Ha'ena State Park is a lush paradise with green jungles, serene beaches, and a relatively isloated location. It sounds like a dreamy location to set up camp permanently, and from 1969-1977 a group of hippies did just that, forming a pot-friendlty, clothes-optional, tree-house commune they called Taylor Camp. It all started when Howard Taylor (brother of Elizabeth Taylor) bought the land intending to develop it, but the state turned him down for the necessary permits. They still wanted Howie to pay taxes on it though, so in an act of revenge, he turned it over to the "flower power people" to do with it what they would.

What started off as a few hippies living in tents soon grew into a 7-acre community of about 120, with several shacks, a church, and even a communal shower. The centerpiece of the village was an open-air throne-style toilet (complete with septic tank, per the Department of Health). Their church, which they called "The Church of the Brotherhood of the Paradise Children", welcomed everyone and focused on sharing experiences of "God, the sun, and the mystical power of the pyramids", which, now that I think about it, is hardly the weirdest thing some hippies worshipped.

The government still stubbornly refused to issue permits for stuctures, but the residents of the camp circumvented that issue by building their homes in the trees. Locals who lived nearby on Kaua'i at the time were skeptical of the group-- they were frequently naked, let their children run wild (but they did go to school, at least), and made most of their money from growing and selling weed. While that's up for debate, it's obvious that they grew and fished for a lot of their food and got some goods from a co-op store on the commune.

Of course, nothing good can last forever, and by the late 1970's the neighbors had had about enough, and the US government reclaimed the land. They burned down most of the buildings and turned it into a state park, although if you wander through the jungle and keep your eyes peeled, you should be able to see some telltale remnants of the camp-- in fact, a sort of archaeological excavation has already been done on the site. As for the hippies, most of them actually returned to the mainland and now live totally normal, non-hippie lives as attorneys and such. Despite the fact that the camp has burned and the residents have moved on with their lives, they still think fondly of Taylor Camp as the "best time in their lives".

 

Looking for more hippie inspiration? You'll enjoy these other far out blogs!

This eco-retreat lets you sleep on a tricked-out bus in the Hawaiian jungle

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A hippie turned this Cold War missile silo into an underground castle

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Abandoned chocolate factory to start selling marijuana

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Header via Wikipedia/findingutopia.org