March 3, 2024
Montpelier, US 37 F

Haunted Vermont, Folklore & much more…

Vermont’s Legendary “Johnny Seesaw’s” Fades Into History But is Rebuilt

Ivan Sesow Johnny Seesaw

Johnny Seesaw’s was built in 1920 by Russian logger, Ivan Sesow

Sesow called his enterprise “The Wonderview Log Pavilion” and began the legend with his wild Saturday night dances, homemade moonshine and rumored sin cabins out back. Throughout the roaring 20’s, thanks to Prohibition, few lawmen and many loggers, “the Legend of Johnny Seesaw’s” continued to grow. Around 1930, Sesow apparently bet the dance hall in one of his famous poker games, and lost. The buildings were sold and remained unused for some eight years.

In 1938 Bill and Mary Parrish bought the run-down property, constructed bunk rooms, installed plumbing, electricity, a kitchen and central furnace, and renamed one of the first ski lodges in the United States “Johnny Seesaw’s.” For the next four decades Johnny Seesaw’s catered to thousands of skiers including a President of the United States, the first aviator to cross the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh, and a bevy of famous and infamous personalities. At the beginning of World War II the concept of army ski troops originated at Johnny Seesaw’s and eventually became the 10th Mountain Division.

How Did the Flood Affect the Rebuilding of Johnny Seesaw’s in Vermont?

The catastrophic 2023 Vermont flood had a significant impact on the rebuilding of Johnny Seesaw’s. The flood caused extensive damage to the restaurant, leading to a prolonged closure and a substantial financial burden. However, the community’s support and resilient spirit ultimately helped Johnny Seesaw’s to reopen and thrive once again.

For forty years, Johnny Seesaw’s, a renowned Ivy League hangout, offered lodging by referral only. If you didn’t know someone who had stayed here, you didn’t stay here.

Here’s a great video that gives you an idea of how special Johnny Seesaw’s was.

Johnny Seesaw’s operated for 34 years as a restaurant and lodging establishment but closed for business in 2014. In 2015, it went up for public auction. The original lodge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, but could not be salvaged and was eventually dismantled after being sold in 2018. Johnny Seesaw’s was bought and totally re-built by new owners and re-opened. Take a look at what it looks like today.

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