Celebrating Josey Lodge
On November 7, 2021, The Board of Trustees officially celebrated Josey Lodge's addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Nearly a decade in the making, the humble ceremony reflected the desire of Mr. Robert A. Josey to stay hungry and be strong to finish.
Although the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 10, 1910, there was at least one troop active in Huntsville the year before, in 1909. By the mid-1910s, Huntsville's Scouting movement joined BSA with Troops 1, 3, and 10 sponsored by local organizations and known as the Huntsville District. When BSA formed Sam Houston Area Council in 1930, the Huntsville District was included in their geographic region and our troops were renumbered: Troop 1 became Troop 98, Troop 3 became Troop 114, and Troop 10 became Troop 99. Today, the Josey Lodge organization supports three Cub Scout packs, four Scouts BSA troops, and one Venturing Crew as well as several Girl Scout troops.
Josey Lodge was built and dedicated in 1934. Mr. Robert A. Josey conceived of the idea and donated the equivalent of more than $90,000 toward its construction; Gibbs Bros. & Company donated the logs, rocks, and petrified wood; and Roosevelt's Civil Works Administration provided the labor. The Lodge boasts 4,270 square feet in five rooms, plus about 900 square feet of basement storage space. The large auditorium and both small meeting rooms include stone fireplaces with hearths and mantles of petrified wood.
The dedication ceremony held in June 1934 was attended by more than 1,000 people including such dignitaries as Texas Governor William P. Hobby. In his dedication address, Mr. Josey stated “I ask you to join with me in dedicating this lodge to Service. Be careful of what you do, be just in what you say, be earnest in what you undertake, be strong to finish what you start, and above all, be sure that these things will help others.”
Two significant events occurred in 1935, the year after Josey Lodge was built. First, the Caretaker's Cabin was built with the idea of offering living quarters and a small stipend in exchange for care of the grounds and the Lodge; this arrangement stood for many years. In May of that year, the nonprofit organization Robert A. Josey Lodge, Inc. was founded to "...support, encourage, promote, and perpetuate the ideas and ideals of Boy Scouts of America, scouting, and scouting activities..." and to provide for the "...maintenance and operation of a Boy Scout Lodge..."
Mr. Josey remained active with Scouting activities at Josey Lodge until he passed away in 1954. His will provided a $30,000 endowment for the support of Josey Lodge and Huntsville scouting, and to provide for the annual Josey Outstanding Scout Award.
Josey Lodge stands very much like it did in 1934. Damaged logs have been replaced periodically, heaters were added in the 1960s, the roof was replaced in the 1970s, and a carefully camouflaged fire suppression system was added in 2016. The only change in the exterior appearance came in 2014 when volunteers built a series of free-standing handicap access ramps to make Josey Lodge accessible to those with mobility challenges. The land and holdings have expanded over the years and now include the entire block and two additional buildings: the Scout Annex, and the Girl Scout House. The City of Huntsville leases part of the land and maintains the baseball diamond, the basketball court, the playground, and the lower parking lot.
Josey Lodge and the Caretaker's Cabin were recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2010 and were accepted for the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.
Board of Trustees
We pledge to
protect and improve the existing facilities and ensure their availability for the future;
preserve the heritage of Huntsville Scouting and Josey Lodge;
provide service and support to local Scout units and the larger Scouting community; and
grow the Scouting movement.
Karla is a 20-year BSA volunteer in local, district, council, national, and international roles. She is also the US National Peace Light Coordinator and a co-founder of Peace Light North America. She has received the Silver Beaver Award, District Award of Merit, and International Scouter's Award.
Todd grew up in Scouting in Huntsville. A 2009 Eagle Scout and the 2011 Robert A. Josey Outstanding Scout, Todd remains active in Scouting in multiple roles. He is an Information Management Specialist for the US Department of State in Washington, DC.
Mandy has lived in Huntsville for 24 years. She and her husband Shawn are the proud parents of two sons (and three dogs). She is an SHSU graduate and holds professional certifications in internal auditing and fraud examination. She is an active volunteer with her son's Scouts BSA troop and has assisted in planning the Josey Scout Banquet for several years.
Thomas is a Huntsville native, an Eagle Scout, and the 1978 Robert A. Josey Outstanding Scout. A former member of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Thomas currently serves as the Interim City Attorney for the City of Bryan. He is also a deacon in his church.
Kay King Mitchell has served the Josey Lodge Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, including 11 years as Secretary/Treasurer and nearly 20 years as Chairman. She is also active with numerous other Huntsville civic organizations. She is Robert A. Josey's great-niece.
Gene earned his Eagle Scout rank in the Three Rivers Council in Beaumont TX and is currently active with his son's Scouts BSA troop. He received George Strake District's Spirit of Scouting Award in 2019. Professionally, Gene is the Associate Dean and Director of Student Legal & Mediation Services at Sam Houston State University.
Tom grew up in Scouting in Huntsville and is an Eagle Scout and the 1964 Robert A. Josey Outstanding Scout. He was involved in Girl Scouts in Huntsville when his daughters were youth. A retired professor of history, he currently serves as the Chairman of the Walker County Historical Commission and a Trustee of the First Christian Church Board; he is a past member of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Board and the Huntsville Public Library Board.
Richard is a dedicated volunteer with Huntsville Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, and Venturing units. He has planned and led multiple local contingents to the Kandersteg International Scout Center in the Swiss Alps. He is also active in the Huntsville Kiwanis Club and his church.
Leanne Grivich Woodward is a retired elementary schoolteacher and librarian from the Huntsville Public Schools. She is married to Mac Woodward, former Mayor of Huntsville and a 1962 Huntsville Eagle Scout. They have two grandsons, Walter (who is a Cub Scout himself) and Thomas.
Sandra Bounds (Josey Banquet Chairman)
Mary Gedelian (Girl Scout representative)
BSA Unit Leaders
GSUSA Unit Leaders
O. Eugene Barrett
Joe B. Sandel
Original Board of Trustees
Tom Ball, Chairman
J. P. Gibbs
G. G. Hollinshead
R. L. Bunting
Ottie E. Barrett
R. M. Woods
M. E. Curtis
Lewis E. Ball
J. L. Clark
W. E. Lowery