Today’s black and white photos are all from the book, Taylors Camp by John Wehrheim published in 2009.
|Taylor Camp was located on the Napali Coast on the North Shore of Kauai which still has numerous remote beaches.|
Recently, when asking locals about interesting facts about Kauai, a few had mentioned Taylor Camp, a property owned by Howard Taylor, the brother of famed actress Elizabeth Taylor.
In 1969, when Howard became frustrated over his ability to obtain zoning to build a house on his gorgeous strip of oceanfront property at the end of the North Shore, which the county wanted as parkland, he gave up the battle and offered residency on the land to a group of jailed-for-vagrancy-hippies as a camp.
|The Napali Coast, the location of Taylor Camp.|
Over the next several years the group of hippies that camped on the land grew not only as babies were born but from the addition of other refugees finding their way to what they perceived was an idyllic environment for their simple lifestyle of farming for their own use, smoking marijuana, nudity with a goal for a lack of strife.
Eventually, the county won and in 1977 the land was condemned and the huts, tree houses and tents were burned to the ground while the hippies were driven away, many of whom still live on the island today.
|With limited funds, the hippies managed to create an livable environment.|
The following quote is from the acclaimed hardcover book by John Wehrheim published in 2009 available at Amazon at this link:
“In 1969 Howard Taylor, brother of Elizabeth, bailed out a rag-tag band of thirteen young Mainlanders jailed on Kauai for vagrancy and invited them to camp on his oceanfront land. Soon waves of hippies, surfers and troubled Vietnam vets found their way to Taylor Camp and built a clothing-optional, pot-friendly tree house village at the end of the road on the island’s North Shore.
|Some of the structures built by the hippies living in Taylor Camp were on stilts to protect against high tide and storms.|
In 1977, after condemning the village to make way for a ‘State Park’, government officials torched the camp – leaving little but ashes and memories of the ‘best days of our lives’.
Powerfully evocative photographs from the Seventies reveal a community that rejected consumerism for the healing power of Nature, while the story of Taylor Camp’s seven-year existence is documented through interviews made thirty years later with the campers, their neighbours and the Kauai officials who finally evicted them.”
In 2012, author John Wehrheim also released a stunning movie, available here, a documentary of the complete story of Taylor Camp with testimonies from its former occupants with breathtaking photos and stories.
|Many were simple structures such as this.|
Here’s a link to an article by the Kauai newspaper, the Garden Island, extolling the virtues of the documentary.
Over a week ago, while out to dinner with new friends Alice and Travis, they loaned us their copy of the above acclaimed video about the story of Taylor Camp. A few nights ago we watched the interesting documentary in awe of the well done video and unique story which won multiple awards in the industry.
|Clothing was optional in the camp.|
Yesterday afternoon, we decided to venture out to the end of the North Shore to see if we could find the remnants of the camp, which apparently has no remaining buildings or distinct evidence of its former existence.
Having a good idea as to the general idea as to where the camp had been located, upon arrival we realized there was no way to get to it unless we trekked through a dense jungle. Unequipped with proper clothing, insect repellent or a machete, we took a photo of the general area to share here today.
|Unsanitary conditions were instrumental in the camp’s eventual demise when local residents complained to the county.|
A quote from Smithsonian.com describes the location as follows:
The drive to Ha’ena State Park is familiar to us. We’ve made that winding, slow driving trek several times since we arrived in Kauai. Its at the end of this very road, at Ke’e Beach that Julie and I spotted the Hawaiian Monk Seal lounging in the sand about a month ago.
|For those of us of a certain age, we can easily recall this “look” one that even the more traditional types adopted into their lifestyles.|
|With poor sanitation and vast numbers of mosquitoes, living in Taylors Camp wasn’t always carefree and easy.|
|We can only imagine what life was like living in Taylor Camp|
|Beyond the second row of trees is a. dense forest and steep cliffs we weren’t about to tackle|
|It was one year ago today that we took this photo of the view from the salon, a narrow living room area, where there was a very uncomfortable sofa where we sat when we weren’t out and about. When it was cold or rainy, we would close these drapes to protect us to some degree from the elements. This center courtyard in the “riad” was open to the sky. For details of that day’s post, please click here.|