Cabin Repairs – Day 8

Work continued over the weekend, but I didn’t capture it on film.

Today is the last day with the work crew and it is amazing what they accomplished in a week.

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Still working on the windows

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Adding a few new shingles and a new ridge line to the roof.

The Torguson cabin is looking good too.

And… the “after” pictures just before the crew left.

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One window on the “Courthouse” cabin finished.

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Two windows on the Torguson cabin finished.

We will finish the last two windows on the Courthouse cabin, stain the new logs and add water seal.

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Thanks for a great week!!

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Cabin Repairs – Day 5

Cabin Repair - Day 5 001

The final caulking is being applied to the Courthouse cabin.

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The log replacements are complete.

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They even practiced splicing two logs together.

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The second coat of chinking is being applied to the North side of the Torguson Cabin.

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While the South side is being prepped with metal strips to hold the first layer of mortar / chinking.

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Cabin Repairs – Day 4

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Cleaned out areas are filled in with putty.

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The spaces between the logs are filled with foam strips.

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The foam strips are sealed with “log jam” caulking.

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Progressing to the far side of the cabin.

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Young workers are learning preservation skills from log cabin veterans.

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Cabin Repair – Day 3

Moving right along with cabin repairs.Cabin Repair Day 3 001

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Weather sealing crack in good logs



Shaping the beams


Setting the new logs into place


This piece was “painted” with vinegar to weather it. We need to find the right formula to weather the new logs to match the old ones.

The Torguson Cabin chinking is also moving along. The old concrete was removed, metal mesh is added to the space to help hold the new mortar.

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Cabin Repair – Day 2

The crew got busy in the morning, jacking the Courthouse cabin apart to remove rotten logs and add new ones.

And work continued on the Torguson cabin as well. The old chinking is being removed and any rotting wood is also removed in preparation for re-chinking.

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Cabin Repair – Day one

We are honored to host the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps at the museum this week.

Northern Bedrock is a direct descendant of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps that provides young adult participants with job training, education experience, and leadership skills through historic preservation work. Applying the conservation corps experience with historic preservation is a unique and innovative program making Minnesota a leader in creative new strategies for historic preservation.

What does that mean for us? It means that 2 of our historic buildings will get some needed TLC.


Our “First Courthouse” log cabin from 1866 is our highest priority. The first county meeting was held in this building in September 1866. It has been moved several times from its original location, and as far as we can tell, has undergone several repairs / restorations over the years. Several of the logs are rotting and the more modern caulking has done more harm than good.

The storm of August 1, 2001 brought down many trees, and we have had large ash logs set aside for this project, waiting for a day when we could find a team and someone with log cabin expertise to help us out.

That day has arrived.

The other project is the “Torguson Cabin” that also needs some care. The logs need to be re-chinked and the windows need to be re-framed.

The team got right to work.

At the end of day one we headed out to the Halvorson Farm where Mark and Ted cut the large ash logs into beams.


To see more pictures and some video of the saw mill, visit our facebook page.

It will be great fun to see the work done on our cabins this week. Stay tuned – we will keep you posted!


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Just before the start of the Sunday’s Waterama Grand Day Parade, the Fire Department received a fire call. Confused parade spectators watched as firemen rushed from their line-up position at the top of the hill back to the firehouse to don their gear, small children were hustled off the firetrucks and off they flew, soon aided by firefighters from the surrounding communities. (Many of whom were also in the Grand Day Parade.)

An enormous storage shed full of hay was engulfed in flames. While there may be an investigation, the most likely cause was spontaneous combustion.

If hay is put into a barn or stack when it has more than about 22 percent moisture, not only does the hay lose forage quality, but it has an increased risk of spontaneous combustion. High moisture hay stacks can have chemical reactions that build heat.


Photo by Lynn Sutherland


Photo by Lynn Sutherland



Photo by Lynn Sutherland

The building was constructed in by McLeod Commodities to house potash, which was used to make fertilizer. In 1971, they had four buildings that could hold 75,000 tons of postash, with plans to expand. Glenwood was an ideal distribution point thanks to its location on the Soo Line railroad. This is the largest of the four buildings, built in 2 stages – half in 1970 and half in 1972.


Warehouse Aerial label

Aerial photos from this spring


Photo by Lucy Lloyd


Photo by Lucy Lloyd

Thank you to our brave and hard working volunteer firefighters and the local emergency responders for answering this – and so many other calls, big and small.


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