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Welcome to Quarry Hill's Blog!

Quarry Hill Creative Center in Rochester, VT, founded 1946 by Barbara and Irving Fiske, is Vermont's oldest alternative community and at one time was probably also its largest. In the 60s -80s, as many as 90 people lived here.
It was and is visited each year, often in summer (but in every season, really) by visitors from all over the world.
We welcome interesting and creative people who are peaceful, bring no weapons, don't believe in hitting children or killing animals, and enjoy the beauty of Vermont and of themselves.

Most of us do not adhere to any particular dogma or religion, though many do find Eastern philosophy closest to our own thought (some of us are also members of the Quakers/Society of Friends).
We value the individual, particularly people who are energetic and have a sense of humor.
Visitors are welcome-- and prospective residents, too. There are some places for rent, others for sale. If interested, get in touch!
And, please follow the Blog and comment whenever you like!

"The symbol is the enemy of the reality, and the reality is ever one's true guide, true friend, true companion, and true self." Irving Fiske, 1908-1990

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Trina Robbins' book Babes in Arms, (including Barbara Hall, by Brian Cronin

Brian Cronin, comics writer, reviews Trina Robbins' book Babes in Arms for CBR. Barbara drew war comics for Harvey Comics during World War II, and she was pretty ferocious! One would not know that later in life, she'd become a pacifist and a Quaker.

Check it out!

Barbara Hall, by Brian Cronin ran across this piece by pop culture and comics writer Brian Cronin for a site called CBR. This short piece is, by and large, the most accurate and detailed article about Barb I've seen. 
Of course, Trina Robbins'  books on the women cartoonists of the 1940s are a labor of love and give a very full picture of Barbara at this time. I think Mr. Cronin got a lot of his information from Trina.
But I'm delighted to see Barb becoming ever more well-known. She's outpacing Irv at this point. ( I hope to post some of his writing and some of the text  of one of his talks soon).
Have a look. Only a very few minot details are off.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A New Partnership with the Stop Child Abuse Campaign

I've been fortunate enough to discover the Stop Child Abuse Campaign. We met on Twitter, and found that we share the same values regarding children-- that ANY kind of abuse, from the lightest slap to the worst violence, is unacceptable. I was delighted that they felt that even a slap is abuse.  They said when an adult slaps a child, it is  "abuse in all but law-- if an adult were ... (slapped), it would be assault." 
Quarry Hill has always thought this way, since Barbara and Irving came here in 1946. When Barbara became pregnant-- or, perhaps, when I was a baby-- they agreed that if one of them were to become angry with the child and become aggressive in any way toward her or him, the other would defend the child.  This was parenting many years ahead of its time. Most of the world isn't there yet.
I'm delighted to meet the members of the Stop Child Abuse Campaign. They work to eradicate children's  vulnerability to any kind of abuse-- sexual, physical, or psychological. Here is their website.

They have invited me to write for their blog. I'm delighted that they want me to try!
 Please check them out and support the work they are doing. 
 Jordan Riak, another pioneer of children's rights,  would have been pleased.  He passed away not long ago, but was the tireless director of Project NoSpank, which is still in existence.  He published a wonderful little pamphlet called The Plain Truth about Spanking. Together with our bumper sticker that says" Break the Cycle of Violence-- Don't Hit Your Kids," it was an effective message. We sent it out to parents and schools everywhere during the 1990s through the Free the Kids! program,of which I was the first director.  It was an educational  project of Quarry Hill and Magi-La (through the Green Mountain Educational and Cultural Trust, a 501c3 corporation). 

Jordan Riak  would have  have been delighted, also, to know that the American Pediatric Association has (finally) taken a stand against spanking, saying it creates a lack of self-esteem and undermines the relationship between the child and the parent. 
It also HURTS!

Children should have the same protections against assault--from anyone, including parents-- that adults possess.
If you would like more information about the Stop Child Abuse Campaign, please go to their website above. If you are interested in Project NoSpank, this is their website. There is a wonderful page about the work of Jordan Riak on the site.
If you are interested in Free the Kids or Quarry Hill, please send me an email at I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Please note, we are not a commune, and we have no members. Google Maps has Quarry  Hill down as an "amusement park." We certainly have had some fun here... we are a rental corporation which rents rooms, houses and land, and there is a pleasant communal aspect to the place-- neighbors help one another out. For more information, please email.

-- Ladybelle 

Monday, January 7, 2019

100 Years of Barbara Hall Fiske Calhoun

September 9, 2019 will mark 100 years since Barbara was born!
See our literary Zine on Wordpress, The Moon Seen in Water, for more information....

Saturday, December 1, 2018


Before  Christmas 2016, My daughter, Joya, had an interesting dream. She’s a psychotherapist  working in the field of Internal Family Systems. She lives in Jamaica Plain Massachusetts but visits frequently with her husband, Brem.
My mother had died in 2014. She and Joya were very close, and long had  deep discussions Together.
Joya’s Dream  went like this: it was the last Christmas before  fascism took over the country. (Hillary Clinton had just lost the election and Donald Trump had won).Joya came to visit my mother Barbara in her room, which she rarely left in her later years. It’s a spacious, pleasant  room with paintings on the walls by Barbara  and by many other artists whom  she had taught or whose artwork she liked..
In the dream, Joya came over to give Barb  her present. But Barb gave her one first (As I recall her telling the dream).  It was a ring with a beautiful Crystal  on it through which the one could see beauty and truth. Joya asked Barb  what we should do during the period of fascism.  B said that Joya should consult the ancestors and listen to the ancestors song. And she was singing this song which was about one’s own strength & the strength of all people who value themselves.( I may not have this exactly right, But I will ask Joya about it) . The dream was essentially about the inviolability of the beautiful and creative spirit in  people.  Even Donald Trump and his fascists cannot destroy it.
Joya has these extremely visionary dreams and she also seems to connect to that visionary Spirit Inn my mother, which I sense death cannot destroy. Interestingly when my daughter-in-law chose a date to marry my son, the day she picked was my mother’s  birthday, September 9, 2018 which would’ve been Barb’s 99th birthday.
It is as though she is still around, mingling with My kids own spirit  and way of seeing things. Four instance, in real life my mother would never have said that one should listen to the wisdom of the ancestors. She didn’t have much respect for her family who had been slaveowners in the elder days.
But the spirit of connectivity and creativity reaches across the tide of Existence and non- existence to reunite with my daughter And with the rest of us. In any case Joya has within her some of my mothers our indestructibility. With people like Joya in the world, I feel sure that Donald Trump and the fascists will eventually be destroyed.