Taylor Lodge
Taylor Lodge

It was named after James P Taylor, a founder of the GMC. It was constructed in 1978 by members of the Burlington Section replacing a structure that burned in 1977 The lodge with an open front porch has an enclosed bunk room with space for 15 Water runs from a reliable spring 0.2 mi. down the Lake Mansfield Trail. Wood fires are prohibited It has been in use from 1978 to present [GB 24th Edition 1996]

June 3 1978, GMC’ers are invited to aid in transporting materials to the construction site The new lodge will be built on the same site as the previous lodge It will be a 24′ X 18′ structure facing Lake Mansfield in Nebraska Notch Plans are for a vertical sided frame of rough boards and battens. t will have an open-face front porch with a railing and area for two tables The porch will be attached to a semi-enclosed bunk room for 20 persons The bunk room will have five hinged wooden hatch windows, no glass, and no fireplace The floor will be double thick under both bunk room and porch. An overhanging roof on the back will provide outside storage The roof will be corrugated steel painted black The Grand Opening Celebration is scheduled for Sat Sept 2, 1978 [LTN May 1978]

Construction was completed in July. Burlington Section members Ginny Yandow Dot Myer, Caretaker Ann Pesiri, and two hikers. Bob Hill and Kenneth Farmer, were the first to sleep in the new lodge Construction was supervised by Jack Lance 88 persons attended the dedication ceremony Sept 2, 1978, moderated by Jan Abbott, Tributes were proclaimed to founder James Taylor, and skits were acted out by James Strainer, Laura Scowls, Brad and Alverta Perkins, Rod and Emily Rice, Lile Sutherland, Andy Thomas, Dot Myer, Marilyn Abbott, and Tinky Frank. Credit for the construction goes to R.B. Klinkenburg, John Sharp and family Gordon Moore, Andy and Linda Thomas, Jack Harrington, Dick Sirola, Ed and David Farmer Howard Lyman, Dick Hildebrand Ralph Gibbs, Harris and Jan Abbot, Jack Fisher, Carlene Whitcomb Bob and Rob Ashton, Ann Pesiri, George Lawrence, Hollie Johnson, Dot Myer, Corky Magoon, Ginny Yandow Bill Tennet, George Brooks, Dave Hallquest, Sam Campbell, Ben Davis, Kara Bean, and Samera Campbell. [LTN November 1978]

Nov 23, 1981: this lodge has recently been seriously vandalized the wire bunks were destroyed to make a fire bed in the lodge The tables benches and bunks were used for firewood The fire burned through the floor and joist. The snow was dipping in from snow melt when this was discovered. [LTN Feb 1982]

A Tailor-Made Lodge
by Marion Holmes

I slept in a lean-to at 10 below.
And now there are lots of things I know.
That I would do if I were the guys.
To design New Taylor and surprise
The hardy souls who’ll be sleeping there.
And breathing in that good fresh air.
Standard equipment ought to be.
A snowblower, for you see,
Bedding down on a layer of ice
is definitely not what you’d call nice.
Since electric power’s a dirty word
And solar heat is much of heard,
A solar panel in the roof, converted,
Could heat electric blankets in all packs inserted.
Since rumored it is. there are those who snore,
You could vent the sound through roof or door.
With masks and pipes, like on a plane.
Perhaps not needed during a hard rain.
Since a lean-to hazard rather abrupt
Is bumping the head when straightening up,
The roof should be of rubber sponge,
No danger then from a sudden lunge.
It seems so foolish to have the fire.
And picnic table outside the lair,
A conversation pit with sunken coals
Would better achieve fellowship goals.
Since backpacking means to carry weight
And pounds of food will alter gait,
A concession is the thing that’s needed,
Howard Johnson’s sign would sure be heeded.
And finally, who wants to climb.
To reach the goal on heights sublime?
An escalator is the needed thing,
All hikers it would to Taylor bring.
You have to feel sorry for J.P.T.
That he these marvels couldn’t see,
But I believe-that he’d approve-
Or would he cry, “Remove! Remove!”?

Remarks at Dedication of 3rd Taylor Lodge

Sept. 1978

by Jan Abbott, Burlington Section President

Fifty-two years ago, when the 1st lodge on this site was constructed, the soaring stock market, flaming youth, and the jazz age were in the news and “Silent Cal” Coolidge was President of the U.S. The Burlington Section of the GMC, more liberated than the rest of the country, had already had two Women presidents. One of them, Mrs. Laura Cowles, was the first woman to snowshoe to the top of Mount-Mansfield.

Although Judge Cowles had written a letter to James P. Taylor as early as 1910, the year the club was founded, concerning building the trail from Mansfield to Bolton, with a branch running down to the Mansfield Trout Club, The LT as we know it was not yet complete when the first Taylor Lodge was built. During the next decade, when Roy Buchanan and others were pushing through to the Canadian border, Larry and Alberta Dean arrived in Vermont from Manchester, N. H., got off the train in Essex Junction, and took the trolley past the busy cavalry post at Fort Ethan Allen to Burlington, where room and meals were $4 to $5 a week at the boarding houses, Main Street was paved with cobblestones and after leaving a restaurant near where Preston’s is now located, Larry’s young bride looked around and said. “But where is the main street of the city?!” The Prohibition rum runners were busy and Burlingtonians made home brew in Battery Park.

