A few weeks later, after some confusion and with much apprehension,
I gathered my $4,000 in cash and my 6'4" father,
and we set off to a nearby truck stop to meet the dealer. I handed
over the booty and insisted on a receipt for my money. The dealer
borrowed a pen from the waitress and wrote, "Sold
log Terry house in Laggan, Ontario April 16, 2000,"
on his placemat and signed his name. I was the happy owner of
a pile of logs.
A log building is rather like a big puzzle, with each piece of
timber having a unique place within the structure. To move a building,
one needs only to record the location of each log, take the building
apart and then put it back together with each log in the same position.
Simple really. If you are lucky, you may see an old log building
with Roman numerals scribed into the pieces, indicating that the
building was marked and moved previously. In my case, I nailed
small metal sheep ear tags to each log and drew a diagram noting the
number and its condition. If replacements were needed, I could
do my planning. In addition, I scribed a mark on each wall
that would be used to provide a level reference when it came time
to raise the building on its new foundation.
The dismantling process begins freeing
top course of logs.
To keep my anxiety in check about moving the building, I reminded
myself that log structures were built and moved long before the invention
of the diesel engine or the hydraulic cylinder. Only three things
are required to take one down: ropes, helping hands and gravity.
Luckily, in these modern times, a Saturday and a case of beer
will get you all three. We started taking the building down on
a crisp November morning at 10 a.m. The first task was to
free the top course of logs, which were pegged to the next course
of timber below them.