Upstart Local Archive Helps Win $6 Million for North Counties

CAMP officer photographed by Garberville-based Citizens Observation Group volunteer in 1985 Southern Humboldt raid, image part of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project collection at HAPA.

CAMP officer photographed by Garberville-based Citizens Observation Group volunteer circa 1995 Southern Humboldt raid. [Image part of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project collection at HAPA]

Press release from HAPA:

Fifty years of officially shunned archival treasures helped win six million dollars in grants for Humboldt and Mendocino counties.(1)

Humboldt Area Peoples Archive (HAPA) was founded in 2016 by retired HSU archivist Edith Butler, artist Scott Holmquist and Southern Humboldt community leader, Douglas Fir, to rescue the region’s orphaned records and histories.

Some grant money from the State Economic Development Fund have been earmarked, “…To help tell the story of the impacts of cannabis criminalization,” according to one grant writer Dominic Corva, who joined the HAPA board 2017.(2)

HAPA is addressing official neglect of this story.

“The region has changed radically since the 1970s. A new history was made here by people and groups whose records found no home with traditional keepers of local archives. In part this has been because of budget cutting. But we have to admit, there has long been political resistance in traditional institutions to difficult subjects like marijuana growing, and more radical forms of environmental activism,” said Edith Butler.

“HAPA’s restoration of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project’s website provided useful and otherwise unavailable references that have supported our applications to the state,” said Dr. Dominic Corva, who is also co-director of HSU’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research and executive Director of the Cannabis and Social Policy Center.

HAPA is keeping the window open to the records of the regions post-1960 countercultural new settlers, and locals who joined them in building new businesses, organizations and ways of living. It is a collection representing five decades of treasures, available for education, research and grant writing. Salmon River activist Petey Brucker’s dozens of boxes of documents from environmental organizations were among the first records HAPA rescued. HAPA’s subsequent acquisitions have included archives of Petrolia activists and artists, Jane Lapiner and David Simpson; Arcata poet and author Jerry Martien’s boxes on the Humboldt Coastal Coalition; Arcata activist Richard Salzman’s materials on the 2004 District Attorney recall; Southern Humboldt activist Ruthanne Cecil’s private papers on Headwaters; Southern Humboldt’s Pure Schmint Players scripts and music; performer Joanie Rose’s song sheets and records from her Recycled Youth and private papers of Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) co-founder Robert “Woods” Sutherland. The archives include a variety of audio files, citizen reports and other artifacts from Garberville’s Civil Liberties Monitoring Project.

“Records of citizen organizing to stop police abuse during cannabis enforcement are not only important because there’s is a state fund to help communities harmed by prohibition, but also because these records are essential to knowing the individual and community stories of the recent prohibition era that have shaped the entire region,” said Dominic Corva.

In Humboldt, outlaw growers and midwives, naked flower children, co-op food organizers, forest defenders and tree huggers, herbicide protesters and Redwood Summerians have made history. They modeled and nurtured revolutions in everything from grocery store design to health care access, theater and public art to trash recycling. Ultimately they even changed the way we treat our human waste.

To archive, is to preserve history’s primary sources. HAPA can use help finding more of the photos, journals, stories and strategies of the 60s generation – for and against – that are fading, endangered by neglect, fire, floods, time and the furious curiosity of grandchildren.

John and Diana Strand Wedding 1976?

John and Diana Strand wedding in Salmon Creek on the 24 April, 1976. [Lyn Fox collection at HAPA.]

“This pandemic may be a really good time for people who have been involved in making our history to sort their boxes of photos and other records and contact us,” said co-founder Edith Butler. “Once pandemic health restrictions are lifted, Bug Press has agreed to receive documents, photos and other materials at their Arcata office. But please always tell us what you have, first!”

For archive donations contact:
Edith Butler, HSU archivist emeritus

707 443 3289

Humboldt Area Peoples Archive
website: https://humboldtareaarchive.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HumAreaPeopArchive/
PO Box 632
Bayside CA 95524

Pandemic open hours now only by appointment
Bug Press
1461 M St. Arcata, CA 9552

*Note: The wedding photo contains multiple family and neighbors of RHBB publisher, Kym Kemp.

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45 comments

  • Awesome. This history is important. Hippie Chicks Rock!

    • if degenerate and patchouli do it for you, knock yourself out.

      I prefer sober, lucid and bathed.

      • The world stinks, so I’m not taking showers anymore.

