STOWE (AP) -- An 86-year-old building that has served as a rustic base lodge, hostel and gift shop at the southern foot of Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch across from the entrance to the Stowe Mountain Resort is going to be turned into a state-run welcome center.
Seth Jensen of the Lamoille County Planning Commission said the building, known as Barnes Camp, was built in 1927 and used by hikers and skiers before the opening of Stowe Mountain Resort. The resort has been using it for storage for several decades, but the state plans to re-open it in the spring as a center where people can learn about the area’s history and natural resources.
"A lot of people, both Vermonters and visitors to Vermont, use the Notch," Jensen told Vermont Public Radio. "There’s a lot of really important history here, really important natural resources. There’s not a lot of information about what those are. So part of the idea of the whole Barnes Camp Visitor’s Center is, let’s create a place where people can come, learn more about what’s going on, meet face-to-face with people and then explore the area based upon what their interests are."
The building’s made of spruce logs and features a large fieldstone fireplace.
"Everything in the historic building is original, which is kind of cool because you don’t often find a building, even from 1927, where everything is original, is here," said architect Jay White. "We are simply exposing some of the original finishes that were still here. And we’re matching what wasn’t here, what had rotted away, with new construction."