Who Were the Hubbards?

(August 2019) – A native of Bellevue, Ky., Harlan Hubbard was a nationally known artist and author who lived with his wife, Anna Eikenhout Hubbard, on primitive means on the banks of the Ohio River in Trimble County, Ky.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Anna met Harlan while working as a librarian in Cincinnati. Both were accomplished musicians and avid readers.

Photo courtesy of John Fettig

Harlan and Anna Hubbard lived in a house they built along the Ohio River in Trimble County, Ky., a few miles downriver from Hanover, Ind. She died in 1986; he died in 1988.

After a five-year adventure traveling down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans on a homemade shantyboat, they returned to a spot they fell in love with in Trimble County and in 1952 built a home there on a 61-acre, secluded property. The only access to the place was a one-mile hike down the hill and through the wood or by boat, four miles downstream from Hanover.
His artwork, many of them featuring riverboats and pastoral landscapes, reflect his views on living simply off the land. They spent 34 years living off the land by tending goats, gardening, canning, fishing, weaving, gathering wood and scavenging for useful items that washed ashore.
The Hubbards received many visitors, local school groups and Hanover College students over the years. The couple graciously gave their visitors a tour of their modest home and Harlan’s art studio, and they often played music or read to them.

Anna died in 1986. Harlan died two years later at age 88. Both are buried below their home in Payne Hollow, which is now owned by Paul Hassfurder, a Madison, Ind., resident who helped the Hubbards during their later years of life. Hassfurder spends much of his time living at Payne Hollow and greeting guests, much in the same fashion as his famous predecessors.

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