It is August. The mosquito infestation has died down, the valley is lush and green and we have moved our efforts to the preservation of the Little Plum School house. Built in 1899 for a cost of $800. This school was constructed in two months and still stands today. I am amazed at the craftsmanship put into this school.
The fascia is a masterpiece with interlocking boards, crown trims and drip edging. Our major task ahead is a solid exterior paint job, ( two coats of paint). This includes hours of prep work scraping, inspecting boards and nailing the clapboard siding. That is me during week one. We started on what we considered the most sun damaged side of the building…the west. This project will take us the rest of the month to finish. I have to admit we are taking our time and resting our tired bones when we needed.
Here are my thoughts regarding ‘preservation’ verses ‘restoration’. We are preserving Little Plum School. For us that means stopping any more deterioration to the structure. Restoration is a can of worms that we are still researching. Built in 1899 and operating as a school until 1957….what time period does one ‘restore’? Electricity was added in 1938, and I have to say, I find the modest lighting and very few outlets quite handy. The modern day shingles recently put on to save the roof, should be cedar shingles. YIKES! And the woodshed that was built during the 1924-25 school year still stands, we did a bit of foundation work in July and the shed needs a new roof. We have our hands full, researching, making decisions on the most immediate preservation needs and taking a break to stand back and say….we finished one side, on to the next.
Yesterday was a research day for me and mowing for Rick. We had a few visitors at Little Plum Place, even a couple from Rick’s old stomping ground in Indiana. The sky looked questionable so painting was put on hold. That turned out to be a good decision, as we had a major storm move into the area. Today’s forecast looks grim…50% chance of rain. Depending on the moisture content of the wood, we may have to wait another day to continue painting. I am off to the kitchen to can some pickles and maybe….paint.