History of the Lodge
Stepping Stone Lodge was built in 1976. With funding from many generous individuals, the logs were purchased and the foundation laid. Each big timber was hand peeled by devoted workers, and then placed one on top of the other to create a one of a kind lodge.
Next, a group of community members and farm friends gathered to have a ”Rock Festival” to gather trailer loads of field stones out of a remote field at the farm. As the huge field stone fireplace went up, local artisans were creating wrought iron chandeliers to round out the ambiance of the main room with its cathedral ceilings.
All of the doors and fine cabinet work were hand made by a craftsman who had lived his whole life in Temple. He started his life here on the farm because his mother had been the main cook for the farm when it was the county Poor Farm for orphans, widows, and minimal security prisoners. His finishing touches for the inside of the lodge lend to its charm, sense of permanence and coziness.
The lodge opened as Sign of the Dove Retreat and Conference Center, a religious retreat center serving the Episcopal churches throughout New England. It then grew to serve many national committees for youth ministry.
As the farm itself grew, the lodge became the home for our summer residential riding camp, Pony Farm. Stepping Stone Lodge has since hosted many kinds of events, from equine-related workshops and training to wellness weekends and weddings.
Throughout this time, the guests of the lodge have become part of the ‘farm family’, and subsequently join in many of the activities offered throughout the year.