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Yeomalt cabin returns to solid ground

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Yeomalt cabin started the new year on a firmer footing after a work crew lowered the historic cabin onto fresh logs and a new foundation Wednesday.

The depression-era structure was lifted and detached from its stone chimney and fireplace in September. It has had been suspended on cribbing for the last three months.

During that time a new footing was poured by islander Mike Brundige, raising the height of the cabin slightly. The new footing will bring the building up to date for accessibility standards and protect the logs around the cabin’s base from moisture.

Moisture was the culprit for rot that ran rampant through the cabin’s lower logs.

“It was getting pretty well run down,” log home specialist Terry Creasey said.

Creasey has replaced several logs around the base using timbers that were hand-felled on Bainbridge for the cabin in 2006.

Meanwhile house mover Jeff Monroe, whose team lifted the cabin in September, went to work straightening the 25-ton stone chimney which had developed a noticeable lean. Monroe had the fragile structure.

“I was nervous about it,” Monroe said. “I made it look easier than it was.”

Monroe’s crew took charge of the lowering operation Wednesday, while Creasey used a chainsaw to put the finishing touches on a few log ends.

The cabin was lowered onto teflon pads lubricated with soap, then come-alongs were used to pull it gently into place. Monroe said the hole trimmed for the chimney fit almost perfectly when the cabin and fireplace were reunited.

“It’s really tight,” Monroe said. “I don’t know how Creasey pulled it off, it’s very close.”

Monroe will spend one more day at the cabin fine tuning the fit before his work on the Yeomalt project is done.

Creasey will stay on longer, adding a new section to the top of the chimney and reworking the cabin’s door and windows.

A new cedar-shake roof is also planned for the building.

The second phase of the project, which will renovate the cabin’s interior, will commence once funds are procured.

The Bainbridge Metropolitan Park and Recreation District the citizen group Team Yeomalt have been working to restore the cabin since 2005.

The former Boy Scout camp was built in the Great Depression era as a Works Progress Administration project.

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Donations for the Yeomalt cabin project can be sent to the Yeomalt Cabin Fund, c/o BI Park Foundation, P.O. Box 10010, Bainbridge Island, 98110.

For more information call 842-4164.

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