Beginning in the 1930's, Paul and brothers Vincent and Carl Schaefer planted the red pines and occasional norway spruces on this land during the conservation fervor of that time to reforest former agricultural lands. Later in his life, Paul regretted how these trees grew and began to obscure his view of the old log cabin down below Beaver House, and even of Eleventh Mountain from the cabin porch. However, some twenty years ago a number of these tall red pines served as logs for a new log cabin which friends built near Garnet Lake.
In 1993, and getting on in years, Paul asked a group of friends and associates to buy shares in Beaver House, he retaining one share. Five of us did, forming the Beaver House Gang. Legally, this partnership is a tenancy in common. An ownership agreement was drawn up describing the arrangement, including indivisible shares, and how these could be sold within the group or, with common consent, outside the group. The gang pays taxes on the property. The assessment, however, is "frozen" thanks to Paul's foresight in enrolling the land in the Forest Tax Law 480 program. Currently the cabin is used just as Paul hoped - for occasional visits and overnight stays, sitting by the open fire, or simply enjoying the views of Crane Mountain from his old wooden rocker, and breathing in the mountain air which, as Dan Berggren's lyrics of the song by the same name goes, "blows away all the cares that build up day to day." Beaver House therefore continues as a retreat for informal talk, a base camp to foray out into the Wilderness, and as a place to strategize, dream and contemplate more of the natural world that we are so fortunate to have in the Adirondacks.
Dave Gibson and Tom Cobb