        • ⚔ Sir Loin-A-Lot 🔪🐄 🥩🥩🥩🥩🥩🥩🍔🍔🍔🍔🍔🍽🍴

          I suspect you might be my 11-yr-old niece, but even if you’re not, I applaud you.

          (Parents of rebellious 10-yr old daughters, beware… and btw, bro – Enjoy!)

      • My studies on cannabis through UCSF School of Medicine taught me that there are five known genetic variations in the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in our body. The CB1 receptor is where THC docks with the cellular membrane.

        Our body also produces molecules that fit the CB1
        receptors.

        If you are born with one of these variations, cannabis will NOT be an enjoyable or pleasurable experience. Nor will weed help you medically.

        I suspect haters carry the shitty gene variant. Not everyone has the physical tools to enjoy weed.

        Humboldt Hippie Chicks Rock!

  • “some grant money are earmarked…. “to help tell the story of impacts of cannabis criminalization.”
    Hmm, tell the stories in what form?, How much of the “$6 million”? , what happens to the rest of the $$? TBA?

  • Love it!!

    People ask me, how did they set up an entire industry? They were smart folks i say. But beyond that are the questions of how did it come to be that industry standards were to osy 20/hour and 200/lb to trim? Who started trimming?Who figured out to use turkey bags?
    and how great is that story about when the reynolds folks came to redway shop smart to see why they sold the most turkey bags in the nation!
    When i got here i was trained to grow very few plants very well, to volunteer in the community, to give a percentage of grow earnings to our local non-profits, help at the schools and be good stewards of land and community.

    • We used small hotel style bathroom garbage can liners back when shop smart was Murrishs, in fact I still call it Murrishs. 🤙🏼

    • Cattle Great 🐂💨🤓

      That’s probably about the time they named a highway after Reynolds. 😂🤣

    • //People ask me, how did they set up an entire industry? //

      We didn’t. The desire for our weed was terrific. The transporters demanded seedless hand trimmed bud for top dollar. That made good sencey. The stems and seeds from then Mexico was garbage.

      Once we got ahold of Indica buds and seeds, we flourished into a genuine cottage industry … not an industry of todays standards.

    • well, Wonderful, it was $10 hr and $100 pound in 1977
      then $15 and $150 next
      then $20/200
      although $25/225 or 250 was not unheard of around 2010…
      so like everything else, price went up…

  • You’ve heard about the murders. You’ve heard about theft. You’ve heard about violence. Now is the time to come together and rewrite history to exclude all that nitpicking nonsense!

    • If you’ve heard about the murders and you haven’t heard about the schools, the credit union, the health center, women’s shelter, the environmental movements, the library, the community center, the fire departments, the road committees, the living wages earned etc….then maybe you are missing something. I’m pretty sure that any history of the cannabis culture will discuss the crime, but I’m pretty sure that you along with a lot of other people are ignoring a vibrant culture that offered more than it took.

      • I also prefer to remember all the positives rather then reminded of the more recent negatives ✌🏼 thanks Kym

      • that was the best thing ever written on this web site.

      • As if those things don’t exist other places without the pot related violence. It’s not that other places don’t have negatives. They just don’t have the social schizophrenia that wants a great deal of money without constant work but doesn’t want anyone else’s imposing rules on what they do to get it. The old Robin Hood fantasy.

  • Billy Casomorphin

    Wait. They got $6 million, or they have gotten 6 million over the years?

    From where? To do what, exactly?

    The story didn’t make sense, to me, but maybe it’s the post-hippie period syndrome…

    All those years at Baggin’s End, I guess…

    Nice going, hippies!

  • Looks like we all picked up on the money part. We have a significant and unique collection of records from defending the Constitutional rights of hippies. How is the grant money going to be spent, who gets credit for photographic and historic records, and if someone makes money from the collection, does the origin of the record get credit and/or royalties?

  • Edie Butler should be adequately compensated for her volunteer work archiving the contributions. Also we need to know that management of the funds is fully transparent. Folks might also like to know that releases for their contributions allow People’s Archive to sell the materials and publish them on the internet

    • Edie Butler’s passion is salvaging the records of our alternative history, and she’s been at it for many years. It’s wonderful the effort to preserve this history getting state support.

  • “A new history was made here by people and groups whose records found no home with traditional keepers of local archives,” says this article.
    Yet only a few years ago, at a presentation by Scott Holmquist (author/artist of the Chronic Freedom series) in the home of a couple of lower Mattole area counterculture icons where he showed off his wonderful growbag scrapbooks and associated handmade books, he denied the Mattole Valley Historical Society the right to purchase one of his few copies of the collection.

