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Program 515

Harlan Hubbard
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Trimble County

For more information:
• Paul Hassfurder, Payne Hollow, 111 Hubbard Lane, Milton, KY 40045
Anna and Harlan Hubbard School of Living, c/o Frankfort Community Public Library, 208 W. Clinton St., Frankfort, IN 46041, (765) 654-8746
• Bill Caddell, interviewed in the program, maintains a Harlan Hubbard Artwork site with photos, biographical information, a bibliography, and links to other sites.
• Hubbard’s Payne Hollow: Life on the Fringe of Society was the June 2002 selection for bookclub@ket.

Producer: Donna Ross
Videographer: Gale Worth
Audio: Mitch Buchanan, Roger Tremaine, Gary Mosley
Editor: Otis Ballard

Living the Simple Life

Harlan and Anna Hubbard

Harlan Hubbard was born in 1900, a time when America’s cities were booming and most Americans were eagerly embracing the wonders of industry and technology. But from the beginning, Hubbard saw industrialism and consumerism as twin evils—dangers both to the earth and to humanity. In 1944, he put his theories of a better way to live to the test by essentially dropping out of the 20th century. With Anna, his wife of less than a year, he built a shantyboat and launched it onto the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky. The couple would spend the next eight years aboard the boat, traveling the lengths of the Ohio and Mississippi.

In 1952, they returned to Kentucky and carved out a homestead for themselves on the river, at Payne Hollow in Trimble County. Eschewing electricity, plumbing, and other modern trappings, they built a life that was simple but abundant. The Hubbards grew or made almost everything they needed, gardening and tending a flock of goats, and often welcomed friends in for homemade entertainment. Anna, a former librarian and schoolteacher, played the piano, and Harlan, a talented artist, produced numerous paintings, drawings, and prints of the landscapes that surrounded them.

Harlan Hubbard is better known, though, as a writer. His books Shantyboat and Shantyboat in the Bayous document their river journeys, while Payne Hollow and Journals, 1929-1944 lay out his philosophy of the well-lived life.

Kentucky Life’s remembrance of the Hubbards (Anna died in 1986, Harlan in 1988) includes interviews with long-time friends like Mia Cunningham, Anna’s biographer, as well as Paul Hassfurder, the current owner of the Payne Hollow homestead.

[This profile, with a new host introduction, is also Kentucky Life Program 814.]

SEASON 5 PROGRAMS: 501502503504505506507508509510
511512513514515516517518519: Road Trip I520521

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