began to throw rocks and bottles at the carnival workers in their booths The five-man local police force had no choice but to move in quickly. Sergeant Ray McIsaac also summoned the local fire brigade. When things looked like they were getting out of hand he obtained help from 15 men from the Perth division of the OPP to help control the situation.

Mayor James Arnold Julian arrived at 2 am and tried to persuade the teenagers to leave the area. When no one paid attention to his request he threatened to read the *Riot Act. Now my father used to threaten me with the riot act when I misbehaved, but I had no idea that such an act really existed. Whether or not the act was still in place, Julian meant business. Finally, his threats and jets of water from the fire hoses broke the crowd up around 3 a.m. The Carnival decided it was best if they left town, and aided by police protection they quickly left at 6 a.m.

Chief Herb Cornell of Carleton Place said the teenagers had no idea what danger they could have faced. After a week of trouble brewing and tempers flaring, the Carnival people had been ready for them. Some of them carried firearms to protect themselves and would have used them if necessary. The mayor said just one of the carneys could have taken out any 10 local youths and “had them for breakfast”.

“It would have been a slaughter if they had met,” Mayor Julian added.

Only one local youth was arrested with disturbing the peace and three carneys were detained at the county jail and were charged with assault and occasioning bodily harm. So yes Virgina, a riot really happened in Carleton Place

*The Riot Act, which was more formally called ‘An act for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters’ actually contained this warning:

“Our sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King.”

The punishments for ignoring the Act were severe – penal servitude for not less than three years, or imprisonment with hard labour for up to two years.

 


CLIPPED FROM
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Jul 1888, Sat  •  Page 5

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Go Back to Your Holes!

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In 1970 my Father was furious that I was hanging out with hippies and always carrying a tambourine. During one of our arguments (at a neighbourhood party no less) I told him that all people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. When I turned 30, my father handed me a birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche Arthur Knight-touche!

The town of Carleton Place either had a band of hippies ride through town and park themselves at Riverside Park, or their youth were changing and the townsfolk wanted nothing to do with it.

Tonight- three edited letters from 1970 The Carleton Place Canadian from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for your enjoyment. Then a story dedicated to my hippie youth.

Edited for length-1970

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Dear Editor,

I visited your town recently and noted with interest the battle being waged between the establishment and a certain group of people your town is referring to as hippies. As an ex-resident of Carleton Place I have an vested interest and know first hand the problems that can arise.

The hippies are right in one context. They are not hippies–the original hippy had a purpose–to show the world how ugly and materialistic it has become. You shouldn’t worry about drugs, as who on earth would destroy their brains and mutilate their future by take drugs? There is one importance though. The hippies have given a haven of interest and activity to the young people in Carleton Place.

Well the summer was good enough for them and now they are probably afraid of being cold or wet. Don’t want to work for your shelter? And, how about that local drop in centre for kids? You have all sorts of centres around Carleton Place like: homes, libraries, schools etc. They are all natural and already there. What reason for a special centre do you need—unless you want to smoke pot or dabble with the interests your libido might provide. New fresh virginal bodies do provide interest don’t they? Carleton Place has a bevy of very attractive young people from what I have noted. The argument that there is nothing to do in that town is ridiculous! Take your youngsters in hand and teach them the world of physical form in a gym.

You can provide a million toys and a dozen centres to a child, but without the interest being there you are still left with a dull child with a vacant mind. To you hippies or cops outs- you don’t want our society- you don’t want our values— and thanks to our democratic society you have a right to get out of it. But be that as it may- possibly our laws some day will correct your institution.

In the meantime stay away from our children and stay away from the rest of us. We don’t have time for your ignorant whining, your complaining, and your unintelligent and unqualified views.

If you haven’t the man-hood, or guts to live life, then disappear into your holes and leave the thinking hard working people-us-of getting the job done. You are of no use to anyone or anything- just a mutant vegetation.

G. Gaber Toronto

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place Letters — Those Dirty Hippies!

