• ‘Hippie commune’ co-founder dies
    April 30,2014

    ‘Hippie commune’

    co-founder dies

    MONTPELIER — Isabelle “Barbara” Fiske Calhoun, who helped co-found what is now described as Vermont’s “oldest alternative and artist’s retreat,” has died at age 94.

    Calhoun’s daughter, Isabella Fiske McFarlin, says her mother died Monday in White River Junction. She did not give a cause of death.

    McFarlin said in 1946, her mother and father, Irving Fiske, Bohemian intellectuals from New York, used wedding money to buy a 140-acre hill farm in Rochester.

    The community became known as a “hippie commune” that would take in anyone. At its peak, about 100 people lived there. Now, there are about 25.

    Calhoun was also a cartoonist in New York during World War II, drawing “Girl Commandos.”

    She is survived by McFarlin. A son died in 2008.

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