Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Painting the Birch Lodge Lobby

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In October, we finally got the lobby of the lodge repainted.  Once again, it was calcimine paint on the original plaster walls. Although the lobby had been repainted a decade ago, the latex paint was hanging in shreds on the ceiling from the original calcimine. 

The latex was scraped off, and the original calcimine washed off and the walls and ceiling primed.  Again we chose a new paint color that is more representative of the Arts and Crafts Period. 

For now the crackled white trim paint remains.
Many people have said this looks like birchbark, and thought it was done intentionally.

 Although it is very popular in the designer world,  I would like to return it to the original mahogany brown paint, and restore the burlap panels of the wainscot. (The panels have been painted over numerous times.)   This was a common Arts and Crafts technique.   Even the newel post on the stair had burlap panels!

 In spite of much yet to do,  we think the new gold walls look much more inviting than the old pink and tan color scheme.

Although it is so much work, it is always so rewarding to see how nice it looks as it comes along.

 Bill says it is like the healing process, bit by bit, we are making it better.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birch Lodge Dining Room Update

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The dining room at the lodge was in dire need of paint.  The walls and ceiling were both peeling.  Once again, as in elsewhere in the lodge,  the walls underneath the paint were originally painted with a calcimine paint.  This means that anything painted over this will peel, again and again. 

The solution is to scrape off the paint, wash off the chalk based calcimine paint, and seal it all with an oil base primer, and apply a new top coat of paint.

  Time consuming and messy.  Especially washing the ceiling.. 

I also wanted to change the 50's blue.  Although a pretty color, we were hoping to use something more appropriate for the period of the building.

  I chose a celery green from an online article on arts and crafts color schemes. 

The ceiling still needs to have a finish coat of a more creamy white, but I think the change is for the better.

 I think the green really provides a nice background for the antiques too.  Now to find just the right creamy white.....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Birch Lodge Motel gets New Carpet!

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Birch Lodge Motel, Trout Lake, MI
Late last fall, we were carpet shopping.  Actually, I was looking at carpet samples often during the summer, but none seemed right.  We hoped to put in something that was easy to care for, but we also wanted to keep a retro feel.

 Finally we found one we thought would work.  It is made of recycled fibers and is gold and beige with a fleck in it which reminds me of our star burst lamps.

The carpet was ordered the end of October, and although I was hoping for something sooner,  the installation was set for Thanksgiving week!
By then we had the pipes blown and the motel winterized.  The cabin, where I stayed had the heat tapes on.  

 In order to make sure the installation only took one day, we moved the furniture  and had the carpet removed by our handyman.

  We noticed under the baseboards the original teal and orange of the room walls....I don't think we will repaint those colors!

The installation crew came and did a great, quick job of it.  They were in and out in only a few hours.   I think it looks great.

 With a storm coming in, we decided to winterize the cabin and leave the furniture set up until April.

 Which got me home just the day before Thanksgiving!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Penny Pine Project

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Driving west along M-28 toward Engadine, we noticed a bronze plaque on a boulder on the south side of the road.  We stopped to read it "Michigan D.A.R. Forest August 1931".

 I took some pictures, and wondered about a bunch of silver haired D.A.R. ladies planting pines in 1931.  What was this about?  Eventually, I did a google searches and learned something.

The U.S. Forest Service, with the help of the C.C.C. began a program to reforest America.  In addition to putting millions of people to work, the program sought to replenish the country's forests devastated from over harvesting and wildfire. 

The trees were grown in U.S. Forest Service nurseries.  In addition to supplying the C.C.C., these seedlings were also sold to individuals, and donations were sought to help sponsor the cost of the program.  The cost of the seedlings was one penny, hence the name Penny Pine.

Margaret March-Mount
Forest Service Photo
A Forest Service employee, Margaret March-Mount, working from the Munising district, came up with the idea of promoting replanting and forest fire prevention through the development of a Children's Conservation Crusade, encouraging children to donate pennies for the replanting effort.
She was also instrumental in organizing sponsorship programs through various clubs and organizations. ( For more information on Ms. March-Mount please read  the Forest Service History Page.)

In celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the D.A.R., Mrs Henry Robert, President of the National D.A.R. chose to participate in the Penny Pines Project.  Her goal was to establish a D.A.R. memorial forest planting in every state.  Each planting was to be a minimum of one acre planted to 500 pines at a cost of $5.00.  The C.C.C. did the actual planting and maintenance.

The large boulder along M-28 marks the D.A.R.s contribution to the replanting of 160 acres in Michigan in 1931.  A sizable planting at the time. 

The Penny Pines Program continues today, although I have not found active Michigan plantings.
Donations are sought by members of the National Garden Club and the U.S. Forest Service.  The cost of sponsorship is the minimum now required to plant one acre, currently $68.00  For more information, here is the link:  http://www.gardenclub.org/projects/ongoing-projects/penny-pines.aspx

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Update from Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Print Friendly and PDF Trout Lake, MI February 2013
Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Checking the weather site, Trout Lake is 10 degrees as I write this, and has 15" of snow on the ground for great snowmobiling.  The Soo is reporting 17" and Engadine has 16".  This is great news for Trout Lake.  The new bar (The Buckhorn) opened under new ownership, and reports are good. 

Fall was a blur, but we managed to get new carpeting installed at the motel.  Bill and I headed downstate the end of October, but I went north to oversee the carpet installation just before Thanksgiving.   Bill is working on National Register nominations, and I am closing out 1012 and planning 2013.

  The holidays flew by for us and were marked by the passing of our old dog Ralph just before Christmas.  Ralph was a stray that had been dropped off at Birch Lodge 14 1/2 years ago.  Ann called us because she could not keep him, and we drove up and fell in love.  What an ugly pup! 

Ann thought he was a young female lab, but he was about 3 1/2 months old, and we think part Golden retriever and part Chow.  He was my big 90lb sweet woolly bear.
He greeted me every day, and kept close track of everything.  He was an animal lover, known for rescuing baby animals by waging his tail at them, and was fond of his kitties.

  I miss him profoundly.  But it is hard to be sorry for a dog who had a long good life.

 Stanley and Polly will  have to keep track of me now....if I can wake them.  So begins another year.