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In 1970 my Father was furious that I was hanging out with hippies and always carrying a tambourine. During one of our arguments (at a neighbourhood party no less) I told him that all people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. When I turned 30, my father handed me a birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche Arthur Knight-touche!

The town of Carleton Place either had a band of hippies ride through town and park themselves at Riverside Park, or their youth were changing and the townsfolk wanted nothing to do with it.

Tonight- three edited letters from 1970 The Carleton Place Canadian from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for your enjoyment. Then a story dedicated to my hippie youth.

Edited for length-1970

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Mr. Editor,

This is in reply to Mr. Pat Burke’s letter in your paper, October 7th 1970, and also to a letter of some time ago.

I am not an educated man as I would like to be, to use the words that some people understand, but only to write the words that each and every one can understand.

This letter does not mean war, but only to make a reply not only to Mr. Burke, but to others as well

I am not against nor am I in favour of the teenage youth or the hippy which some wish to be called. I for one object to the dress of the hippie or whatever they call themselves. Whom do you represent with your hair? Yes, years ago we men had long hair, but these were doctors and lawyers. What are you?

You speak of war and I am now wondering if going to war was worth it to make it a free country and freedom of speech. If we hadn’t, you and the others wouldn’t have much so much to say.

What about those dirty hippies you speak about in the town park at night? Did you or most of the others stay in a tent or a trailer in our park? Why do you suppose the authorities closed the park at 11 pm? The dirty language and destroying the toilet facilities there– not only for us but for the tourists. As a taxpayer I heartily agree in it being closed.

Now the music some of you speak about. Some of it I like very much. Did you ever try and purchase it on sheet music? Did you ever try turning it down and asking your parents how they liked it? Teenagers wish to express themselves? Maybe I am wrong but who pays the taxes? You can have your say only when you are paying them. Otherwise you should be seen and not heard. Have your asked your parents why the taxes are as high as they are? That’s because you keep asking for this and that in school etc.

The youth have been destroying all they can. A dance held at the Canadian Royal Legion left the place in shambles. The Lions Club had the same issue, and there was a lot of damage caused at the Town Hall. Now you are asking the taxpayer for your own hall. Who will pay for all the bills?

The people and organizations of Carleton Place cannot afford any of it anymore. Are you down at the arena you asked for and helping out? Last year the youth showed how much they appreciated the arena and threw empty liquor and beer bottles against the side wall. One youth fell down down and cut himself.

I don’t want any more war, but do you believe in letting some other youth or hippies into your town and country to stir up trouble? This is exactly what is taking place, and you are getting blamed. If you think I am shooting my mouth off, just ask your parents if this is not true.

Thank you for listening,

E. “Bunny” Townend

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Photos from the Carleton Place Canadian file from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

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Photo of Earl Hurdis- Mr. and Mrs Bunny Townend and Donnie Croffort

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Woodstock in Carleton Place– Let the Tambourines Play and — And About That Junk Pile!

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In 1970 my Father was furious that I was hanging out with hippies and always carrying a tambourine. During one of our arguments (at a neighbourhood party no less) I told him that all people over the age of 30 should be sent to farms. When I turned 30, my father handed me a birthday card and asked me when I was leaving for the farm. Touche Arthur Knight-touche!

The town of Carleton Place either had a band of hippies ride through town and park themselves at Riverside Park, or their youth were changing, and the townsfolk wanted nothing to do with it.

Tonight- THREE edited letters from 1970 The Carleton Place Canadian from the files of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum for your enjoyment. Then a story dedicated to my hippie youth.

Edited for length-1970

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Dear Editor,
Now that the hippies are being refused water in local restaurants, perhaps we might offer water, freely, from that well that never runs dry. Perhaps a sing song along with various instruments accompanied by tambourines and drums could be arranged with your local young corp officer, IF the local teenagers are open minded enough to try a new adventure. Teenagers as a rule are very broad minded where as the powers that be are much more likely to be narrow minded and Pharisaic in their thinking. So Carleton Place, may your minds not be like that of your Main Street-narrow!

