When we bought Storybook Farm, its original farmhouse still stood–barely! We have heard from locals that it housed five to six generations of Smiths in days gone by. We believe that it was abandoned for the house we have renovated (and now live in) around 1915 or so. That would make this log structure at least 200 years old.
We really worked at the possibility of redoing it. (Those who are regular readers here know that “Repurpose” is practically my middle name), but it simply was beyond repair. So, after about two years of using it as a tool shed and sometimes garage, we decided to take it down and replace it with a multipurpose building that we call The Lodge.
The picture at the left shows the Smith House in the snow. You can see that Memory Lane runs in front of it, and that it snuggles into the hillside behind it. Holding up its back side is a cement retaining wall that has no foundation. There’s also a tree growing very close to the back left corner.
The hillside presented challenges to the new construction, and we thus spent about three weeks deciding on the location of the new Lodge. We could have sited it closer to the dancing lawn than the Smith House had been, and taken Memory Lane behind it. This had some advantages, but, in the end, we decided to only move it about seven feet over, and leave Memory Lane to run between The Lodge and the Dancing Lawn, and use the Smith House retaining wall to keep the bank behind in place, while taking down that tree.
Demolition began in April of 2015. It took about a week to take it down, scoop it up (by the truck load) and cart it away. We did salvage all the sound logs, and have used a few of them as we developed the farm compound, as you’ll see if you read through this post.
starting to peel siding
building pulled down
peeling off the metal roofing
tree down; Smith house almost gone
our messy compound
After demolition was complete, all that was left of the Smith House was the retaining wall. A couple of weeks later, our contractors started to construct the new building.
The first step was leveling the site, and then the foundation walls were built of cement blocks. This only took about two days. It was great to feel that we were making progress!
Of course, after the foundation came framing, and then finishing. I’ve got lots of pictures to share below, if you’re interested. The building took our excellent builder about four months to complete, but that was because of factors beyond his control. We are beyond pleased with the results! After the construction shots, I’ll show some interior shots and tell you how we envision The Lodge being used.
cement foundation walls
framing downstairs walls
trusses going in to cap first floor
beginning to frame the second story
building almost fully framed
the farmhouse from inside the Lodge
Shots of the Lodge all finished. We love the way it looks now, but plans are to paint it brown next year.
finished exterior: garage function
Dancing Lawn side, and Memory Lane
The farm compound restored to order
Below are some shots of pouring the first level floor, and the finished interior downstairs. It doubles as a garage (winter, mostly) for our two cars and tools, and as a pavilion/party space in summers. It has a full kitchen courtesy of Craig’s List.
pouring the floor
cabinets garnished from Craig’s List: $1000
door to the upstairs and beyond
Below are some interior shots upstairs. The Lodge hosts 12-14 in beds. There are four bedrooms: 2 bunk rooms (each sleeping 4 in bunks plus 1-3 more in couches that make into beds) and 2 “parent” rooms (each sleeping 2 in beds… either in single bed configurations, or king bed configuration. Here are a few shots: