The trees were felled quite recently, and the white oak timbers are still green and soft. Harvested using sustainable forestry techniques, the enormous beams are now being hand-notched and slid into place in the basement of the Tilden. The snow has helped provide a ready-made skid as we move the beams weighing hundreds of pounds. Techniques we are using to preserve the house are essentially the same methods that David Tilden used to build his home almost three-hundred years ago.
This past month, we have found some very special evidence of early first-period building workmanship. It is an exciting time to be a part of this project.
In the oldest part of the house, built as early as 1707, we discovered unique interior panels that are splined together and show evidence of a simplistic decorative bead. And, in another section of the house we found two original windows that may date to the within a few years of the 1725 construction date. And, when opening up the basement floor to pour new footings, we surprisingly found the original footings that David Tilden placed when the house was originally built. Almost three-hundred years of engineering comes full circle in the basement of this historic site.
And then there are the random discoveries that hint at the personalities of the people who once lived here. At the bottom of the basement stairs, a small artifact was discovered in the dirt floor. Certainly not old, but a clue that children played here in the early 20th century. A toy fisherman made of some heavy metal and in near perfect condition. Long lost, long forgotten, and now discovered. It's a wonderful found object.
Over the next few weeks, as the timbers get replaced and the pulse grows stronger, we will bring back the historic building experts to help us understand and place into context the building now revealed. Also, we will begin to schedule tours for the public to come and see the project up close. We all share in the discovery and learning process.
Each day we draw the building further away from extinction and into the relevancy of enhancing our place in history. The building speaks, and we are listening.
The behind the scenes look at the preservation of this historic structure.