Monday, September 06, 2010

In a Cabin in the Middle of the Woods

In 1937 the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) built Grassy Lake Dam. They also built several cabins on the constructoin site. In 1961, Jed Stringham moved three of those cabins to Camp Loll. The logs were numbered, the buildings disasembled, and then rebuilt at Loll. For years they served a host of duties. With an addition Jed built from trees felled on site, the one to the north served as the kitchen and dining hall, the center building has served as a trading post, nature lodge, and commissary, the south building was the office up front and later the trading post in the back. In 1977, Jolene Darrington, Camp Cook, lived in the back of the office. When her family visited, it was wall to wall Darringtons. In 1986, Wade Cox and his family lived in the back of the cabin. In 2001 Janice and I lived in the "Old Office", while the Barlow/Wadman Lodge was being built; we had the camp office in the new lodge basement. Since then the buildings have been used as staff housing. Karlo Mustonen lived in the "Old Office" then Bryan Purdie took over. Tim and Laura Moser also spent a summer there. In 2010 it was home to Dan and Emma Mauchley.

The "Old Office" cabin has had a rough life. The roof was sway backed and broken for years, held up by scabs along the center beam, steel cables, and luck. The logs on the top of the walls on either side were rolled and the trusses dangling. So this year, it was decided to rebuild the roof after camp, and before the winter could take it down. As usual, Bill Wangsgard took the lead in organizing the materials and a crew to put them up. The amazingly talented and hard working crew that Bill assembled included: Kent Clawson, Keith Welch, Brent Christensen, Junior Shupe, Earl, and Lamar Capner.

The first order of business was to get the old roof off. First all the tin had to be removed then the wooden understructure. No plywood in this construction; the trusses were logs, the roof made of rufcut boards. Kent assesses the situation.

The planking was pulled off with hammers, pried off with shovels, and at the last battered down by a 2/6 battering ram. Below, Kent is hard at work.

Once the tin and planking were gone, the old cabin looked rather naked.

Inside things long in the dark, saw the light of day. This is the inner dividing wall.

This book case and cabinet were once the Camp Loll office and First Aid station.

Then the ridge beam came down. It was splintered and split by years of heavy snow. Kieth pulls down the final boards.

Meanwhile, out in the parking lot the crew was building new trusses for the new roof. To the left is Dr. Steve Johnson. Steve was on staff that first year, 1959. He is a great supporter of Loll, his gifts to the camp make life better for staffers and campers, and he was one of the alumni who answered Camp Loll Committee Chairman, Lynn Hinrich's, call for help. Earl directs, while Lamar puts on the glue, Brent stands by to haul the finished truss into place.

Another great alumni supporter is Kara Hollingshead Jones. Here she is with her daughter, Brady, Bryce, her husband, was hard at work rebuilding the roof.

Brent Christensen, Kieth Welch and Lamar Capner were among the extremely hard working and talented supporters that Bill marshalled to make this project work.

As the old timber came down the mess had to be cleaned up. Most of the tin would go home in Kent Clawson's trailer, along with the rest of the garbage, but all burnable wood was cut up into campfire size chunks and stacked for next summer's use. The "Old Office" will go on serving scouts for some time to come. We were lucky to have members of two camp staffs working on the project. Here Kyle Neville, Loll waterfront staffer, assists Shaun Conner, Program Director from Camp Cherry Valley in California.

Shaun and his crew from CCV were a great support.

Here Rachel Erickson, CCV's Camp Cook, lends a hand. That's CCV and former Loll staffer Riley Davis in the background.

Every nail had to be pulled and disposed of, and the lumber cut and hauled to an out-of-sight pile for future service. Here CCV's business maneger, Stephanie Johnson, Kitchen Staffer, Katie Shurtleff and Rachel Erickson, brandish the tools of their service.

Meanwhile the new trusses, built on site with nail gun and glue, and a lot of skill and care, are hoisted into place.

Little by litte, the cabin seems to take on new life.

These new trusses are strong and straight.

Then a shell of plywood covers them. Kieth risks life and limb to get it right.

It is hard and dangerous work to put so much lumber up so high without a lift or scaffold, but no one complained.

Once the plywood was in place the steel roofing was put on. They did it so fast I didn't even get a picture of the process.

There wasn't quite enough steel to finish the job, but this will give us an excuse to come back again. Once the nails and scraps were cleaned up the "Old Office" is looking mighty new.

There is still painting and finish work to do, but what a weekend wonder we had. Our hard working crew was out of camp by dinner time.

Camp Loll is able to grow stronger and better all the time through the labor of so many friends, not just friends of Camp Loll, but friends of Scouting and of the many it serves. It was a wonderful weekend, to see such difficult problems tackled and dealt with by the efforts of so many is a testament to the goodness of people in general and evidence of what makes a free nation great.


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