Monday, October 22, 2007

For almost ten hours on Saturday I helped rebuild a section of a mud-and-thatch roof that had eroded off an old farmhouse in the Hutmacher Farmsite here in Dunn County. It was labor-intensive work--my forearms have been cramped and swollen since then, like Popeye's.

What's particularly neat about this stone-slab house and all the other buildings on the property (a cellar, the ruins of a barn/granary, a summer kitchen/butchering shed, a poultry barn, and a garage), is that the construction materials were, and still are, locally available. These include sandstone rocks, clay mortar, flax straw, cottonwood, animal blood, manure, scoria gravel, and badlands cedar. In my opinion, the work to restore these buildings is more of an art than typical construction work. It's also reminiscent of making a kid's fort.

If anyone out there is interested in helping to reconstruct these buildings next year, let me know, 'cause there will be a lot of opportunities.

See also: Preservation North Dakota.


Anonymous said...

sounds like fun

Anonymous said...

Chris -

The best link for more Hutmacher info is: