April Mill Report

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A short report does not mean little is going on.  Our carpenters, Ed and Audra, are plugging away efficiently.  They have worked their way around the building replacing rotten timbers as they go.  Then they got to the back (west) wall and found more problems than we anticipated.  The wall is now suspended in mid air as they replace sills, beams and corner posts using vintage timbers plus modern hemlock logs.  This week they should be putting things back together again.

The shed roof on the north side of the building (over section 5) has been stripped.  There was far less rot in the sheathing than many thought.  Still, patching was done where needed and now we are looking forward to the crew from the Carpenter’s Boatshop  to come over and shingle the roof with asphalt material.

Volunteers have been working with us every Saturday to dip cedar shingles in preservative as we prepare to have the “new” back wall re-shingled.  It has been a fun way to meet new people, get out of the house and do something productive that does not need strength, skill or intelligence.

As you know, we have little hard evidence as to when the mill buildings were built.  We have had a number of historic building experts come through the mill.  They all agree early 1800’s but that is about it.  Is there any way to tell how old a large timber is?  Yes, dendrochronolgy !  Also known as tree ring analysis.  We are working with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by sending them cross-section samples of the larger timbers in the building.  If successful, they will be able to tell the date the tree was cut down to within 2-5 years.  How cool is that?