    I approached him after his talk and told him I represented this small, poor, but locally respected organization, and said I would love to have a set for our Historical Society archives.
    “But,” asked Scott, “are you a grower? A real grower?
    I answered, “Well, i have a small garden of personal-use plans. My husbands and partners were all pretty involved, but since it turned into such a plastic-dependent greed rush dominated by people who care more about money than counter-cultural values, i’ve been out of the business end of things.”

    “Then it’s a no-go. I only deal with people heavily involved in the business.” And he turned to my neighbor, saying, “Oh, you’re an actual current big grower–you’d like to acquire a copy? We can talk!!!”

    I was flabbergasted and disappointed, to say the least. To have a small, local-identity- and local-history-focussed non-profit entity shunned because one representative of it (me) was not a big enough player in the business was incomprehensible to me.

    I recognize the tremendous value of the work done by Holmquist, certainly Edie Butler, and others named here whom I don’t personally know. Theresa Porter wanted to start a Southern Humboldt Marijuana Museum, and I encouraged her; not sure what became of her plans. I have always done whatever I could reasonably do to acquire local historical materials for an area (now I’m speaking again of our Lower Mattole community) that could plausibly be said to be at the center of off-center cultural renaissance and weed-growing.

    I really didn’t know what to make of the rejection, and still don’t. Go figure. Maybe the guy was just too stoned to make sense, and had taken on some kind of temporary Super-Grower comic book persona. Good luck to the effort.

    • i dunno, maybe he figured you couldn’t afford one, they were like $1500 a copy or more…but yeah, sounds a little odd…not doubting your recollection but wonder what Scott’s memory of that moment is…

      • Commenter, thank you. You made me go back to my documents and emails from 2015 and find more information. Indeed, my memory was selective. While what i said above is basically true, there was also the very important fact that due to privacy concerns, Scott said no copies were going to any local historical institutions. The Bancroft in Berkeley had one, but the Humboldt Room at HSU couldn’t have one, and neither could we, the MVHS… because of promises of confidentiality made to local contributors. Someday, he said, maybe in a decade or two, local historical groups might be able to get ahold of some of these materials. (It must have been when i asked, “Well, then, how about i just get one myself, and when you say it’s okay for them to be public, i will donate it to our Historical Society?” that he told me he wouldn’t sell to me because i wasn’t a serious grower.)

        It’s too late for me to edit my above comment… hopefully people will read this addendum. I think that, given how both the MVHS and i were rebuffed, i was probably a little taken aback by this article’s description of such weed-related history as “Fifty years of officially shunned archival treasures…” I guess this article signals that the shunning–from both contributors and collectors–is now over.

    • RedWouldForrest

      “Maybe the guy was just too stoned to make sense, and had taken on some kind of temporary Super-Grower comic book persona. Good luck to the effort.”

      More likely he sensed that his documents might not be safe with a historical society he had never heard of. Your reaction to this situation seems to corroborate those suspicions – after taking the time to share his experiences with a crowd of “unknowns”, he was most certainly right to be cautious.

      Case in point, if you’re going to judge him for NOT providing his documents after sharing his experiences verbally, how was he to know if you wouldn’t judge him if he shared and then you didn’t like what you read?

      If you are serious about acquiring the private docs from these SoHum icons, you might want to use some psychology when dealing with them – or recruit someone they know & trust to attempt the acquisition. Trust has always been the major issue/hurdle with the old-school guerrilla growers and CAMP targets – and understandably so.

      And please, Laura – don’t take this as a personal attack, or even as criticism. Personally, I always appreciate your comments here, you are among the good ones. 🙂 Just trying to help you see the other side of the equation.

