Professor Monroe at Battell Lodge (north side)
Professor Monroe at Battell Lodge (north side), 1917

Built in 1899, this lodge was one of serveral built by Joseph Battell, a publisher and philanthopist from Middlebury Vermont, for the entertainment of his friends and family. At the time of his death in 1915, Battell was the State’s largest landowner with over 30,000 acres. He bequeathed his holdings to “the citizens of the State of Vermont and the visitors within her borders” to be preserved as “wild lands.” This included Camel’s Hump State Park, The Joseph Battell Wilderness, and the lands surrounding Middlebury College’s Breadloaf School of English.

Joseph Battell
Joseph Battell


Less than two years after Battell’s death, looting and vandalism had all but demolished the lodge.The first edition of the Long Trail Guide Book contains the follow note: “This Log cabin in bad repair: affords shelter, is apt to be dirty for picnickers. Stove inside fair. No bunks. Simple cooking utensils. Fine water 1/8 mile south on trail. This Lodge built by Col. Joseph Battell in 1899 for use of his guests, fitted complete with everything needed by campers and kept open for their use. Looted and wrecked by them.”

Approaching Battell Lodge from the north, 1917
Approaching Battell Lodge from the north, 1917

Herbert Wheaton Congdon and men at the Battell Lodge, 1914
Herbert Wheaton Congdon and men at the Battell Lodge, 1914

Long Trail Guide Book, 1st Edition, 1917