Willis Ross 1941
Willis Ross 1941

It is located facing the pond and is a frame structure with bunks for about 12. A spring is 30 ft to the north. The camp was erected by the Worcester Section in 1929 and named after Willis Ross of Rutland, through whose efforts many miles of Long Trail were built. [GB 20th Edition]

This structure, located on Stratton Pond, was built by a party of 23 member of the Worcester Section in five days, August 17-21, 1929, last, under the leadership of George F.E. Storey and Louis L. Bigelow. The lumber was contributed by W. A. Savage of Randolph, Vt., and all of the labor was donated. Much difficulty was experienced in getting the material in. It had to be carried by manpower over an old swampy corduroy road, a most arduous undertaking. Fortunately, a troop of Boy Scouts happened along just at the right time and were of great assistance in the transportation work. It is delightfully located in the midst of spruce trees. with no other sign of human habitation visible on the banks of the pond with the beautiful hills rising on each side. [LT News, Oct. 1929]

It is located at the east end of the Pond on the largest and most beautiful body of water on the LT. It is one of the most attractive camp sites on the whole trail. [GB 9th Edition 1932] No caretaker at Stratton Pond. [1955 Supplement to GB 14th Edition 1951]

It is an open fronted shelter as pictured in the LT News, Dec. 1929. It was reported that this camp had been occupied for weeks by a party of young men, causing hikers to pass along or sleep outside. And they may be there yet, as we have not heard that they have been ousted. If trail camps are to be utilized as summer homes, the Club will have to devise some way of remedying the evil. [LT News, Sept. 1933]

Announcing the installation of a new stove, complete with oven, at Willis Ross Camp! Weight, around 130 lbs. Arrived via rubber-tired wheelbarrow on Saturday evening, November 8, 1941, and was connected early Sunday morning. The installers. several Worcester Section members and friends. tried out the oven by baking gingerbread. and testify that stove and gingerbread were an unqualified success. Two gallons of sweet cider were used to toast the arrival of the stove at camp after a somewhat arduous trip in from the Grout Job.

Camp was leaking badly so last week I got a gang together and we lugged in material and put a new roof on. dug out a decayed back sill. putting stones under the sleeper, straightened up and fastened front doors, repaired broken bunk, replaced stones under front which had been taken out and used for fireplace in front of camp and generally policed the place. It is now in good condition for winter. There was evidence that someone occupied the camp as a home last winter. Cost us $35. to repair Camp but it was good investment. [LT News, Nov. 1945]

Weekend at Willis Ross Camp. October 12. 1946. The Worcester Section enjoyed its first official outing since the war at Stratton Pond. The nine members who left Worcester on Friday night arrived at the Grout Job about 11. o’clock. A full moon lighted the way into camp. Although the night was warm. bent and broken trees on the trail gave evidence of an early fall snowstorm. After a short night’s sleep, all were up early for a look at the weather and a breakfast of pancakes and bacon.

The red foliage had fallen, but the yellow and bronze leaves of the beeches gave the effect of sunlight. Several climbed the mountain and encountered more and more! fog the higher they went A light rain was falling on the way back to camp. The wind and rain that evening did not dampen anyone’s spirits, for it was cry inside and there was much good fun. When bedtime came, those who had intended to sleep at the annex decided not to venture outside; so, all sixteen spent a comfortable night at Willis Ross. Sunday was an ideal day for a leisurely trip back to Worcester. [LT News, Nov. 1946]

Willis Ross, 1959
Willis Ross, 1959

The Worcester Section was saddened at the loss of this Camp. It was the first shelter built by this section and meant a good deal to us. We have developed a primitive camping area on land owned by Gardiner Lane at Stratton Pond which is a pilot project as a possible solution for the rapidly increasing use of the LT. [LTN August 1972]

Destroyed by fire in spring of 1972. [LTN Feb. 1973]

A proposed shelter to replace Willis Ross Camp was to accommodate 20 and have an overflow for 10 more is being considered by the Worcester Section. [LTN May 1976]