BROWNSVILLE, Vermont ??вЂќ When the Jones’ family built a small Adirondack-style cabin atop a 200-foot cliff on Ascutney in 1964, they didn’t expect that more than 40 years later other families would be enjoying the same view.
When asked why her dad, Robert Jones, who was then on the board of directors of Mt. Ascutney Ski Area, wanted to build a cabin, daughter Susan replied, “For fun and the beautiful views, of course!”
The Jones family spent the better part of the summer and fall of 1964 harvesting logs in the white pines, cutting tree trunks, and building the cabin into the side of the mountain in such a way that it would have a full front wall, two side walls that were angled into the mountain, and the rear wall, which consisted of a rock ledge on the bottom half. The rock also served as the back wall of the fireplace.
Inside, the family enjoyed two rope-swing benches at the fireplace, a wide wooden bench to the side, a picnic table for six and a second floor above for sleeping quarters. The family placed a simple sign on the front door which read: “Leave It As You Found It,” a traditional phrase that many outdoor lovers, including hikers, use often in an effort to preserve a location’s natural habitat.
While the “Leave It As You Found It” motto waned over the years, today local skiers and snowboarders as well as those who enjoy exploring the outer trees of the ski resort can sneak into the woods to the present-day Jones’ Cabin, also known as Fifth Ave. Cabin. For experts, it’s a new ski destination on the mountain with the additions of The Cabin Chute trail to get there, and The Dark Side brings skiers back to the main trail network.
Since 1964 porcupines have also made the cabin home, eating away at the roof. The furniture is gone, and the fireplace and flue have been rendered unusable. But the comforts of visiting a “cabin in the woods” live on, along with future plans to possibly restore the cabin to its original state.