In 1969, thirteen Hippies-refugees from campus riots, war protests and police brutality-fled to the remote Hawaiian island of Kauai. Before long this little tribe of men, women and children were arrested and sentenced to ninety days hard labor for having no money and no home. Island resident Howard Taylor, brother of actress Elizabeth, bailed out the group and invited them to camp on his vacant ocean front land-then left them on their own, without any restrictions, regulations or supervision. Soon waves of hippies, surfers and troubled Vietnam vets found their way to this clothing-optional, pot-friendly tree house village at the end of the road on the Island's North Shore. In 1977, the government condemned the village to make way for a State park. Within a few years the jungle reclaimed Taylor Camp, leaving little but ashes and memories of "the best days of our lives." John Wehrheim's 1970s photographs reveal a community that created order without rules and rejected materialism for the healing power of nature. The story of Taylor Camp's eight-year existence is told through interviews made 30 years later after tracking down the campers, their neighbors and the government officials who finally got rid of them.
TAYLOR CAMP is a brilliant job, lovely to look at, a joy to read...a true book, accurate history, with a human face, and the last word on this amazing episode of joyful 60's and 70's spontaneity. --Paul Theroux
About the Author
Sent to Hawaii by the Sierra Club in 1969, John Wehrheim did a series of articles entitled 'Paradise Lost'; and never went back to the Mainland. He began photographing Taylor Camp in 1971; after 2 years living with both refugees and villagers in Asia, John began to seriously document this tree-house community, seeing it as both a traditional village and refugee settlement - a hippie refuges camp next to a crystalline stream in a tropical forest along a beach in Paradise Photographer, writer and filmmaker, John lives on Kauai with his wife and daughter. His most recent film is also called TAYLOR CAMP.
Hardcover: 258 pages
Publisher: Serindia Contemporary, an imprint of Serindia Publications (December 15, 2009)