Douglas County Historical Society gets a new roof – Alexandria Echo Press

Douglas County Historical Society gets a new roof – Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — The Douglas County Historical Modern society is preserving the history of its headquarters — the Knute Nelson Residence — with a new roof.

The roof is manufactured up of cedar shake shingles. A style of roof that carefully resembles how it seemed in its inception. The old cedar roof hadn’t been up-to-date given that 1986 when the historic modern society moved the home to its present site at 1219 Nokomis Street in Alexandria.

The dwelling is the oldest Douglas County structure on the Countrywide Sign up of Historic Locations, predating the Douglas County Courtroom House by 23 several years. The first building of the household started off in 1872.

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The Douglas County Historical Society’s roof renovation commenced in mid-Oct of 2022 and was finished by the initially week of November.

Contributed photograph / Brittany Johnson

Brittany Johnson, director of the Douglas County Historical Culture, claims the renovation was important to stop the deterioration of the Knute Nelson Dwelling and protect the composition into the potential.

“We care for this residence for the people today of Douglas County and we want to preserve as much historic integrity as possible in our mission to protect Douglas County’s heritage,” said Johnson. “That consists of executing our most effective by investigate and session with expert preservationists to sustain the historic overall look of the Knute Nelson House from its pre-WWI period of importance.”

The roof challenge price $179,000 — a bigger cost than earlier projections due to the fact of unexpected replacement requirements and supply chain difficulties, Johnson stated.

“Cost is the best obstacle for practically any job involving history or historic preservation. We want to do our operate ideal and we want it to final. That sort of function typically doesn’t come inexpensive,” mentioned Johnson.

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An outdated building follow resulted in rotten rafter tails.

Contributed image / Brittany Johnson

The historical society started the job with the intent of just replacing the shingles. But, right after inspections, it turned distinct that the previous roof was in need to have of a lot more comprehensive repairs.

An outdated making observe — prevalent when the household was produced — led to the decking under the shakes remaining created with gaps in between planks to preserve lumber. This exercise caused sagging in pieces of the roof, expanding vulnerability, and resulting in re-decking of the full roof surface. On best of that, 80 rafter tails also desired changing, Johnson said.

“Any person who has labored with typical autos, boats of any age, or historic houses can demonstrate the way you commence a challenge expecting to do the job on Challenge A, only to find out Issue B, which is the consequence of Challenge C. Function on the historic Knute Nelson Residence can be identical to that,” Johnson stated.

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The aged cedar shake roof had not been updated given that it was moved to its current locale in 1986.

Contributed photograph / Brittany Johnson

Over and above the additional anticipated operate came the complication of obtaining the supplies to end the task. According to Johnson, Lumber and roofing products come in quick offer owing to recent import restrictions and a summer of two disastrous tornadoes. A further element of the cost was the roof’s attribute as a steep-pitched roof and that entry to the east side of the developing is technically three tales — functions that demand more labor prices and provides.

Alongside with the most important roof, the tin roofs above the house’s porches have been tension-washed and painted white.

“From a historic standpoint, this setting up will help convey to the story of Minnesota’s big Scandinavian immigrant inhabitants — which include the own existence stories of Governor Knute Nelson and his loved ones” stated Johnson. “From a logistical standpoint, this constructing was entrusted to DCHS to provide as our headquarters… When the preservation and maintenance of background is not actively pursued, we drop these historic properties — as well as historic photos, oral histories, and other information.”

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“The new roof really should last 40-50 many years with good care and treatment method,” claimed Brittany Johnson. “Starting this August, we’ll use a chemical treatment to the shakes to inhibit the progress of moss and fungus, which will endorse a extended lifespan and greater situation.”

Contributed picture / Brittany Johnson

The roof undertaking was done last November. To make sure the roof’s sturdiness, standard treatment options will be performed. The initially one particular is scheduled for August 2023.

“We’ll implement a chemical cure to the shakes to inhibit the expansion of moss and fungus, which will encourage a longer lifespan and much better ailment,” said Johnson. “The new roof need to last 40-50 several years with correct care and treatment.”

The next undertaking scheduled for the house will be the gutters. Individuals will be changed this spring. They will match the historic pictures that demonstrate fifty percent-spherical design and style gutters utilised on the Knute Nelson Household through the early 20th century.

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Brittany Johnson, director of the Douglas County Historic Culture.

Echo Press file photograph.

“We even observed the 1915 architect’s constructing specifications instructing community contractors to set up tin 50 {7e5ff73c23cd1cd7ac587f9048f78b3ced175b09520fe5fee10055eb3132dce7}-spherical gutters. Our gutters will be built of aluminum, but we did our ideal to match a historic tin color,” added Johnson. “I feel after the 50 percent-round gutters are put in, the general public is really likely to detect the distinction. The dwelling is heading to truly feel extra sympathetic to its historic era.”

People associated in the roof venture contain:

  • Dale Shroeder Roofing, LLC
  • Julio Munguia and his group
  • Tim Abell Construction, LLC
  • Advantage Seamless Gutters
  • A-1 Outdoors and Remodeling, LLC
  • Tru Lumber
Thalen Zimmerman

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Push workforce as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, just after graduating from Bemidji Point out College with a bachelor of science diploma in mass interaction in May perhaps of 2021.