Back in Nebraska Notch, The Burlington Section had built a comfortable closed lodge of peeled logs, with bunks and mattresses for about 16 campers. However, Larry Dean recalls that the outhouse was on the primitive side, and only semi-private. Unlike the 1951 and 1978 structures, the first Taylor Lodge faced away from the outlook.

Rod Rice must have been well regarded by older club members, as he served as Taylor caretaker when he was only fifteen years old. At one point during that summer, he saw no hikers for four days, and two weeks passed with no overnight campers. By this time, 1939, the old county road through Nebraska Notch had been abandoned for over fifty years, but Rod brought his bicycle into Taylor from Stevensville, and somehow managed to roll and carry it down to the Trout Club, to use in visiting relatives in Waitsfield.

A LTN of 1941, under the heading “The Art of Cookery,” mentioned the anonymous hiker who put a can of baked beans in the Taylor stove pipe oven, without punching a hole in the can: According to the article, the result “confirming the well-known theory that beans contain a large supply of stored energy!” Rod Rice recalls a similar incident, this time with a can of corn that took off like a rocket, trailing a stream of corn.

World War II came and went, and about the time of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift. two high school students with more local interests joined the GMC — Donald Remick and Beverly Thorpe. Little did they realize, 30 years ago, that their names would come to be more closely associated with Taylor Lodge than that of anyone other than the GMC founder himself.

Nor did anyone suspect then that a group of boys burning mattresses to keep themselves warm would burn Taylor Lodge to the ground during the winter of 1950-51. The following summer, LT Patrol head Roy Buchanan, aided by Don Havens, Jake Bailey, and others, built the lodge that most of us remember so fondly. They also built the famous outhouse “Doris”, named after a woman hiker who showed great concern over the non-existent facilities. Rod Rice, who by then had abandoned his bicycle and advanced to more powerful means of transportation, remembers awakening the sleeping construction crew one night when he drove his motorcycle into their campsite near the Trout Club. After an amazingly rapid transformation to the more sober role of family man, he arrived at the dedication of the second Taylor Lodge with young Rod, then 11 months old, on his back, a feat which any of you who have seen young Rod today will be sure that his father hasn’t attempted in recent years.

Harold Collins, at that time the Burlington Section President, remembers that day, October 29, 1951, as cold, miserable. dark, cloudy, foggy and rainy-Don and Bev Remick remember it as a lovely fall week-end-but in any case, 74 hikers turned out, and showered the new cabin with gifts of frying pans, pots, axes, saws, pails, brooms, dustpans, and just about everything needed to keep house.

Soon after the dedication, the Burlington Section Outing Committee was trying to think of something new and different. Don Remick, by then a senior at UVM, suggested doing something crazy-‘1ike eating oysters on the mountain.” He and Bev Thorpe took it on as a challenge, and the first Taylor Lodge Oyster Stew was held in February of 1952, with 30 hikers attending. The price of oysters was about $7.50 a gallon then. and about $16.00 a gallon last year. With Don. or alone, during his service years. Bev Remick ran the oyster stew outing for 25 winters. No fall Outing Committee meeting during that era was held without a calendar showing the phases of the moon. so that the Oyster Stew Supper return trip could be made in moonlight-it it didn’t happen to be snowing, sleeting, or pouring rain-one year the temperature was 14 below zero. Home-baked pies, tenderly packed in, were the traditional dessert, and keeping them level in a pack was always a challenge. Oakum was often packed in too, since filling the chinks between the logs ranked with wood-cutting and hiking as an afternoon pastime while Bev cooked the stew.

By 1963, the Oyster Stew Supper had become so popular that it was difficult to find a place to stand, let alone sit, with 62 persons in the cabin, so if you feel a little crowded at the moment, be glad we’re not all in there trying to keep warm! By this time, the GMC was holding week-long summer intersectionals at scout camps, and it sometimes felt as though we were conducting winter ones those nights at Taylor.

As the years passed, and the GMC adapted to the changes of the 70’s, caretakers were once again hired to protect our major lodges and to educate the vast numbers of new hikers on the trails. This year we have been fortunate to have with us Ms. Ann Pesiri, who has been a great help with the construction as well as undertaking the usual caretaker duties. Unfortunately, we still have careless hikers, and last fall the Head Ranger on Mt. Mansfield, Cecilia Elwert, had the sad duty of informing the Burlington Section that another Taylor Lodge had burned.

Most of you here don’t have to be told what effort has gone into the construction of the building that we shall shortly be dedicating to Jack lance, Dot Myer, and everyone who assisted with the construction and the planning of the carry-in day put incredible hours into this project carrying on the volunteer tradition of the GMC. We are more sophisticated in 1978-the latest surveying equipment was used to level the site, instead of Roy Buchanan’s cake tin filled with water-the lodge has been designed to meet the restrictions of a new generation of hikers, and to last 50 years, at least, but if we could wish any one thing for Taylor Number 3, it would be that the GMC members and other hikers who will stay here will have the same experience of friendship and camaraderie as did those who went before them. Thank you.