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Speaking of the hippies on the Main Street; the church of my choice is situated to the left of the Biggest Pile of Junk I think in Carleton Place. It baffles me that the Town Council who has the authority to pass by laws and enforce them cannot make the owner relinquish his treasures.

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I can only assume that the owner is waiting for the price of scrap metal to go up or wait 100 years, thereby enabling his descendant to sell it all as Antique Junk. Is this not to be considered more blight than the hippies you condemned earlier this summer?

Mrs. M E Mulley

Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Dedicated to my Weekend Protesting Hippie Generation — Nothing Changes Does it?

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All Photos by Linda Seccaspina and dedicated to Kevin Army. In memory of when we covered the OCCUPY protests in 2011 in San Francisco and Oakland.:(

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For some strange reason one morning I had instant memories of my teenage years as a weekend hippie. No one in my family was allowed to become a full time one, according to my father; so the weekend had to do.

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It began one day in 1966 sitting at the Riviera Cafe with my friends after school, and listening to The Buffalo Springfield’s new song, “For What It’s Worth”. Everybody in that café instantly came together and sang the song at full volume until each note was over. It was a huge turning point in my life about standing up for what I believed in.

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I respect everyone’s opinion, as this world would be pretty boring if we all thought the same thing but I have always proudly beaten my own drum. The Byrds were a huge influence on me, and I still remember my father complaining that if he ever saw me wear the same style glasses Roger McGuinn wore that there would be trouble.

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Throughout my life, if people said go left, I always went right – and go right I did the next day – to the store to buy those glasses. Of course I was wearing them as soon as I left the store, and who drove down the street but my father, beeping his horn and shaking his fist at me because I had defied him.

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He got over it though, just like he got over the bell bottoms as I don’t think he really had a choice. He was horrified when he saw a few people wear the flared pants and told our neighbor that his daughters would only wear those things over his dead body. Of course, that weekend I hauled my 10 year old sister with me on the bus to Montreal, where we each got a pair at Eaton’s department store. I figured if she got a pair he would be only half as mad.

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They were made from a heavy backed acrylic fabric and such a gaudy Kelly green that we both looked like Gumby. I have no idea what the backing was but every time I got warm and removed the pants some of the backing became part of my skin.

During the summer, my friends and I took the bus to Montreal and would hand out flowers for peace at the Place Ville Marie plaza every weekend. People would come up to the girl with the flowers in her hair and ask if I was from San Francisco. I would just smile from ear to ear as that was the highest compliment anyone could give me.

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Of course more protests came my way, or I somehow fell into them by accident. In 1969 Sir George Williams University (Concordia University) in Montreal was the home of the largest student riot in Canadian history.

Beginning on January 29, over 400 students occupied the university’s computer lab. The occupation was sparked by the university’s mishandling of racism allegations against a professor at the school. Fed up with the administration, the students left the meeting and occupied the university computer lab on the ninth floor of the Henry F. Hall Building.

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Most of the occupation was quite peaceful without the involvement of the police, while negotiations with the administration were going on. The lab was not damaged, except for the several million computer punch cards that were sent fluttering to the street below, like confetti.

The occupation continued until February 11 th when negotiations broke down and riot police were called in. Then a fire broke out in the computer lab, forcing the occupiers out of the building. Ninety-seven of them were arrested and my father sighed with relief that I was not one of them.

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The computer lab was destroyed, resulting in over $2 million dollars in damage. I was outside the building a good deal of the time with a sign, and when the smoke started pouring out of the windows I started to cheer. Cheer? Oh my!

I told my son this week, that if I was younger I still would be protesting something wherever they needed me. But his mother is old now, and if she gets up in the morning and something doesn’t ache or sound broken, it’s a good day. I can’t remember what happened two hours ago but ask me to sing “For What It’s Worth,” by The Buffalo Springfield from 1966, and I can still remember every word. Nothing really changes does it?

Peace out!

wifinew


All Photos by Linda Seccaspina
A video by my BFF Kevin Army from Oakland Ca.. Im memory of when we covered the OCCUPY protests in 2011 in San Francisco and Oakland.:(

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place