A Public Place
For decades the Hobbit Hole has been a place that brings people together. Although it is very remote and surrounded by Wilderness land, the Hobbit Hole is within 20 miles of the small communities of Elfin Cove and Gustavus. People visit this wonderful homestead often, from a weary fisherman looking to use the shower out on the dock, to dozens of folks gathering for potlucks or music jams. A few of my friends have even gotten married out there. Growing up in Gustavus, a town of 400, sometimes you just need to “get away from it all” and head out to the Inian Islands. The Hobbit Hole’s remoteness fosters a special sense of affability and community, while the enchanting setting of the Inian Islands brings your heart to a sweeter place. It seems like everyone who spends time out there falls in love with the Hobbit Hole.
Inian Islands Institute will remain true to this role, letting the Hobbit Hole continue to serve as a special gathering place for people from local communities. Although summer will largely be devoted to courses and research, locals will still be welcome — and that’s not just because it’s a lot of fun to have visitors (though it is) — but because the local people have a tremendous store of skills and knowledge about the region to share with students and researchers alike, providing a unique and important perspective on issues of ecology, sustainability, and human-environment interactions.
It is a fundamental part of our vision that the Hobbit Hole remains a public space that will continue to bring people together, as it always has.