Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yep, still scanning old slides and photos. . . .

. . . and got to return to another cabin from my past. Once again we go to Maine.

Under 'Log Cabins I have known' I wrote about this cabin in Maine, near Baxter State Park.

The Grand Lake Matagamon cabin of Edmund Ware Smith. (Don't forget to check out his books.)

Scanning and sorting I came across a few more from the time I got to visit the place.

This is the lake side of the cabin.
The opposite side from the view above.
 Kitchen, every thing cleaned up and stacked to keep mice away.
I didn't take many pictures inside.
I think I felt I was intruding. Although I was there with permission, I guess I felt I shouldn't take too many inside.
 Wife walking outside when we visited a few years ago. We did not get to go inside on this trip.

  In the above mentioned post I wrote about his friends who would visit and they called themselves 'Jakes Rangers' after artist, who was one of them, Maurice 'Jake' Day.

In the field just out of view in the above photo, there were several smaller cabins, log and otherwise.

Each "member" of Jake's Rangers had there own cabin to sleep in using Smiths house as the informal meeting place for there northern adventures.

Here is a picture of Jakes Rangers with Chief Justice Douglas and the caption that the Baxter State Park page had on the photo;
Jake's Rangers" at Roaring Brook, photo taken by Roaring Brook Ranger Ed Werler, date unknown (likely late 1950's,early '60's).
Left to right: Ed Pierce, Jake Day, Bentley Glidden, Justice William O' Douglas, Edmund Ware Smith. Justice Douglas was a wilderness champion and Edmund Ware Smith wrote about "Jake's Rangers" in his much loved books. Jake Day is the Maine artist who created the seal/logo for Baxter State Park.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Love this photo. . . !

I love this photo. There is so much going on in it texture-wise.
An old log cabin-wise.

The worm and carpenter-bee holes.
The axe and adz marks.

The contrast between the stones and wood.

The horizontal and vertical, and even diagonals.

The logs are very roughly hewn. Not fine and finished like some the bigger cabins I have seen.

But it tells so many stories.

A home for a farm worker or even maybe a slave.

Not finally built to be lived in for many years by the landowner. (There was a bigger clap board house near by.)

You can see different methods.

Both wood and stone chinking.

The vertical board that once had siding attached.

Here is a picture of the cabin this wall is from. Now gone. Can you find the part of the wall where the picture is aimed at?

Before the invention of tractors, well sort a. . . . .

Way back in this post, I talked about having to eventually use the tractor once it got to high to push the logs up.

Well, I found one photo . . . .

. . . . of about the time that change was going to have to happen.

In this picture you can see that the second floor joist log is the next one to go up.
From the looks of it this is the one that will be rolled all the way across to the far wall.
I only took the logs up two sides to save having the maneuver around the cabin so much with the tractor.
And the back sides were much higher than these two sides which would have meant the ramps would have had to be longer.
I would push the logs up and my helpers, on this day, would hold the ropes tight so the logs would not slide back down as I went to the other end.
When by myself, I had places pegs in the ramps to keep the logs from sliding back down.
In the photos we are using downed small trees as the ramps. The old boards, floor joists, at this point I would use to walk up as I pushed the logs up the trees.
The joists, up till the point I started using the trees would have been the ramps for the logs.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A new perspective. . . .

This photo reminds me of two things; one, being very happy. Two, fear.

The very happy part;
It had taken me probably a little over a year to get to this stage of putting up my first cabin that actually belonged to me.
Up to this point all the cabins I had worked on had belonged to someone else.
I had learned a lot, but had nothing of my own to show for it.
Now, after a year plus of taking down two buildings, hauling 20 plus tons of stone, having had the foundation dug, I was finally to a point where things were going up, instead of down.
I had hauled all the logs myself on a trailer behind my truck. Some logs weighing in at around 800 pounds.
Each cabin had over 70 logs.
I also hauled away as much of the old lumber from the house as I could that I thought I would use again. Much of it has been used again.
I this photo you can see seven of the nine logs I had to hew for this building.
But at least things were going up.
I had turned a corner.

The fear part comes in when I would think about spending all day hauling three pickup truck loads of stone and late in the afternoon would look at the pile and it didn't seem very big.
Or at the end of a long day maybe I had only got one more row of logs up. Maybe just four more logs, moving them from the pile to the site and back again.
And I would stand back and think I would never get this project done.

I loved (love) working with the old wood. But the project seemed too big for one person at times.
My friends at the time were not people you wanted working are sharp tools and heavy logs. I would spend more time worrying than working. And, truth be known, I like working by myself.

But still, when tired, it can seem to much.

Somewhere around this point I had a big life lesson. Or at least a big log cabin life lesson.
Don't know where it came from, log falling my head, wind in the trees. Doesn't really matter. I was just glad it came.

At some point on a project of this nature; tough, will take a long time and as long as you are committed to doing it, you have to stop looking at the big picture. How much you still have to do.
And just start looking at what you did that one day.

Remember that it really is a big accomplishment that you got four large logs up two feet above your head.

There was a point as I approached the second floor that I no longer could figure out how I was going to get the logs up any higher by myself. Had I reached my limit.
I made an appointment with a man's crew who did this for a living to see if they would do the work and how much I would cost. We came to terms.

But as the appointed time drew closer for them to come out and do the work I started to feel real bad and questioned my decision.
If I let them do the work, it would no longer be my baby. It would no longer be something I did.
Still not knowing how I would do it on my own, I called and cancelled them coming to raise the logs.

Eventually, as shown in the previous post, I came up with a way to do it.

I remember, although still a long way to go, on the day I got the last log up, on my way home, I stopped and bought a bottle of champagne and opened it with a then girl friend in celebration of another big step finished.

Sometimes in life you have to look at the big picture.

But other times you just have to look at just a small section of it.

Log Cabin Life 101.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How it happened . . .

 Up until about the course just above the second floor joists, I pushed the logs up by hand on ramps. A little at a time each end.

After a while I had to get a little help.

1945 or so Ford Ferguson Tractor.
Still used ramps, but now had a pulley attached to a post in the middle of the cabin and pulled the logs up.
In the first photo you can just see the center pole.
In the second photo you can see the rope attached to the logs, over the pulley, and back to the tractor.

Just did the math. I have been working around old log buildings now for 45 years!

 And here are a few of them.
 Me up high, Spencer on the ground.

 Log Barn.
 Was told it was a slave's cabin.
 Someone actually lived in that little place at one time.
 Double pen log cabin, New Melle Mo.
Log chapel
 Bowling Green Mo.
 Cleaning up at Bowling Green Mo.
 Log Chapel
 On top of the Log Chapel
 Log Chapel
 John Frank's place.

On top of the main cabin.

One of my favorite photos! The first four logs going down. Still brown, not yet grey. All hand hewn to replace bad logs.

 Log barn OFallon Mo.

The next four, the Pitts Blacksmith shop.

 Fred the wonder dog.