Shelburne's giant chair becoming popular attraction
SHELBURNE — The oversized Adirondack chair that a local man built to be a complement to the Timberland Campground is becoming an attraction in its own right.
One of the beauties of being self-employed and owning a seasonal business is the opportunity to do fun stuff in the off-season, something that Dave Redston took to heart when he built the chair, which measures 9 feet tall, 7 feet wide and stands 4 feet off the ground. It sits in the front parking lot of the Timberland Campground on busy Route 2.
You don’t need to be a paying guest at the campground to jump into the Adirondack chair, however. On Wednesday, Redston said that many people have and continue to do so, with up to a dozen fitting within it at one time.
“This is kind of hard to believe,” Redston said, “but the chair is only three times larger than an actual Adirondack chair.”
He said that during the winter of 2012, “I took an actual chair, measured it and multiplied by three” to come up with the big chair. Over a period of about a week, he built the chair in the campground’s game room and placed it outside in early 2013.
Almost immediately, said Redston, the chair got noticed.
“In March or April of that year, we towed it out front with our little Ranger (a four-wheel drive utility vehicle) and almost every day from the day we put it out there, people have been sitting out there and having their pictures taken.”
When they’re not too busy, Redston said he and his wife, Laurie, will try to take the photos so that all the visitors can be in the picture. Visitors have come from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Holland and Germany.
“It’s a big draw,” Redston said. It’s one of several projects that he has undertaken since he and his family bought the campground in 2009.The Redstons and their two young children came north from Stratford, Conn., where Dave Redston had worked as a marine mechanic. Realizing that his future was limited, Redston and his wife began thinking about new opportunities and came upon the idea of buying a campground.
One day, Redston recalled, his wife told him “Pack the bike, Dave” and she and he hit the road to explore campgrounds for sale in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire before they found Timberland, which, he said, “is the one where all the pieces fell into place.”
So far, life is very good in the North Country, said Redston. “We’re having a blast. Five years and we’re still smiling,” he said.
Redston said, “I keep threatening my wife to make it bigger.”
The good-natured threat is partially borne of customer demand, said Redston.
“Occasionally, we have people who stop by and say ‘It’s a big chair, but we’ve seen bigger,’ so at some point we may have to improve this chair,” he said.