The Ozark Land Holding Association (OLHA), founded in 1981, has a vague, mundane name. That’s entirely on purpose.
The moniker was originally intended to obscure the Arkansas group’s true makeup: a group of lesbians who owned land collectively, working, living and growing food together in a radical act of returning to the land.
They weren’t the only ones. Women’s intentional communities started cropping up around the country in the 1970s, following the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall Riots of the 1960s. Disillusioned with American social structures, many women—mostly lesbians and bisexuals—sought to separate themselves from the patriarchy and mainstream society, rather than fight it. Instead, they wanted to create their own self-sufficient spaces.