Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Weekend - Hermann, Mo - Part Two.

We then headed south and west a little to check out the "Swiss Meat and Sausage Company".
(You can see their sign in the back left of this photo.)

And in their lot they had rebuilt this delightful little log building. Probably used as a small out building or smoke house. It is a wonderful little reconstruction.

Nice porch and good over-hangs on the roof.

Great finished foundation.
Would make a great guest cabin or kids play house.

 We then headed towards Bonnotts Mill Mo passing this charming setting with a wonderful old barn and brick house, that were in great shape.
In the yard behind the house and barn was. . . .
. . . this great looking little building. Well maintained and if not in it's original setting and condition it sure had to be close.

Stones between the logs to hold the chinking.

It is also a good indication that this is probably on it's original site by how close the logs are to the ground. Reconstructions usually place cabins on a higher foundation.
If the windows were not been added later, it could have been a slave or workers cabin.
 This is a side view of the main house.
Side view with another barn in the background.

This was a very cool setting for the cabin and house!

On our drive home Sunday afternoon. . . .

. .  we pulled over to explore this run down little house, hoping it was log.
It turned out not to be. But pulling in the drive to check it out we spotted . . . .
.. . .  this small log crib. Still covered and in good shape and still being used.

Although we had set out just to have a relaxing weekend at a great B&B, we had the added bonus of many cabin discoveries.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Weekend - Hermann Mo - Part One.

To celebrate the weekend and our anniversary my wife and I headed to Hermann Mo.

An historic Missouri River town with tons of German heritage. Lots of great . . . .

. . . old buildings, wurst and award winning wine.

And a treat for me this weekend was seeing several new (to me). . . .

. . . log buildings.

This one is being rebuilt right along one of the main drags into town.

It is going to be a great restoration.

 It is hard to say, without stopping some time and asking the re-builders if the roof line is original to the structure or remodeled for this reconstruction.
But this type of cantilevered roof would be pretty common on log buildings further east like in the Smoky Mountains.

The work being done is top-notch.

Wood shingles on the roof. Tongue and grove ceilings and floors.

Being a building that is going to see a lot of traffic, obviously codes must be followed and the construction around those issues is well done indeed. All is in keeping with the style of the building. What is really cool about the building is the logs that continue over the dog trot (or center) section of the building, which usually means the building was planned this way from the beginning and not just two separate cribs built side by side at different times.
If this was originally built as a barn, the open center would have made easy access for a wagon to be driven under cover. So would the big roof overhangs.
The lack of many window openings would suggest this was built as a barn.

Sitting near this wonderful barn, just behind it and up on a hill (you can just see it in the second photo) was another reconstruction underway.

It appears that the building on the right originally sat on this site and at one time had had additions and siding put on the original log structure.

As with many log buildings, when additions are added new doors and windows are cut into the logs to accommodate the new floor plan. This can some times leave the original logs very cut up when someone comes along to take them down for a reconstruction.

The back left cabin with siding is the one on the original site.

It is hard to tell from this picture, but the second log from the bottom is about eighteen inches tall. A very big log, which would mean less trees had to be taken down to complete a wall, but also required more man (horse?) power to move.

Some new foundation work was being done to bring it up to code.

This 'new' addition was being erected next to the original house and is up on a nice new foundation that is very well done.

This cabin came from another site and is being rebuilt here. The logs were all tag and numbered.

It will be interesting to follow this reconstruction over the next year or so.

Part two in the next day or so.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Great memories, sad endings. . . part two.

The Second Building. . . .

The second log building I built for John was this log chapel that is in the newspaper piece on the first post.
It was made from logs from several different buildings all spliced together to make longer logs.
Many of the logs were donated by former Cardinal baseball  pitcher Mark Littell and local photograph Frank Oberle.
Boards came from old barns and old churches.
Other than the wood shingles I did everything on the construction of this chapel.

Over the years this chapel has held weddings, been on the cover of CD albums and was even used in a Japanese documentary on Laural Ingalls Wilder.
Mr. Frank was looking for a quiet place to sit and reflect, and I think he found a little of that here.
He hand craved an eagle to hold the big bible he kept in the front of the chapel.

Mr. Frank died a couple of years after it was finished. He was in his late 80's.

For fifteen years I lived in an old house on the property. Living on cheap rent for doing work around the place. I stayed and worked around the place till around 1995.
Jane ran it as a business till around 2001. She died in 2005.
The property has been for sale now for three or four years.
This past weekend I drove by to make sure I had some good pictures of the buildings in case it sells and they all get taken down.
I kinda knew what to expect from visiting a few years ago, But it was a little worse than I thought it would be.

This is the back of the little 'Lincoln' cabin.
The roof is all caved in. The window all boarded up. Planks removed from where John had built a closet for the water heater.
A tree is obscuring most of the front.
I saw a woodchuck run for cover under it as I walked up.
It is a sad picture.

