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Fond Farewell to the Dome

8/31/18 – This past Monday we said a fond farewell to the iconic Dome.  Ever since it was built in 1974 it has been a prominent presence at Sawbill.  From 1974 until 2001, it served as the epicenter for all things outfitting.  Need a canoe? Head over to the Dome.  How about a permit?  This way to the Dome.  You have a Complete Outfitting trip reserved?  Follow me to the Dome.

Bill and Ranna pose in-front of the Dome shortly after it’s construction (circa 1974).
Betsy Moyer, Annie Strupeck, and Michelle Thieman pose in the Dome just before the rental gear was moved over to the new building (2002).

After an addition to the store was completed early in 2002, outfitting moved to the main store and the Dome became the central location for crew recreation.  For many years it served as a center for wellness (weightlifting, aerobics, yoga), Sawbill band practice, a brewery, and has hosted many a foosball tournament.

Jeff Green and Pat Nash hard at work in the brewery (2005).
Dome sweet Dome (2011).

All the wile, the Dome has been the perfect place to host the annual contra dance, dubbed the “Dome Dance.”  Year after year this event provided a good excuse for campers, Sawbill crew, and anyone else within earshot of contra caller extraordinaire, Terrance Smith, to kick up their heels.

Terrance and his daughter (and Sawbill crew member) Laura swing down the line. (2005)

The Dome has also been used throughout the years to overwinter Kevlar canoes.  The rounded building posed an exciting, and some might say terrifying, challenge in the spring and fall when canoes were brought out of, or put into storage.  In order to fit the many canoes inside, each canoe had to be stood on end and leaned up against one another.  If one canoe moved the wrong way a canoe cascade might ensue (and sometimes did) resulting in a giant game of high stakes pick-up sticks.

Cindy does a happy dance as Bill safely wedges a Seliga in place (2010).

Some of the people who will miss the Dome the most include the many crew members who lived in the loft over the years.  I’ve heard these Dome dwellers recount fond memories of waking up to the comforting sound of the garage door opening just below their room, followed by the soothing sound of the permit video and early morning equipment orientations.  As recent as 2013 crew members lived in this unique structure, but as of late the Dome has been vacant and slowly returning to the earth.

Kit watches on as Dan removes the rental sign, for posterity, just before the backhoe begins the demolition (follow the link to our facebook page to see the backhoe in action).

Over the next month a new structure, specifically designed for storing canoes, will be built in the footprint of the Dome.  Here’s hoping the next building does its predecessor proud.  -Jessica