In the town of Roxbury, located high on a hill in the Catskills, is a rustic cabin known as Woodchuck Lodge, summer home of John Burroughs, one of America’s leading literary naturalists. Just over the hill stands the farmhouse where Burroughs grew up. Here Burroughs explored and studied his world, and developed his deep appreciation for nature that shaped the rest of his life.
Burroughs published his first book in 1871, and went on to write 25 volumes of essays, quickly establishing himself as the most popular writer of nature essays of his time. Over his lifetime, Burroughs became close friends with Walt Whitman and John Muir. And other contemporaries, including Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, would visit him frequently at Woodchuck Lodge.
Although Burroughs lived much of his adult life in the Hudson Valley, he frequently returned to his home in the Catskills, for as he wrote: “those hills comfort me as no other place in the world. It is home there.” Burroughs died in 1921. His gravesite is located just up the path from Woodchuck Lodge, at his favorite boyhood spot, which is now a state historic site.
Today, Woodchuck Lodge is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and stands prominently on New York’s Path Through History.
Photos Courtesy of:
Delaware County Historical Association