Eric Sloane and the Noah Blake Outhouse Rebuilt

May 18, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on Eric Sloane and the Noah Blake Outhouse Rebuilt

The Noah Blake Outhouse, Rebuilt and Returned

In the summer of 2016, Barb Russ of the Eric Sloane Museum was made aware of an estimate to have the Noah Blake Outhouse refurbished, the low estimate coming in at over $7,500. Friends board founder and president James Mauch conferred with Barb and with Catherine Labadia of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development concerning the willingness of the state to have the Friends assume responsibility for the outhouse, and it was agreed that James would either restore or replicate the outhouse based upon an assessment of the structure.

The underside of the Noah Blake outhouse revealed the substantial degradation of the bottom support structure.  Much of the wood showed signs of wood destroying insect infestation.

The initial intent was to repair the outhouse following the recommendations set forth by the architectural firm hired by the state of Connecticut to provide building assessments for structures at the Eric Sloane Museum of Kent. Unfortunately, the outhouse was more substantively degraded than it appeared in situ. After a thorough condition assessment, it was determined that it would have been very difficult and not cost effective to repair the outhouse following the plan set forth in the architectural overview document.  It was far more cost effective to replace the outhouse, with the added benefit that the outhouse would be more in keeping historically with what Eric Sloane envisioned in Diary of An Early American Boy.

Interior framing of the Noah Blake outhouse, showing modern dimensional lumber and framing nails.

Detail of the framing used in the Noah Blake outhouse

Unfortunately, most of the sawn lumber was rotted and displayed obvious signs of having been cut with a circular blade.  Ironically, Sloane himself wrote of the invention of the circular saw by a Quaker woman in 1825.  Others have pointed to an earlier date for the invention, but either historical possibility makes it difficult to believe that an outhouse supposedly standing in 1805 would be clad in boards that were cut by a circular saw.

The approach taken in the reconstruction of the Noah Blake outhouse was one that placed the outhouse in context with both what Eric drew in his illustrations for the Diary book, as well as what was happening historically in the Kent area c. 1805.  Both suggested heavier timber framed construction, blacksmith forged nails, period door hinges, split shingle roof shakes, and lumber dressed to reflect ways of working wood in the period.

The discussions and research that informed the approach of the outhouse was considered when discussing the refurbishment of the Noah Blake cabin.   The cabin, it turned out, presented many of the exact same challenges as the outhouse, with an added and important twist

April 29, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on

What Happened to the Noah Blake Cabin?

A lot has transpired over this past winter and we have learned much about the origins of the Noah Blake cabin. What we have learned has informed an exciting new path, one that will allow us to build the Noah Blake cabin as Eric Sloane originally intended and illustrated in his 1962 Diary of an Early American Boy, Noah Blake: 1805.

We’re interested with connecting with you if you have a desire to learn or to hone skills in hewing logs and splitting shingles. We are hosting several volunteer days throughout 2018. We will provide instruction and historical background, snacks, safety equipment, and the opportunity – you provide your own boots, proper attire for working outside with sharp tools, a sense of humor, and a willingness to learn and work. Check out the 2018 calendar of events at the Eric Sloane Museum for more information:

Come to a Hewing and Shingle-Making Event at the Eric Sloane Museum, held from 11-3 p.m. on any of the following days:

Saturday May 5th, 2018
Saturday June 9th, 2018
Wednesday July 4th, 2018
Friday August 10th, 2018
Friday September 7th, 2018
Saturday September 29th, 2018

April 26, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on

This father and son team stopped by the Noah Blake Orchard on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum on Earth Day and – presto (that’s Italian for a lot of hard work just happened!) – we have a new Westfield-Seek-No-Further tree to replace the one that died. With all of our gratitude, THANK YOU Darrell and Aiden Cherniske!

What happened to the Noah Blake Cabin at the Eric Sloane Museum?

April 9, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on What happened to the Noah Blake Cabin at the Eric Sloane Museum?

What happened to the cabin?   

      A lot has transpired over this past winter and we have learned much about the origins of the cabin:

Noah Blake’s Wonderful Cabin

What we have learned has informed awn exciting new path, one that will allow us to build the Noah Blake cabin as Eric Sloane originally intended and illustrated in his 1962 Diary of An Early American Boy, Noah Blake:  1805:

We’re interested with connecting with you if you have a desire to learn or to hone skills in hewing logs and splitting shingles.  We are hosting several volunteer days throughout 2018.  We will provide instruction and historical background, snacks, safety equipment, and the opportunity – you provide your own boots, proper attire for working outside with sharp tools, a sense of humor, and a willingness to learn and work. Check out the 2018 calendar of events at the Eric Sloane Museum for more information:

Saturday, May 5, 2018              Hewing & shingle making with Friends    members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

Saturday, June 9, 2018             Connecticut Open House (Free admission to the museum).  Hewing & shingle making with Friends members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018          Independence Day Celebration.  Reading of the Declaration of Independence, Bell Ringing at 2:00 PM, artists’ reception for those artists who participated in the Community Art Exhibit, Show, and Sale. (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.).  Hewing & shingle making with Friends members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

Friday, August 10, 2018                   Hewing & shingle making with Friends members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

Friday, September 7, 2018              Hewing & shingle making with Friends members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

Saturday, September 29, 2018       Hewing & shingle making with Friends members on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, 11-3 p.m.

The Noah Blake Cabin

February 18, 2018 |  by  |  Comments Off on The Noah Blake Cabin

The Noah Blake cabin on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum, taken yesterday before the snow began.  A beautiful morning.

Eric Sloane’s Noah Blake Cabin

December 13, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Eric Sloane’s Noah Blake Cabin

A view of the Noah Blake cabin and grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum on the afternoon of 11 December. These photos were taken after the Board of Directors of the friends group adjourned. Seems we can’t get enough of Eric Sloane and the museum he founded -a two and a half hour meeting just wasn’t enough. The Noah Blake cabin seems most appealing in the snow, if not a bit forlorn…but thanks to hundreds of generous supporters and friends, all that is about to change in 2018!

Orchard Help at the Eric Sloane Museum

November 18, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Orchard Help at the Eric Sloane Museum

Our thanks to Darrell Cherniske of Kent Greenhouse and Gardens.  Darrell did an amazing job getting the heirloom apple orchard ready for winter.  The trees never looked better!  Thank you from all of us on the board of directors of the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum.

 

Eric Sloane would have loved this!

November 11, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Eric Sloane would have loved this!

Some photos of the exceptional work by blacksmith Radames Ramos.  Rad has become a staple at our events at the Eric Sloane Museum this year and was kind enough to share some experiences he has had learning the art of the blacksmith.  Little did we know that he was going to bring us some examples of his work that we can use for the cabin restoration.  Rad’s workmanship is excellent and we are honored to have him as part of our restoration team.  Thanks, Rad!

Thank you from the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum

November 11, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Thank you from the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum

Our thanks to new donors to the Noah Blake Cabin Restoration Fund – John Pawloski, Nick Bischoff and Michael Salvino. Thank you very much for your generous contributions!

Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum Harvest Party

October 24, 2017 |  by  |  Comments Off on Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum Harvest Party

Two of our board members rising to the occasion – Kent’s own Selectman Bruce Adams (left), and our newest acquisition to the board, John Pennings.  These two gentlemen worked very hard throughout the afternoon and early evening of October the 14th to serve guests some delicious food hot off the grill.  Thank you Bruce and John!