1870 window sash muntin resting in the hand plane that made it for the barn at Dow Farm in the 19th century woodworking shop that stood across the road.
The shop shut down 100+ years ago and the plane remained in a shed on the property until being passed to the Dow Farm woodshop.
These pieces remind us that building was historically a very local enterprise. The wood for this barn was likely cut nearby and sawn at the farm’s water powered sawmill. The millwork components were made by hand in the shop across the road. The iron hardware for the barn was forged by a local blacksmith or cast in a foundry not far away.
The barn was built by people from the community who would see their work regularly as they passed by going about their lives – a situation that encouraged work they would be proud of.
Today, houses are assembled from parts manufactured by machines all over the globe. The people running the machines will never see the houses the parts go into. The people assembling the parts have no attachment to the people who ran the machines. They will never know each other. Nothing in the situation encourages quality work.
Historic houses built by people who were proud of their work have an intrinsic quality and are worthy of preservation.
“Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” was written to help people do that.
The 720-page award-winning and best selling hardcover book is available in bookstores nationwide and from online retailers.
Signed and personalized copies are available directly from the author in our shop, https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.
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