Burroughs Memorial Field State Historic Site | Path Through History | WSKG


John Burroughs walked this path many times
over his lifetime. Located on the side of “Old Clump” mountain in the rural Catskills
town of Roxbury, the path leads to a large stone landmark. “Boyhood Rock” as he later
referred to it, was Burroughs private sanctuary where he could escape from farm chores and
sit quietly studying his natural surroundings. Burroughs would later write of his observations,
and through his essays, poetry and lectures, gained fame as one of America’s leading literary
naturalists. He traveled widely throughout his life, but frequently returned to his beloved
boyhood home in the Catskills. In 1921 at the age of 84, Burroughs died, and as he wished,
was buried next to his boyhood rock. Today the area is designated a state historic
site, where the natural surroundings and breath-taking views are virtually unchanged from when Burroughs
first visited as a young boy. Throughout his life Burroughs never tired
of walking this path, for as he once wrote: “To learn something new, take the path that
you took yesterday” — profound advice, and especially fitting for this destination on
New York’s Path Through History.

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