A new summerhouse has been built for the top of the meadow at Woodchuck Lodge where visitors and board members go to cherish the stunning view across the Catskill Mountains. Members of the board are also looking for a small, portable library to put inside the summer house.
The idea came to board members as we completed the Trout Lily Trail, to extend the trail to the east into the hog lot. We would then lengthen the trail, transition from forest to meadow at the break in the stone wall and utilize more of the property. Now, while capturing that view, visitors can sit, rest and perhaps even read awhile if we are to get our tiny library.
Steve Walker, of Beaverdam Builders, built the summer house. We provided the rough draft of what a turn of the century ‘summerhouse’ looked like. We chose red cedar for durability, round poles and twig lattice for aesthetics, a rustic bench with a simple shed roof, all to blend with the ambiance of Woodchuck Lodge. We were seeking a modest structure to match both the man and, certainly, the budget! “The agreement we struck was if I were to secure the materials, he would build it” says Patti Rudge.
On a tip from RyanTrapani @ Catskill Forest Association, we purchased the cedar from Todd Baldwin in Dutchess County. The hemlock, on the other hand, was harvested locally and milled just down the road in Halcottsville by John Biruk.
With the ground firmed up from spring rains and a high pressure holding, Steve had his crew up in the hog lot in the second week of June and added a bit of magic to Woodchuck Lodge. The summerhouse ‘under the maples’ is waiting to be discovered.
With a $3000.00 matching grant under our belt from Delaware County Tourism and Promotion Board and a commitment of $2000.00 from the Woodchuck Lodge budget, the Board is committed to raising the final $1500.00 to fund the summerhouse!
Trustee Patti Rudge has accepted the challenge to swim across Lake Champlain on August 18 and is seeking sponsors to raise the final monies for John Burroughs summer house. The swim is 3.75 miles from Essex NY to Charlotte Vt., and is billed as an open water competitive swim. On a northeasterly course, she is quietly hoping for a tail wind. She is well into her training, bobbing in choppy, cold water. It is “another realm of solitude and wildness out our backdoor”.
Can you help Woodchuck Lodge with a donation towards the summerhouse? If so, please address checks to Woodchuck Lodge with “summer house swim“ in the memo. Mail checks to JB Woodchuck Lodge, PO Box 492, Roxbury, NY 12474.
Thanks so much and if you are in the Catskills and near open water, take a good look.
Church of the Robin’s Ha-Ha: John Burroughs’ Natural Religion and Other Poems by Anne Richey
Anne Richey, a docent at Woodchuck Lodge and local teacher has published an homage to the works of John Burroughs in the form of an eclectic collection of poetry and prose: an anthology of notes, quotations, prose, excerpts from an ancient diary and “found poetry”.
Paul Misko, founder of THE CATSKILL 4000 CLUB presents a multi-media presentation on how hiking in the Catskills has changed over the years. He uses humorous and disturbing anecdotes from John Burroughs’ adventures, and from a few other historic folks, and then will add some of his own experiences. He will touch on the clothes and equipment used, the food eaten, the coming of the marked trails, and what has stayed the same. He will end his talk with a brief segment on how to properly equip a day pack.
This event takes place at Woodchuck Lodge, 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474 at 1pm on July 7th, 2018. All are welcome.
Free, guided tours of Woodchuck Lodge are offered the first weekend of the month, May to October, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm.