A Cabin for Tinmouth

The Town of Tinmouth owns a parcel of land on the west slope of Tinmouth Mountain in an area known locally as The Purchase. There was a falling-down hunting camp on the property that long-time Tinmouth resident Marshall Squier thought should be saved or rebuilt. The camp was located near the top of the mountain on the Tinmouth Purchase Loop Trail and had long been used by hunters, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and hikers as a lunch spot and refuge from the weather. The problem was, the existing camp was beyond repair, rotting away at the bottom, leaking at the roof, tipped-over chimney, etc. Members of the Tinmouth Land Trust had the foresight to envision a cabin that would entice old-timers and newcomers alike to come and enjoy this lovely spot, take advantage of the trails in the area, and take in the view from the top of Tinmouth Mountain. Along the way, we could do some community building by erecting the cabin with volunteer labor (Tinmouth has a long history of volunteer building projects at the school, community center, and firehouse). Rough-sawn lumber was cut with donated labor on a bandsaw mill from donated logs in the summer of 2015. That fall, a group of volunteer carpenters spent four or five evenings assembling floor and wall sections and roof rafters for a simple, 10'x14' one-story shell with a sleeping loft. Two or three trips up the old logging road with a four-wheel drive tractor pulling a manure spreader loaded to the gills with lumber and assembled parts got most of the material to the building site (the manure spreader bogged down about a quarter mile from the site, at which point stuff was off-loaded and either carried by hand or hauled on the tractor bucket). Then three or four enjoyable late-autumn Saturdays were spent erecting all the parts and pieces into a three-dimensional cabin. Throughout the mild winter of 2015-16 small groups hiked up the the mountain to work on completing and outfitting the cabin. A party of three christened the cabin with the first overnight on January 16, 2016. We still have an outhouse left to build and bunks, ladder, and benches to finish up the interior.

We hope that the cabin will encourage people to take advantage of this wonderful natural area and provide an opportunity for longer forays on our developing trail network in town. The Tinmouth Mountain Ridge Trail will soon connect to the Purchase Loop Trail with the cabin very close to the junction of the two, providing an ideal spot to rest, lunch or overnight on an outing. Upkeep and maintenance of the cabin and surrounding trails falls to the fledgling Conservation Commission, creating projects and focus for that group.

Project Contact: Doug Fontein, Conservation Commission chair
Project Contact Email: djfontein@gmail.com
Year Project Started: 2015
Year Completed: 2016
Project Lifespan: 2015-2016
Regional Planning Commision: Rutland Regional Planning Commission
Other Keywords: volunteers, community building, hiking, trails, back country, wilderness
Project Accomplishments:

Aside from the physical cabin structure, the project gives people another avenue to enjoy the natural resources in town and adds an overnight option to hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobile outings.

Project Partners:

Tinmouth Land Trust
Vermont Land Trust
Vermont Housing Conservation Board
Tinmouth Conservation Commission
Tinmouth Selectboard
Vermont Dept. of F,P&R Recreational Trails Program grant

Critical to Success:

Acquisition of the land that is the Tinmouth Purchase Recreation Area was vital to the project. This was made possible by the TLT, VLT and VHCB. Also critical was the vision and dedication of Bob LLoyd and Marshall Squier, TLT members and longtime advocates of conserved and wild lands. The core group of carpenters was also key in getting the cabin project going.


Carving time out of our busy lives was a difficult task for the group of carpenters. Especially when it involved coming to work in a cold, semi-lit barn after working all day doing the same stuff. Another challenge was getting materialsand tools up to the cabin site. There is an old logging road that is very rarely dry enough to get a tractor up and down. After a couple round trips, the road was so deeply rutted, we called on another volunteer from town to repair the road with his mini-excavator.

Project Picture: Carpenters on a cabin-raising day