WOODY CREEK, Colo. — Hunter S. Thompson’s widow is planning on opening a museum dedicated to the gonzo journalist on the Aspen-area farm he lived on for more than 35 years, The Cannabist has learned.
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Owl Farm was the notorious home to Thompson, the father of gonzo journalism who lived on the Woody Creek, Colo., compound from 1969 until his death in 2005. The farm is normally closed to the public, as it is still his widow Anita Thompson’s private residence.
But fans of Thompson’s legendary writing — including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “The Rum Diary” — will get to experience it for themselves when part of the famed property opens as a museum dedicated to Thompson’s bestselling writing and singular way of life.
“I’m working to make it a museum,” Anita Thompson told The Cannabist during a barbecue at Owl Farm on Saturday, part of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ annual meeting in Aspen.
“That’s why these rooms have remained the way Hunter left them,” she said, gesturing from her perch in the kitchen toward their famously storied living room, which hasn’t changed much in the 10 years since her husband took his own life. “At first it brought me comfort, and then over the last few years, I’ve kept it this way simply because it is history.
“I want others to experience it.”
And others want to experience it. Walking Owl Farm’s grounds on Saturday felt like a pilgrimage of sorts. It was chef Randy Placeres’ first visit to the grounds, and he called it “mind-blowing.”
“It’s like a museum,” said Placeres, chef at Aspen Culinary Solutions. “A piece of art. A piece of America — the best kind of America, where cannabis can someday become legal in all 50 states.”
Aside from preserving the historic home they shared, Anita Thompson also runs The Gonzo Foundation, where she hosts writing workshops and fundraising events at the Woody Creek Community Center — just next door to what was Hunter’s favorite watering hole, the Woody Creek Tavern.
“Our work’s focus is to promote political activism, American literature and journalism through honoring Hunter’s legacy,” she said. “We also have an endowment to a few universities to support young writers and activists who want to change and take control of their environment.”
Don’t start making travel plans just yet. There’s no timeline set for the museum, and there is still full-time security protecting the property from curious fans.