The Sawkill Creek - Preserving & Enhancing Nature’s Beauty

The Sawkill Creek

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Preserving & Enhancing Nature’s Beauty

As deep forests receded westward, New Yorkers realized that wilderness was precious.

They came to believe that a close experience with nature could counteract the stresses associated with city life. How different from the 18th century, when most people considered wilderness a fearsome threat to be conquered!

Although it has taken different forms over the years, identification with the great outdoors remains a defining element of American life.  

This overtly rustic hut, constructed of logs with a moss-covered roof, provided both a cool resting place and a point of whimsy along a trail in the north woods. To the mid-19th-century eye, human constructions as temples, gazebos, and seats constituted an improvement of, rather than an intrusion on, nature’s beauty.

Rustic Seat, from “A Visit to Montgomery Place,” in The Horticulturist, by Andrew Jackson Downing (1847).

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