small board and batten chapel was
built in 1836 and had already served
seven generations when arsonists set
it on fire. The chancel area had burned
and portions of the floor, walls,
ceiling, and stained glass windows
had been destroyed. Great care was
taken to preserve as many of the original
elements as possible. And luckily,
photographs of the windows existed,
so artisans were able to recreate
the stained glass exactly.
fire repairs, it was discovered that
the sill plates had suffered from
insect infestation, rot, and age.
But replacing them wouldn't be easy,
as the wooden structure of the Church
sat on a foundation above a very tight
crawlspace. This required crawling
underneath the structure and leveling
areas of the earth by hand to set
the hydraulic jacks properly.
was necessary to carefully elevate
the historic structure. One manageable
section was elevated at a time to
ensure that the exterior wall structure
was supported and that the interior
plaster would not crack or fail. Once
elevated, the decayed sill plate was
removed and replaced with new timber.
Jacks were slowly released to ease
the building back down, and the surrounding
structural members were attached to
the new sill plate. This process was
repeated section by section until
all the damaged structure was replaced.