The View From Inside A Hippie Commune

The View From Inside A Hippie CommunePhoto: Laura Thorne/Flickr
Camden Avery
Published on May 07, 2014
For a neighborhood as perpetually steeped in its own history as the Upper Haight, it sometimes seems that the neighborhood's high renter turnover and Sixties tourist-trap quality keeps people from actually grasping the Haight's past.

But next Wednesday, May 14 from 7pm-9 pm at the Page Branch Library, you'll have a chance to talk with author Holly Harman about actually living on a hippie commune in the late 1960's.

Harman, who lived on the Holiday Resort commune in Santa Cruz with her parents for three years, compiled her experiences and photographs  and published it last year as a book called Inside A Hippie Commune. Said Harman in an email, "It is an extensive study on the social conditions of the time combined with personal stories by hippie commune members and also told though my experience as a young teenager on the scene."

Harman's coverage of the Holiday commune begins in 1964, with the migration of Beats through and out of San Francisco, and focuses on 1967 and 1968, exactly concurrent with and following the Haight's Summer of Love. (There was a migration of certain early hippie groups out of the city even before the Summer of Love.)

The project includes a book, a CD of musical recordings from the commune, and a documentary with filmed footage of interviews, the commune's house band, and the commune's bus (especially its trip to the Monterey Pop Festival).

Harman said that the purpose of the project was to document the moment of the late 1960's through the life of the commune while she still had a chance to talk to living survivors.