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Bearfort Lodge

Bearfort Lodge

Votes: 1
Site: Bearfort Lodge
Project: Log Home Restoration
Medium: Blog
About: Restoration methods for the purist! This log home owner and restorer extraordinaire seems to have done it all to this "gentleman's" retreat built at the base of the great Catskill Mountains. And if he hasn’t tried it himself, he’s certainly done his homework. He provides step by step, comprehensive instructions for preparing and applying wood preservative, cleaning solutions, chinking material and fixing logs from start to finish. And for those who just have to ask the question ‘Why?’, he’ll tell you that too. There’s nothing better than tried and true methods with logic behind them. Visit his blog for everything related to log structures.

Bearfort Lodge has lived many lives since it came into existence in the early 1900’s – hunting lodge, gentleman’s retreat, restaurant, roadhouse, brothel. Its latest incarnation as a private residence began in 1999 when the current ‘innkeeper’ began a long process of restoration.

The Main Event

What is the most time consuming part of maintaining and restoring a log structure? The logs, of course – and the chinking. The owner of Bearfort Lodge has spent countless hours, days and months working on those logs and the chinking that goes between them. Quite a bit of that work has included undoing what was done in the past such as removing paint from the exterior log walls that had been applied by a previous owner, replacing logs which had rotted due to improper care and maintenance, and repairing mortar chinking that was covered over with synthetic chinking.

Life Beyond the Logs

Life at the lodge doesn’t solely revolve around the buildings - there is also the garden to tend as well as other outdoor projects. A 'small' project, by the innkeeper’s standards, is the repair of an old stone outdoor fireplace that due to age, exposure and settling was beginning to crumble and separate. The repair plans include wrapping the structure with steel straps to hold it together while he chips out the old mortar and re-points it with new, and increasing the height of the chimney to improve the draw of smoke. He’ll be using his chiseling skills to shape new stones for the chimney extension and will then replace the skim coat of mortar throughout the inside of the fireplace.

The garden paths have been given just the right look with stones that pave the way. Meandering through the upper gardens then down to a sitting area on a platform in the meadow garden, the descending path is punctuated with stairs that have been created with heavy railroad ties and more stone. Additional paths and railroad tie stairs have been dug through the woodland gardens.

Whether you have a log home/cottage or not, this is definitely a site you'll want to visit. Meander through this blog, stop to pick up tips, or sit back and enjoy the beautiful photographs. We’re sure you’ll find it a trip that’s well worth your while.

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