Wed Mar 19th, 2008 at 04:30:47 AM EST
[editor's note, by Migeru] Originally published on March 10th
Our little historic preservation got a finishing touch last Thursday. We placed the finial atop the little church building at Valley Grove. This building was erected with hand tools and local materials by the people that Thorstein Veblen would immortalize in his 1914 opus Instinct of Workmanship.
It's not bragging if it's well-deserved - Promoted by Migeru
Because I am one of those secular humanists the religious Right so loves to hate, I occasionally wonder why I am part of this restoration project. But the answers are always the same;
- There are very few historical sites dedicated to telling the story of the migration of the Nordic peoples to North America. This one is on an especially beautiful site.
- The preservation society is easily the best-run volunteer organization I have ever encountered. It's FUN to get things done well (the essential argument of Instinct of Workmanship.)
This is the site. The flowers are a part of our prairie restoration. The wooden church on the left was built by Thorstein Veblen's younger brother Orson in 1894. The stone church on the right was built by the pioneers in 1862. Necessary repairs of the wood church were completed in 2004.
This was our starting point. It may look in reasonable shape, but there was a LOT of rot .
This was the only picture we had of the original building.
This was my effort to illustrate what the restored building would look like.
Complete with finial. Copper is VERY inauthentic but the original final probably lasted less than 35 years.
Both finials against the sky. They will both be the same color in a few years. You would be astonished how much research went into determining the shape of these decorations.