      • No offense taken… the whole complaint probably seems a bit flaky, taken as a whole. At the time, i was upset enough about it that i wrote a long email to a friend about the bizarre “money=hipness” factor that seemed to be at play here… something i had come here to get away from. (The email filled me in on my own story!)
        But my memory is getting unreliable lately; i probably shouldn’t even share history unless going from the written word. Of which, luckily, there are plenty.
        I don’t think it was a matter of trust in whether or not i liked what i’d read. I had always been a fan of the back-to-the-land movement, and to the degree that weed supported it–socially, psychologically, etc., as well as materially–a big fan of that, and of my own toking pleasures. Herb, cannabis, weed, whatever you want to call it. It was Jane, whose home was where the presentation was held, and who would not have had any narc-types around for this event–in fact, she was my midwife and we trust each other–who suggested i ask Scott about getting books for the Historical Society. And anyway, whether i “judge” that i like or don’t like material has nothing to do with the fact that preserving it for the benefit of posterity’s understanding and enrichment is the Society’s goal. “Preserving” can mean not only keeping from mold, fire, flood, and theft, but also from spiteful people or law enforcement. Other than in the case of a court order for info on some horrendous crime such as child abuse (which would be unlikely to come our way), if someone asks for something to be kept quiet and hidden for some time, it is. Learned my lesson there!
        Anyway, no need for detailed explanations or apologies now, i suppose. It was half a misunderstanding. You may be suggesting that we should just act more professionally and not let emotions get in the way of serious community-strengthening projects–and i would wholeheartedly agree!
        Thanks for your input and the happy compliment!

        • RedWouldForrest

          😉

          TY Laura, for being one of the good ones… Be well.

          ‘Nuff said.

        • Scott Holmquist

          Hello Laura –

          Thank you for amending your earlier false claim that I refused to sell you a book because you were not a Big Grower.

          As you correctly state here, I refused because for roughly a decade after completing the work, I would not sell or donate the main volume, _chronic freedom_, to any local public entity. That changed in late 2018. After full CA legalization, and after requesting release from my privacy commitments, I agreed to sell one of the remaining five-book series to a former HSU librarian who acquired it for the HSU Library Special Collections, where it’s now available for consultation with content use restrictions.

          By the way, it’s not possible I was stoned. I never get high when I have to meet strangers and talk about my work…

          All the best –

          • Thanks, Scott.
            I’m glad you got released from the privacy commitments. Most everyone is ready to tell the stories now.
            I wonder when people will be allowed back into the HSU library. Looking forward to a trip up there.
            Good policy on staying straight while in social/professional situations. I can’t get stoned and socialize, myself. I have tried, plenty; but after decades figured out i’d rather spend my high time relaxed and not worried about what i say and do.
            Peace!

  • Cattle Great 🐂💨🤓

    Hope this helps you guys you can up load this photo and print it as much as you like if it helps.

      • Good one, Kym Kemp.

        What a fabulous time and place to be a peaceful hippy family. We’ll always be indebted for the times of celebrations. Raising our 3 flower children to become productive members of local enterprises, took 5 decades but, look at them now!

        I grew Christmas delivery cannabis trees for cash income when there wasn’t any other. Tires and kid’s shoes have always been pricey.

        The fond affection between the class K settlers who were in the right, is a lifetimes’ story of life on the land in California before the need to duck and cover.

        It’s pretty much gone but, not forgotten now. Heaps of praise for the project and it’s real value.

        • R.Gass- the current history-in-the-making concerning the Class K settlers, is the SafeHomes Act, coming in 2022, where everything not officially permitted by the Planning& Bldg Dept( John Ford), will be subject to their tyrannical fines!
          It was a beautiful flowering of the ideals of simple, agrarian living, and high(!) thinking, and striving for self sufficiency. Turns out we need that more than ever right now!

          • No kidding, For Sure.

            Today’s slip and slime involving the county building dept, really tried to ride the wave to prosperity. They actually got caught with their pants around their ankles.

            The dreams of the class K settlers were as real and necessary as educated people could devise. We weren’t all dropouts nor welfare riders.

            I can’t find the twinkle in the eye for self-sufficiency we used to love and work for. I don’t believe that self-sufficiency can be bought, it needs to be earned.

  • Thomas Road Oldie But Moldie

    Anyone know if John Strand is still living? Last I heard, decades ago, he had moved to Arcata.

  • Could you please explain the $6 million headline ?
    Where are the funds going ? To be used for what purpose ? What is HAPA’s role in receiving or distributing funds?

    I found this on the first link

    County of Humboldt

    $2,459,581.02

    County of Mendocino

    $2,245,704.40

    More Questions:
    Does HAPA credit the photographers? Do those in the photos give consent for public distribution? Why can HAPA make money off of donations ?

  • I didn’t see ANYONE at the anti-herbicide meeting.

    That tells me the hippies are either gone or went corporate.

  • Prohibition is alive and well

    Post prohibition lol !!! Its prohibition like never before !!!!!! Acting like it’s over,shit I’m crawling through the manzanita hiding shit as I’m writing this comment!!!!!

  • There’s a little bit of Columbus in anybody who’s trying to get ahead…
    Boom and bust, just like hurwitz.

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