This post was written by Alex Dugas, GMC Construction Crew Member.
“Rustic” can be a slippery adjective; its definition, elusive. Like a sprawling landscape viewed from above, it will shape-shift from one thing into something else entirely as a function of perspective.
Imagine a cabin, for example—any cabin—the only condition being that it is old. Much older than you or I. Maybe it perches on the south-facing side of a mountain, sprouting from in between the ferns and exposed rock. Maybe it lies lower, way down in the throes of a watershed, buttoned in by white pine and hemlock. Either way, look closer and you begin to see the bits and pieces that compose it. There are the logs. They run side-to-side, diverging here and there where the subtle curves of adjacent timbers have come to disagree with age. There is the door—its iron handle polished silver by the touch of countless hands. Then the steps. The slightly sagging eaves. The chimney-pipe—skyward, spewing smoke, but, upon a second, third, or fourth look, crooked—but just a little bit.
On one hand, the cabin of your mind is crumbling—slipping away in its century-long surrender to winter gales and gravity. On the other hand, immaculate; an artifact, flawless in its living record of the numerous elemental and human forces that have seen it through its journey from origin to the present. Structurally succumbing, yet historically stalwart. According to the principles of perspective, both are so—equally, always. Quirk and character. Wear and charm. It is rustic.
In the world of traditional Japanese aesthetic, we would call this duality Wabi-Sabi: the beauty inherent in objects affected by impermanence. The perfection of imperfection.
However, at the risk of lingering in the realm of theory any longer than I already have, I’ll go on to say that “rustic” (or Wabi-Sabi) is just how the Green Mountain Club construction crew found this place—Bolton Lodge—in May of this year. And, after much time and work, “rustic” is how we’ve left it. This is not to say that changes have not been made (we are happy to report that the roof no longer leaks, the floor no longer sags, and the front wall can definitely withstand a snowball without completely crumbling to pieces) but rather that we have taken care not to allow the proverbial pendulum of restoration to swing too far in the opposite direction and into the camp of sterile modernity. No, Bolton Lodge remains the inviting rural getaway that one would imagine Roy Buchanan and others intended it to be upon its initial construction back in 1928.
With the guidance of historical consultant, Mary Jo Llewellyn, and the generous contributions of numerous donors, we are happy to report that Bolton Lodge has been renewed for another generation’s worth of recreation and enjoyment. It has seen the addition of a new woodstove, privy, woodshed, table, and timber frame benches, as well as an exterior fire pit. It stands as a testament to the beauty of fresh-cut lumber juxtaposed with decades of names and dates carved into dark, worn wood, as well as an example of what an old, crumbling building—imprinted with 90 years of markings and memories—can become if given the chance to last even a little longer into the future.
We hope that you enjoy your stay.
Bolton Lodge can be reserved online for the 2017/2018 season starting Friday, December 8th, at 10 AM. To see Bolton Lodge, please join us for our Grand Reopening Celebration on Friday, December 15th, at 1 PM.