Hipsters ferreting around at Roxbury’s historic landmark Woodchuck Lodge might bypass his fading 100-year-old collection of Atlantic Monthly (still going strong) magazines and stop in the bathroom with a loving gaze. Here’s one part of the lodge that doesn’t need any update, or if anything, the window should be made floor-to-ceiling so that one can bathe in full view of the mountains. It’s the writer’s perfect rustic meditation spot, complete with clawfoot tub and gorgeous light all year around. It’s so impossible to take a bad picture in here at any time of day, that it’s tempting to believe this might have been where Burroughs did most of his important thinking late in his life. The colors: burgundy and mint green are faded, but no less attractive than they were 100 years ago and we can just imagine the old man at 84 years of age, soaking away, pondering his early escapades on Slide Mountain.
Board members of John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge are in dire need of donations to restore the lodge, but on social media I see home owners putting in similar bathrooms to John Burroughs’ all over the Catskills, so I feel like they can breathe a sigh of relief on this score, because there are plenty of renovations and remediation work necessary elsewhere on the property.
Woodchuck Lodge was built by John’s brother in 1862, 15 years after John was born, on the east end of the Burroughs family farm. The Burroughs’ homestead where both boys grew up is a mile away up the road and was built when John was 13 years of age. Woodchuck Lodge was John’s retreat in retirement. Boyhood Rock and his grave are a few minutes’ walk up the road. John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge is a non-profit corporation. Your donations are tax deductible.