A Payne Hollow Visit

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least - and it is commonly more than that - sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ~Henry David Thoreau

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Location: Louisville, Kentucky, United States

"An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition... A contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says." "No, it's not..."-Monty Python

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shanty Boat excerpt

Hubbard Bust by paynehollow
Hubbard Bust, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
An excerpt from Harlan Hubbard's Shantyboat, A River Way of Life, published 1977 by University Press of Kentucky.

Before the Hubbards stopped at Payne Hollow to create their little home, they made a long slow trip down the Ohio to the Mississippi and down the Mississippi to the Gulf. Here, Harlan explains their reasoning...
There were other and deeper reasons for my going down to the river. I thought I might be able to engage there in certain harmless and simple activities which town, and even country, interfered with. For where can one find more freedom than on the river? The fields and woods are all owned by someone, and beyond the narrow bounds of the public road the walker is trespassing. I do not say the river is entirely outside the law, although we have been told of certain sections that are, but it affords a chance for a more unhampered life than any other accessible region.

I had no theories to prove. I merely wanted to try living by my own hands, independent as far as possible from a system of division of labor in which the participant loses most of the pleasure of making and growing things for himself. I wanted to bring in my own fuel and smell its sweet smoke as it burned on the hearth I had made. I wanted to grow my own food, catch it in the river, or forage after it. In short, I wanted to do as much as I could for myself, because I had already realized from partial experience the inexpressible joy of doing so.


Payne Hollow Sign by paynehollow
Payne Hollow Sign, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.
Welcome to A Payne Hollow Visit. Here you can read excerpts from Harlan Hubbard's writings and learn a bit more about the beautiful life of Anna and Harlan Hubbard, who lived a simple, elegant lifestyle at a place called Payne Hollow on the banks of the Ohio River, just across from Madison, Indiana.

The Hubbards married late in life (1943, when Harlan and Anna were both in their 40s), and soon thereafter built themselves a shantyboat on which they made an adventurous and long trip down the Ohio to the Mississippi and then on to the Gulf. Once that was trip was complete, they returned to Kentucky and settled down at Payne Hollow and built their simple homestead, where they would live the rest of their lives (Anna died in 1986 and Harlan in 1988).

More information about them can be found at...


To be clear: I have no connections to either Payne Hollow or the Hubbards, I'm just a fan of their work and would like to help others learn more about them. I hope to provide here some excerpts from Harlan's writings and about his life and art. Enjoy and be challenged.