May 2021 Mill Report

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Work is still progressing smoothly.  Ed Blaiklock and Audra Ziobro are still there working on replacing rotten timbers and straightening the building.  They are doing a wonderful job and we are lucky to have them for such an extended period of time (since February).  They have fashioned new sills and beams out of 8×8 hemlock material and used vintage members where possible.  This phase of the project has been funded, in part, by a grant from the National Association of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

In this process, the lower half of the rear (west) wall was removed. It was discovered that one section was framed with modern 2×4’s.  In checking with Craig Leeman, former Poole’s employee, he said there used to be a sliding door there and he boarded it up years ago.  This space in the undercroft (basement) was apparently a work area and we wondered how people got in and out of the area.  Now we know.  We plan to reinstate this door and it may end up serving as an access to the park area behind the mill.

The structure of the whole building has been photodocumented.  The photos and a narrative have been printed.  Copies are available for loan at Bristol Area Library and at the Bristol History Center.  One photo (page 44) was particularly interesting.  Using bright lights for the camera work revealed another boarded up window.  It is in line with the other windows so makes sense.  We will be opening it back up and using a window that matches all the others.

The “shed” on the northern (right) end of the mill finally got its new roof, thanks to work from our volunteer corps and helpers from the Carpenter’s Boatshop.  This addition was built much later than the rest of the building and will be differentiated with a different color roof.  The north wall had been painted white.  That wall has now been scraped and will be sanded down.  We are not likely to repaint it since the old photos of this mill and many other mills show no use of paint at all.

For the past six Saturdays, volunteers have gathered to dip cedar shingles in WoodLife.  This monumental task has been completed and they are ready to go onto the back wall once Ed finishes his work there and our shingle contractor comes to install them in early August.

At the end of the month, Ed and Audra tackled the broken 8×8 beam that runs along the joint between the sawmill room and the main building.  This had been patched, sistered and repatched over the years and, initially, was considered the first priority of the project.  There is now a new support structure there that spreads the weight out along the new timber.