|Birch Lodge before Restoration|
And the lodge....
Oh, the lodge, the poor lodge, it looked really sad. On top of needing paint, and a roof the foundation was crumbling in the front and it was sagging.
Work on the lodge itself finally began in July. Our objective was to get a new roof on, make the repairs to the foundation, restore the old windows, and give it a coat of paint so that it might be weather-tight, and stabilized until further work inside can be done.
|Bill in Protective Gear|
|Roofing Birch Lodge|
New sheathing went on as the weather turned rainy, and sections of roof were done quickly as the rain allowed. This was a dismal process, the rain seemed to play tag with the workers. The only good thing about doing a roof in rainy summer is that it makes it easy to check for leaks! (The only areas which leaked were "in progress" spots.)
In the midst of the work, the visitors came, by car, boat, golf cart--and wheel chair. It was fun to watch the parade of boats, and kayaks, and even jet-ski's watching us. One morning as the black underlayment for the roof was up across the front a jet-ski screamed across the lake, paused at the shore, apparently saw that it was only black on the roof because it was in progress, and darted straight back!
I wish I had a dollar for everyone who told us where to put the dock in (straight off the front door!). But we did enjoy listening to the stories people shared. We were deeply moved when one of our older visitors actually came to tears, she was so happy that we were saving the lodge. It did wonders for our spirits to get such strong approval.
But in spite of the numerous requests, we have no plans at this time to re-open the Birch Bar. Eventually I hope if will be open for coffee, but it will remain intact pool table and jukebox, and the bar with all their initials carved in, just the same. I invite all with old photos of vacations at the lodge to send us a copy, I intend to frame groups of old photos along the walls for all to reminisce and enjoy.
Next the story of the windows....