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December 27, 2013

Step Back in Time: Dec. 27, 2013

25 years ago

Dec. 27, 1988

ROXBURY — “That’s the view,” said the bearded, spectacled visitor, walking away from John Burroughs’ favorite sitting rock, the place where he was buried on his 84th birthday in 1921.

Does the visitor know much about Burroughs?

“Not much. I know Thoreau.”

But it was Burroughs, “the son of a farmer, who was the son of a farmer, who was again the son of a farmer,” who awakened a nation at the turn of the century with writings about the greatness of the outdoors and the many things to enjoy there. He is more obscure than Thoreau or Whitman or even John Muir as a national figure who championed nature. However, he is forever Roxbury’s naturalist and philosopher. People come from near and far to enjoy the same view of The Saddle, the mountain ridge across Roxbury’s river valley that Burroughs enjoyed.

“They called him ‘John of Birds,’” said John Lutz of Oneonta, president of the John Burroughs Nature Center at Woodchuck Lodge. Lutz is rooted in the Burroughs legacy; his mother is a Burroughs, born on the homestead three-quarters of a mile away.

Lutz said about 15 acres surrounds the lodge and the famous rock and the resting place, a buffer against development that has swept through the area in the last five years. But Lutz said there are economic pressures that might change the view in the next few years.


50 years ago

Dec. 27, 1963

ANDES — The new multi-thousand dollar Catskill Ski Center, located at two-and-one-half miles north of Route 28, in Gladstone Hollow, Town of Andes, officially opened for the season Thursday, Dec. 26.

Hundreds of persons, including scores of skiers, were on hand to extend their best wishes to Waldemar Derke of Delhi, and Paul Grommeck, of Andes, owners and operators of the ultra-modern facility.

Scores of skiers continuously rode the T-Bar lift to the intermediate and novice trails throughout the day. Due to mechanical trouble in connection with the T-Bar lift leading to the expert trails, that lift was out of operation Thursday, but will shortly be in service.

First day visitors obviously were delighted with the facilities and services contained in the two-story Alpine Lodge at the base of the trails.

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