By Marcia Love
The oldest purpose-built museum in Saskatchewan is undergoing restoration.
The 1935 section of the SW Sask. Oldtimers’ Museum has been dismantled and work has begun on replacing rotten logs. Ron Gordon has taken on the project, and together with his crew the building has been disassembled.
The 80-year-old building was in need of attention as both back corners of the structure have completely rotted away. This was the result of stucco that had been applied to the back of the building in the mid-20th Century allowing moisture to build up in the logs. The deterioration caused the building to lean, threatening to collapse. Because of the extent of the rot, it was not possible to safely complete the repairs at the current location.
The logs were numbered and the building carefully dismantled piece-by-piece. It will be reassembled with new logs, swapping out those that are too rotten to salvage. The objective is to save as much of the original building material as possible.
“As log buildings were historically often taken down, moved and reassembled, doing so with the 1935 log museum was seen as an acceptable compromise that would allow for the building’s grave structural issues to be safely corrected,” explained Oldtimers’ Museum historian Royce Pettyjohn.
The other sections of the museum were rebuilt by Gordon and his crew between 2012 and 2013.
Before the 1935 building is returned to the site with new logs, work is being completed on the foundation. Once the building is reassembled at the site, it will have cedar shingles put on.