 The log chapel is just about as bad.
If you look close at this picture you can see the window broken out.

It is hard to see in this picture. . .
 . . . but in this one you can see the tree limb growing into the roof.

The moss on top is not unusual for a wood roof that gets little sun.
This is the inside of the chapel now. Floor rotted out. Big hole in the roof.

The logs on both the buildings are still in pretty good shape. But won't be for long once the roofs go.

The sad part isn't that the family doesn't want to run an antique shop out of the property.
Or that they want to sell because they have their own interests. Or that it is to expensive to maintain. There are two kids and four grand kids and it is OK that they are in other areas of the country living a different kind of life.

The sad part is that they have no intention of trying to maintain any of the legacy that goes along with the property.
It would be to hard to finance an antique shop on this property now. I get that. It is too large and the taxes would kill you. The property needs to be taken over by a developer and put to good use.

But let some other people remove the old buildings and use these log structures again. Maybe they hoped someone would buy the property and do something with them on site, but they are getting to the point where they won't last much longer and will just have to be destroyed.

The main building would take a major salvation by someone who had done big jobs before.
But the two little building could be removed in a couple of weekends by a couple of people with a pick-up and trailer.

It is a shame to see someones hard work just rot away from lack of interest and caring.
Give someone else a chance.

So, maybe, if you are looking for a couple small log buildings. . . . . you never know.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Great memories, sad ending. . . maybe. . .. 1986 - 2013, Part One

I showed this image from a 1986 newspaper article about a log chapel I built for my landlord/friends/log cabin mentor on my other blog about a year ago.

I built two cabins for this man, and helped on another and helped maintain all three plus the main house for fifteen years ending with me moving away about 1995..

. . . here is the whole story.

I would have to say I first fell in love with log buildings by watching the old 1960's TV show' Daniel Boone.

But did not find much of a way to do anything about it till about 1973 when I. . . .

. . . drove on to this property owned by John and Jane Frank and run as 'Log House Antiques' for probably thirty years.

In 1972 or 73 I pulled in and asked if I could do some sketches on the property and they said "Yes". We got to talking and I never did finish a sketch but started working for them on buildings and handy man stuff.

This is the side view from the drive. This was taken this week and you can see my car near the front. This, the main house and antique shop was constructed over about twenty years from several log barns and building. Although looking slightly disjointed from the outside, the inside was very grand and beautifully finished. It was from John Frank that I learned much of what I know about log buildings.
The property was about three acres, and at the back of the property, in 1974, John wanted to build a small log cabin to dedicate to Abraham Lincoln for the Bicentennial in 1976.
So this would be the first log building I worked on. I didn't get to do much more than collect stones for and work on the foundation because I broke my foot that same summer.
But over the years I did lots of work on it helping to maintain it.

It was constructed in such away that it could be used as a guest house, but it was mostly used as a living museum to educate school kids on early American life.

It was built from two smaller cabins from different location and rebuilt as this dog-trot style cabin.
The building to the left was once a smoke house.
On the right hand cabin John built a fireplace with a working brick oven of to the side.

Building the First one.

The first cabin I actually built was for John on some property they owned near Augusta.

It was built from about one hundred small cedar logs that had been inside another building I took down on the property.

The fireplace was from the earlier building and I built the log building around the structure.

 Here in it's first snow.
We re-built the inside of the fire place so it would draw better and making it heat the cabin better.

Spent lots of weekends out there cutting firewood and hiking around.

I have not been back to it for many years, and need to do so soon.

John Frank showed me many fine old building in our county over the years, many places I still visit and have fond memories of.

Tomorrow, part Two.

Lucky we are. . ..

We are lucky in St Charles to have a fairly active preservation culture. Many fine old buildings are taken care of and maintained. And just like about every where else, we have lost a few that should have been saved for historic architectural reasons.

This nice old Italianate, although sitting empty at the moment is in great shape.

Sitting on the same property is this wonderful little log home that was moved from a local farmstead and rebuilt in town.

Note the nice carriage house at the back of the two buildings.

 The man how started the rebuilding and preservation was Glen Bishop. A local store owner/contractor and the one responsible for much of the work done on St. Charles' effort with the Lewis and Clark celebration just a few years ago.

A small sign tells part of it's history.
 Eastern side with carriage house in the back.
 Western view with carriage house and main house.
 This beautiful double crib dog-trot cabin sits on Missouri's First State Capital site.
A wonderful reconstruction that at the time of it's rebuilding was intend as public toilets for the surrounding historical area. It only serviced in that capacity for a short time.

Despite the fact that it still contains cinder block restrooms inside, the reconstruction work is excellent.
 The back side.
 Nice half windows on the half story second floor.

From the other end.