All Roads Lead to Wells

Stories of the Hippie Days

Susan Safyan

In the late 1960s and ’70s a small group of idealistic young women and men, self-described as “volunteer peasants,” moved to the tiny town of Wells in British Columbia’s Central Interior. These hippies, with their waist-length hair and handlebar moustaches, long paisley skirts and gumboots, rusted cars and worn sofas, brought with them a Canadian version of the continent-wide back-to-the-land movement, the sexual revolution and the privilege of personal freedom. All Roads Lead to Wells tells the story of these young settlers, their migration, their values, the unexpected friendships forged between the town’s old-timers and newcomers and the inevitable clash–occasionally violent–of generations and cultures.

Built during the Depression, Wells nearly became a gold-mining ghost town like nearby Barkerville, but thanks to the influence of the “back-to-the-landers” it has evolved into one of BC’s renowned arts-based communities. All Roads Lead to Wells tells their earthy, poignant and revealing stories.