Mile 9.3 — Division 4 — Elev. 2150 ft
This shelter, a frame lean-to with room for 8, has a unique background. The gift of Louis Stare, Jr., then oi Bass River. Mass., it was constructed at Mr. Stare’s home on Cape Cod in.1965. After being dismantled into 13 sections, it was trucked 250 miles to USFS Road 10 and hauled to its present site by volunteers using a tractor and wagon. The lumber. exposed to the salty sea breezes of the Cape, once made this shelter especially popular with the local porcupine population. The water supply is a stream in the ravine below the shelter. [GB 24th Edition 1996]
Lost Pond Construction, 1965
This shelter, a frame lean-to with room for 8, has a unique background. The gift of Louis Stare, Jr., then oi Bass River. Mass., it was constructed at Mr. Stare’s home on Cape Cod in.1965. After being dismantled into 13 sections, it was trucked 250 miles to USFS Road 10 and hauled to its present site by volunteers using a tractor and wagon. The lumber. exposed to the salty sea breezes of the Cape, once made this shelter especially popular with the local porcupine population. The water supply is a stream in the ravine below the shelter. It has been used from 1966 to present. [GB 24th Edition 1996]
Shelter By the Wagon Load – This all began when Louis J. Stare, Jr., of Bass River, Mass., saw the new USFS constructed shelter at Little Rock Pond in 1963. Impressed the excellent design of the shelters and the beauty of their wilderness settings. Mr. Stare decided that HE would build such a shelter and donate it to the LT. USFS permission was granted for the erection of his shelter on National Forest lands. In the meantime, the LT relocation over Baker Peak was completed and the need become apparent for a new shelter to serve this new trail. So last October, Mr. Stare and the writer. Ben Rolston visited a suggested site, two miles north of Baker Peak and 1 1/2 miles south of Big Branch. The site received Mr. Stare’s immediate approval. Over the winter months the shelter was built to USFS specifications. The disassembled shelter arrived on USFS Road 10 on May 8, 1965. Along with the truck full of shelter from Cape Cod was a huge Timberjack tractor, a heavy-duty wagon and 20 GMC volunteers from four states.
Describing the trials and tribulations of moving a shelter three miles is like describing the beauties of the Grand Canyon to someone who has never been to Arizona. It just ain’t possible! I could tell about fording Big Branch; about the mud; about the rocks; about the shifting load; about the continuous side-hill lean; about the unloading and loading and unloading and loading; about the use of the winch to pull the wagon out of a hole so deep that one volunteer still insists he heard Chinese voices under the wheels. Our success was due only to the magnificent skill of Lee Hewes, our tractor operator, and when we had to quit short of our goal that Saturday afternoon because of near exhaustion and a dwindling fuel supply, Lee kindly offered to return the next morning for the remainder of the haul to the site. Although Mr. Stare had envisioned his nice new shelter tumbling down the mountain in splinters, WE REACHED OUR GOAL JUST BEFORE NOON ON SUNDAY! Due to Mr. Stare’s precise construction the sections just fell together, and the shelter was complete by suppertime. When Mr. Stare applied the hand painted sign “BUILT BY L.J. STARE, JR., 1965”, he humbly remarked that he felt guilty applying his name to the shelter after so many volunteers had worked so hard to make the completion possible. The following Sunday, 17 volunteers put on the finishing touches and Curt Garfield ceremonially lit the first cooking fire by the use of flint and steel. This epic shelter was dedicated on May 30th with 31 GMC’ers present. It was christened by John Rohrbaugh, the new GMC President, with Green Mountain Champagne (pure water from the stream below the shelter).
Many thanks go out as the work is done. Now we shall reap the benefits. As hikers prepare their meals at the shelter, breathe the pure Vermont air, enjoy the wilderness setting, gaze at the stars and the endless depths of the heavens above, watch the dying embers of the evening campfire and restore their strength with refreshing slumber, we know that Mr. Stare’s wishes will have been fulfilled. [LT News, August, 1965]
One year ago, on May 8 and 9, 1965, a LT shelter was trucked from Cape Cod to Danby, hauled by tractor and wagon up to the LT and assembled on its permanent site. We named it Lost Pond Shelter. This year, on May 7, an anniversary get-together was held at the shelter. Louis Stare, the shelter builder and donor, came from Cape Cod. The Rolstons came from Schenectady. George Pearlstein came from West Pawlet. Irving White, and Mauri Wintturi came from Massachusetts and Bob and Brian Attenborough came from Connecticut. We came to the shelter to celebrate its first birthday and to reminisce about the trials and tribulations of moving the shelter a year earlier. And to inspect the shelter and do some work on the foundation. And to eat lunch.
Following the consumption of the usual assortment of foods found at any trail gathering, out came a big cake, topped with one plumber’s candle, and the strained voices of “Happy Birthday, Dear Shelter ” echoed up toward Baker Peak and down toward Big Branch. The ceremonies completed, we set out to find Lost Pond (which had eluded its original discoverer the previous fall). We found it! Someone suggested renaming the shelter “Found Pond Shelter,” but the vote was NO. Upon inspection of Lost Pond, we found it to be of great interest, for it consists of a small open pool surrounded by a quaking bog. Further inspection found the mat to contain pitcher plants and other bog growth. Since this rediscovery of Lost Pond, serious consideration has been given to NOT building the Lost Pond Trail to the pond. We who have seen the pond feel that the unusual plant life there should be protected. If, on your first or next visit to Lost Pond Shelter, you do not see a trail sign indicating the Lost Pond Trail, you will know that the decision has been made to let the pond remain inaccessible by trail. You may then make a notation on page 51 of your 1966 Guidebook that the trail to Lost Pond will not be constructed. Thus, the pond, in name and reality, will remain LOST-POND. [Ben Rolston. LT News, August 1966]
Unfortuately, Lost Pond Shelter burned down in November (2001). The shelter was built by Louis J. Stare during the winter months of 1965 at his home in Cape Cod. It was moved in sections from Massachusetts to Vermont and reassembled at its site two miles north of Baker Peak with the help of more than twenty volunteers, including Bob Humes, Mauri Wintturi, George Pearlstein, Irvin White, and Bob Attenborough. Due to its seaside origins, the salt-infused shelter quickly gained popularity with local porcupines; they were finally deterred by the liberal application of creosote. Last summer, North Clarendon Boy Scouts rebuilt a rock staircase to the water source just below the lean-to. The same scouts and local Manchester Section volunteers plan to rebuild the shelter once details are worked out with the Green Mountain National Forest Manchester Ranger District. [LT News, Spring 2002]