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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Buy Tickets Now For Fundraiser to Help Restore Fort Thomas National Historic Treasure

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy will host a fundraiser, An Evening With Harlan and Friends, at Headquarters in Newport on Friday, November 8, 6:00 to 9:00 PM. All proceeds will benefit the restoration of Hubbard’s studio now on the National Register of Historic Places.

View seldom seen and never before seen Hubbard paintings from private collections as well the Behringer-Crawford Museum will be displayed.  A few original pieces will be for sale and guests will also be able to bid on a number of unique baskets of Kentucky gifts.

Eat Well and Colonel’s Kitchen will provide hor d’oeuvres. There will be adult beverages and live music as well. Tickets are $40 person and can be purchased at or email or call Sidney Thomas at 513-205-8756.

Jan Jolley, co-chair of the event, says “We work at all of the parks in the city and what we are providing is not just for the residents of Fort Thomas. The upkeep of a National Historic site is a gift from us to the public.”

Harlan Hubbard is a Kentucky treasure. He was born in Bellevue but he formed his ideas about living an isolated life living off the land, inspired by Henry David Thoreau, in his Fort Thomas studio that he built from reclaimed materials.

Hubbard’s favorite subject was his beloved Ohio River and he painted hundreds of river landscapes and the larger boats. After a multi-year journey floating the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers he settled in Payne Hollow, Kentucky where he lived a sophisticated yet rustic life for the next forty years. His book, Shantyboat, was a New York Times bestseller. Oddly enough, as isolated as they were, the Hubbards entertained visitors from around the world.

Hubbard was awarded the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is in the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame. Many Fort Thomas residents recall Hubbard and his wife, Anna, as a sweet but eccentric couple. But as they lived according to their principles, their lives became a work of art and a subject of national curiosity.

The Hubbard studio is now protected by FTFC and is used as their Environmental Experience Center. It is open monthly to the public on the third Saturday of the month April through October from 10:00 - 1:00 as well as for other events. The area is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement that will maintain the original integrity of the property and structures. The roof, door, and window have been restored and new electric run to the site. Now it is time to restore the crumbling brick exterior.

Here are the event details:

Friday, November 8
Headquarters, Monmouth Street
6:00 - 9:30 PM
Purchase tickets at or
email or
call 513-205-8756

Click here to read the National Register of Historic Places application:

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