Hertzler Barn Raising
In July 2007, us four apprentices packed up our gear and head west to Ohio to help restore and raise a 160 year old barn.

The original 40 x 60-ft. Hertzler Barn was built in 1854, about the same time as the Daniel Hertzler House, a Pennsylvania Style Bank house built for a wealthy Mennonite farmer. The house still stands and is open for tours in the George Rogers Clark Park. The barn was dismantled in 1951, leaving just a foundation and roof. The barn was of a Pennsylvanian style (with what is known as a fore-bay that jetties out of the back) and the timbers where half original, half combined with a barn of a similar style and age. There was also some new timbers in the final frame.

The 160 year old hickory was like rock. My chisel did not like it at all. We had been cutting white pine for the past month which has the consistency of butter. sweet, sweet, butter. The new white oak was also tough... and very, very heavy.

We camped on-site and was fed extremely well by the park for whom the barn was being restored for (George Rogers Clark Historic Park, Springfield, Ohio). The project was led by local timber framers who was very kind to us and taught us much about the craft and camaraderie. We got our hands in just about everything - untwisting members, cutting a new post, nailing floor planks, rivening pegs, carving door headers and driving the T-rex!

For raising day, we built a mast and boom with old telephone poles to help leverage the heavy bents. Most of the frame was raised by hand with volunteers, framers and pike poles. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay to the end... we had to leave to drive back to Mass. for our next course.

hertzler barn project>>


The barn deck.

160 year old timbers.

Finishing post with Wally between my legs.

New oak post.

Boom and mast.

Hand raising with pikes, ropes and muscle.
A bent on deck.

Fitting a scarf joint.

The frame as it stood when we left.