Friday, September 06, 2013

The black iron beast

Puckerbrush School has for the most part been evacuated now in preparation for under-floor repairs --- but the beast remains. And it's got to come out, too; hopefully today.

This hefty chunk of cast iron does come apart so that it can be moved in smaller pieces --- if we can figure out how it's done and if it's willing (the stove has been undisturbed for more than 40 years).

Historical society board member Frank Mitchell cleared plans with the State Historic Preservation Office Thursday, so G M Builders can begin work once the building has been emptied. That will involve, unfortunately, lifting the floor and replacing as much as needed of the building's support structure.

Also Thursday, the Johnsons --- curator Marilyn, son Casson, his stepdaughter, plus Frank Mitchell --- moved desks and other items from the school into the nearby log cabin, where they'll remain for the duration. The stove and two heavy display cases will go today, we hope, when more troops are available.  

The goal is to have Puckerbrush back on its feet and reassembled by spring, so that the school district's 4th graders can be welcomed during late May --- as they have been since the building was moved into town from Otter Creek Township during 1968.

In the meantime, the museum campus remains open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through the end of September, then on a more limited basis during the off-season. The school is officially closed for now, but everything else (including the cabin, which looks more like a warehouse now than a pioneer dwelling) can be visited.

You're always welcome to walk around the grounds, admire the gardens or just sit on a bench and relax when the buildings are not open.

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