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West Virginia Archives and History Library

Hippie Homesteaders
June 19, 2014

On Thursday, June 19, 2014, Carter Taylor Seaton will present “Hippie Homesteaders: Arts, Crafts, Music and Living on the Land in West Virginia” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In the 1960s, the Vietnam War was raging and protests were erupting across the United States. In many quarters, young people were dropping out of society, leaving their urban homes behind in an attempt to find a safe place to live on their own terms, to grow their own food, and to avoid a war they passionately decried. During this time, West Virginia becomes a haven for thousands of these homesteaders—back-to-the-landers, as they are termed by some, or hippies, as others call them. A significant number remain to this day. Some were artisans when they arrived, while others adopted a craft that provided them with the cash necessary to survive.

Seaton spent two years researching and interviewing people to write Hippie Homesteaders: Arts, Crafts, Music and Living on the Land in West Virginia (2014). She will explain the movement and tell the stories of a few of the forty artisans and musicians who came to the state, lived on the land, and created successful careers with their craft. She also will discuss the serendipitous timing of this influx, the community and economic support these crafters received from residents and state agencies in West Virginia, and why she believes that, without these young transplants, there might be no Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia or Mountain Stage.

In addition to Hippie Homesteaders, Carter Taylor Seaton is the author of two novels, Father’s Troubles (2004) and amo, amas, amat…an unconventional love story (2011), numerous magazine articles, and several essays and short stories. From 1971 to 1985, she directed Appalachian Craftsmen, Inc., a rural craft cooperative. Seaton was nominated for the Ladies Home Journal “Women of the Year 1975” Award and has run three marathons—Atlanta, New York City, and Marine Corps—since turning fifty. A graduate of Marshall University, she is also a ceramic sculptor living in Huntington.

For additional information, call (304) 558-0230.

West Virginia Archives and History Workshops/Lectures

West Virginia Archives and History