Thomas cabin

The cabin atop Thomas Mountain in Bolton was demolished and burned by the state last week, to the chagrin of many.

Steff Obkirchner, via Facebook

That didn't take long.

Weeks after confirming that the cabin on Thomas Mountain in Bolton was slated to be removed, the state Department of Environmental Conservation demolished it and burned the remnants last week.

Facebook user Steff Obkirchner happened to be on the mountain that day last week when state crews were finishing, and posted some pictures on the "Hiking the Adirondacks" group.

As I wrote earlier this month, I really didn't understand why it had to be destroyed at this point, especially with winter here. Why not let it go through the winter, as it could be a shelter for a lost hiker or hikers, as it has been before? And burning it did not seem to be the environmentally friendly way to get rid of it.

The cabin has been there for decades, since the property was privately owned. But when Lake George Land Conservancy sold the land to the state, and it became part of the state forest preserve, it became a "non-conforming" part of the land.

The DEC notice about the removal indicated the cabin had become a "public nuisance and public health threat," which I found laughable, frankly. Judging by the comments on the Facebook posts, I was far from alone in that sentiment.

-- Don Lehman

Editor's Note: The DEC sent out the following information, after the fire picture was posted:

Over a period of four days last week DEC Operations crews tore down the Thomas Mountain Cabin and separated the debris into piles according to material type. DEC removed and disposed two tandem dump truck loads of debris totaling 2.1 tons at a construction and demolition debris landfill.

On Friday, after the most of the debris had been removed, DEC crews built a fire for warmth using some clean wood debris from the cabin. Winds blew the fire into another pile of debris creating a larger fire. The crew pulled the pile apart separating charred debris and uncharred debris. In total, less than two cubic yards of wood was burned.

A small two to three cubic yard pile of debris remains at the site and will be removed once the current spell of extremely cold temperatures ends. When the snow is melted in spring, DEC crews will rake and clean the site.

DEC noticed its plans to remove the cabin in the August 23, 2017, Environmental Notice Bulletin and originally planned to remove the cabin this fall. Other priorities delayed the removal until last week.

The cabin was removed because it did not comply with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and was not compatible with the Forest Preserve. Additionally, vandals had started misusing the cabin, such that it had become an attractive nuisance.




Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on

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