Take a Seat with Johnny

  • Visit North Central
  • Posted on May 9, 2015

Johnny Appleseed-Themed Chairs Give Visitors a Life

Want to check out a unique “up-cycled” piece of local tradition? Take a seat. Literally.

Traveling can be a bit exhausting — and if your tour of Johnny Appleseed Country leads you to want a bit of rest, take a good look at the bench that beckons your weary body. It might just be a re-used, re-cycled, up-cycled chair from a lift at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, it’s not surprising that Wachusett might have a few out-dated, no-longer-needed, but too-good-to-toss-out items hanging around. After all, New Englanders are noted for their frugality.

But this year, some of the ski area’s retired chairlift seats have come out of storage to take on a new life, with help from a number of friends.

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area decided to team up to re-purpose some chairs, with a Johnny Appleseed theme. But where to begin?
Students in the steel fabrication and welding departments at the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg stepped up to the plate, creating bases that would allow the lift chairs to sit firmly on the ground. Their colleagues in the carpentry department then went to work, adding wooden backs to provide a surface for the coming artistry.

Next stop: Mt. Wachusett Community College, where art students let their fancy take flight, adding their personal spin to the Johnny theme.

In early September, six renovated, decorated chairs will take spots of honor at local attractions, including the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center on Route 2 and, of course, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.

Looking for a place to rest? Keep your eyes peeled — you just might find one of these upcycled benches in your travels. And when you do, sit down, take a rest, pose for a photo, and get re-charged for the rest of your tour through Johnny’s backyard.