Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My first love, . . . well . . . sorta. . .

 I have been knocking about log buildings (not just cabins) since about 1974. I think it was the old Daniel Boone TV show that got me hooked. I learned from an old antique dealer in St. Charles, John Frank, and most of it was hands on learning. He would get me started and made sure I know what to do when the next step came along. My first experience with a log building was helping with construction of a cabin he was building to dedicate to Abe Lincoln. This was in 1974, and I mostly helped with the foundation.
I left to work in Maine in 1977, and when I came back I got involved with helping Mr. Frank again.
My days were pretty open because at the time I worked nights. Mr. Frank asked me if I wanted to take down an old house/cabin on some property he bought, and if I wanted I could build a smaller cabin that we could all use for weekends and hunting and such.

This first picture is the small house/cabin (we have already taken the roof off).as it looked when I started.
Once we removed all the wall covering on the inside we found exactly one hundred, eight foot cedar logs that were used for the walls. Almost western fort like. Well heck, we ( a friend where is was working helped in the early stages) didn't have to settle for any old small cabin, we could build ourselves a real log cabin.

Needless to say, every spare hour I had went into working on the cabin, often times spending the night camping to work on it for the whole weekend. Evenings, when we didn't cook we would go into Washington for dinner and drinks.
This second picture is as the walls are about half way up. The logs were all so short that instead of doing a lot of splicing we just added lots of windows. You can see the stone fireplace from the original house that we kept and built around.

Here is how the chimney looked on the original house.
This next picture is with the walls up and ready for the roof.
This little dog came down with me almost every time I worked on the place. At home we couldn't keep him from running off, here he wouldn't leave my side.

With the roof framed.

And here with the roof on, ready to close in the ends, and add windows and doors.

We improved the interior of the fireplace to make it draw better. ( Count Rumford)

Here I am when I was young enough and flexible enough, and small enough to actually fit inside the fireplace to do the work.

Almost finished!
Closing in the ends and a little chimney work.
It was started in April and finished by November.

And no power tools were used.

This picture is probably one of the first snows of the first winter after we had finished it.
 Notice my cross-country skis against the side.
  The walls always had a lot of character, waving and bending, because of all the short logs we used.
  We eventually added a clay chimney top to the fireplace to make it draw better and not smoke.

At the time I was experimenting with old Polaroid cameras, so got lots of good black and white pictures.

 Dog and I getting firewood.
In the early 80's we did a couple of Thanksgivings down here.

Although I haven't been by it for a few years, I know it still stands and the owners are trying to keep it up.

I sure learned a lot and loved every minute I spent down there.

Mountain man me, way back then.

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