Where did it start? . . .
It started with a dream to encourage protection of open space and to retain the community character of Johnsburg. A door to this dream opened when the former Alexander’s garage/Bacon garage became available in 1999 and was purchased by Elise and Woody Widlund.
The dream of open space for this particular piece of real estate changed when the historic WPA Ski Bowl building burned down in the fall of 1999. This was a great loss to Johnsburg and to the residents.
Bill Thomas, Town of Johnsburg Supervisor, had gathered representatives of the many organizations that have had occasion to use the Ski Bowl building to explore what the needs for space would be for each organization in a new building. Elise attended this meeting. …And so the dream took an about-face. “Let’s look into meeting some of the space needs that I learned about and give the building to the Town” says Elise to Woody. Together the Widlunds approached Bill Thomas, the Town Board and held an open public meeting with this idea. Support was very high. Thus the Tannery Pond Community Center was born. The name has its roots in the stream behind it, which once was wider and called the Tannery Pond.
The initial plan of using the existing building dissolved when the engineers reviewed the structure for a long-term investment. 20 years did not sound long enough to the Widlunds, so a whole new structure was decided upon. Aided by an advisory committee of local residents, the Widlunds and the architectural firm of Joy, McCoola and Zilch began the task of turning the dream into reality.