Thomas Brown PIT Project – Part 4

The new logs were notched and ready. The old sill logs had been carted off and reused for other parts of the project. One crew had been out all day collecting rocks large enough to act as foundations. It was time to put everything back together.

After the new sill logs were in place it was time to move the foundation rocks under them.

With the sills in place it was time to move the log floor joists back into place.

And finally….the last log!

After all the logs were in place, the floor and porch went back rather quickly.

And finally the finished restoration.

We had done it!

What seemed impossible to me just days ago, was now standing before me finished.  A group of volunteers with a common desire accomplish something worthwhile had come together and preserved a piece of Missouri’s and my historic past.  This pristine little picnic spot in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest was now ready for a few more visitors, a few more picnics and a few more years thanks to the sweat, cooperation and will of a few special people.

Afterward

The tools were quiet now and what had been a worksite now seemed like a picnic spot again.  People slipped off into small groups to enjoy a liitle quiet time with their friends and talk of the weeks accomplishments.  The sound of hammers and saws was replaced by the sound of laughter and the smell of sawdust and “Krud Kutter” had been replaced by the smell of Bar-B-Q (Thanks Forest Service guys!)

I was tired and exhilerated all at the same time.  I had worked hard and helped to  preserve an important part of  Missouri’s history.  It felt good.

The quality of the people I met and worked with during this PIT project was another special par of this project.  Not only the voluteers, but the Forest Service Employees and locals as well. One of the people that I met this week was a 94 year old local man named Ray.  He was a wealth of local historical knowledge.  He had known some of my family when they lived at Falling Springs and we talked about much of the history of the place and the people who had lived there before.

One of the memories he shared with me was how all the neighbors would come together when there was a barn or a house to build.  It was impossible for one man to have all the knowledge and the tools needed to build a barn or a house by himself.  Coming together, helping each other and working as a group was what formed a strong sense of community in those days.  He said that “sense of community” is what was missing from the world these days.

Even though the volunteers I worked with that week did not live in the same area, I wondered if maybe that strong sense of community was what I had experienced during the last week.  Each one of us had individual strengths.  Each one of us had a special skill that was needed.  And each one of us respected the others contributions to the project.  Thanks to the Passport in Time Project, I think we had the chance to develop and experience our own “sense of community.”

Thanks guys!  For everything!

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