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What’s Happening with the Log Building

I’ve been asked “What are you doing with the log building?” – and the questions increased when I added a door to the south wall.  Writing an answer might even clarify my thoughts – or at least give me a rehearsed reply.

First, it’s not really a log building – it’s a building made from the old railroad’s telegraph poles, salvaged as the rails along the Kootenai came out before Koocanusa Reservoir filled.  A guy named Goldsberry had the contract and figured the cedar telegraph poles would have value – so he cut them at ground level and hauled them into the little flat below the old service station, and, when they didn’t sell, left them there.

Dad liked to have a project going on, so in the mid-eighties put a small mill in, and Pat Eustice (AKA Mac’s Hippy) milled the poles flat on three sides, mixed cement for a slab, and laid up the building.  As I emptied the building, a glance showed that one of the old cedar poles in the east wall had started to roll – so I needed to strengthen that wall.  Then I realized that the doors on the west were essentially levers, prying the walls apart each time they were opened and closed.

There’s no doubt those doors are rustic and even attractive.  They’re also destructive, so they’re due to be replaced by some standard roll-up garage doors that won’t lever the walls apart – I’ll be ordering them soon, and installing the new doors this Spring or Summer.  The door on the south wall gives an accessible spot to enter, and I’ll continue reinforcing that wall so that the (lesser) leverage of a 36-inch door doesn’t harm that wall. 

I guess it’s historical – the telegraph poles came in along with the railroad before 1910 – were removed after 65 years of service, then repurposed.  I guess it would be just about as accurate to call it a telegraph pole shack as a log building.  Once the doors are changed and the building is strong again we’ll probably figure out what to do next.

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