A Visit to Old Hemlock Part 1

If you hang around bird hunting circles long enough, the names George Bird Evans and Old Hemlock will eventually come up in conversation. George and his wife, Kay, built their lives around their passion of pursuing Ruffed Grouse in the Allegheny mountains surrounding their home, affectionately known as Old Hemlock. George, with a Purdey Sidelock, would fervently hunt with his English Setters, a line he bred to his own exacting standards which came to be known as Old Hemlock Setters.  Kay followed them through the aspen and alders with a super 8 movie camera. George kept a meticulous journal of 65 hunting seasons, the content of those journals would become the basis for more than a dozen books and countless magazine articles he authored. 

George and Kay's revolutionary war era log hewn home at Old Hemlock.

George and Kay's revolutionary war era log hewn home at Old Hemlock.

Its been almost two years since our visit to Old Hemlock, but its something that we think about quite often and a memory we will always cherish. Old Hemlock is a bit of a Mecca-type journey for any serious grouse hunter, especially those who have an affection for English setters or Evans’ writing. George’s books paint a picture of an almost fairytale life surrounding grouse hunting. When you visit Old Hemlock it becomes immediately apparent that George and Kay’s life was not a magical fairytale but a beautiful reality full of elegance, romance, nature and beauty. We hope you enjoy this brief photographic catalogue of our visit and may you always have “A dog, a gun and time enough.” 

OH Setters Laurel and Willow posing in the long room. Carrying on the legacy of fine grouse dogs roaming the rooms at Old Hemlock.

OH Setters Laurel and Willow posing in the long room. Carrying on the legacy of fine grouse dogs roaming the rooms at Old Hemlock.

Sandstone bust of OH Ruff's magnificent head sculpted by George.

Sandstone bust of OH Ruff's magnificent head sculpted by George.

The Studio where much of George's writing took place. It is easy to imagine a brace of setters laying in front of the massive hearth.

The Studio where much of George's writing took place. It is easy to imagine a brace of setters laying in front of the massive hearth.

George's largest grouse fan. Time has taken its toll on the feathers, but it still holds an undeniable magnificence.

George's largest grouse fan. Time has taken its toll on the feathers, but it still holds an undeniable magnificence.

George's Remington typewriter that he wrote many of his classics on.

George's Remington typewriter that he wrote many of his classics on.

George's book collection.

George's book collection.

Kay's hunting cap and iconic cat eye glasses.

Kay's hunting cap and iconic cat eye glasses.

OH Laurel peers out the dutch door onto the porch from George's bed.

OH Laurel peers out the dutch door onto the porch from George's bed.

Walking amongst the virgin hemlocks for which the property is named.

Walking amongst the virgin hemlocks for which the property is named.

Photo of George and Kay Evans at Old Hemlock. Photo courtesy of The Old Hemlock Foundation.

Photo of George and Kay Evans at Old Hemlock. Photo courtesy of The Old Hemlock Foundation.