Timber Frame Area
The granary and maple sugar shack are located on the south end of the Richfield Historical Park. Both of these structures are great examples of timber frame construction. A blacksmith shop has been designed and the construction has started.
The granary was originally located near Kewaskum and was built in the late 1800s or early 1900. In 2001, the owner offered it to the Richfield Historical Society, and a crew of volunteers dismantled it. The reconstruction work started in 2003 with the help of Lyle Lindholm, an expert in timber framing. Each piece of the framework (called a bent) was constructed on the floor. The old-fashioned 'barn raising' took place on May 31, 2003. This event consisted of several people manning 'bent poles' to push up the 'bents'. A lean-to was added in 2012 to provide additional storage.
Currently, the granary is used for storage of many artifacts. However, future plans are to set it up as an agricultural museum.
Oh, so many maple trees in the Richfield Historical Park but no way to collect the sap to make into sweet maple syrup. Problem solved! A member, Ed Boldt, donated his maple syrup making equipment and sap has been collected ever since. For 2 years, the maple syrup team boiled the sap outdoors in all kinds of spring weather--snow, rain, freezing temperatures. Then, in 2005 a member's son was working toward his Eagle Scout status and needed a project. Darin Dumke designed and built the maple sugar shack. How different making maple syrup is now. The team works inside, boiling the sap in the old-fashioned way using a wood burning sap evaporator pan. Every spring, families come to the Park to enjoy Maple Syrup Family Day, one of several RHS Events.
Progress is being made on the new blacksmith shop that is being built in the Richfield Historical Park. Grading for the site is completed -- right across from the Sugar Shack in the Timber Frame Area of the Park. Extra fill was needed. When the parking lot was developed by the Lillicrapp Welcome Center, soil was dug up and hauled to the blacksmith shop area -- a perfect solution.
With a lot of electrical work being done in the Richfield area, the electric company donated some of the poles that are being replaced. These strong poles are now in place to be the main support. They will be cut to the proper size at a later date.
The next step with this project was the installation of the girts. These are the pieces to which the siding was eventually fastened. Rafters were put in place. The rafters were upcycled from an old barn that was dismantled in Richfield. Cedar shingles covered the rafters.
The installation of the siding is now complete. All that remains are finishing touches -- shutters, hinges, doors.
Some very generous donations have been received for the construction of this building.
The blacksmith shop will be a great enhancement to the Park. It will allow visitors to see demonstrations of the skills of blacksmithing -- forging (sometimes called "sculpting"), welding, heat-treating, and finishing. The village blacksmith was a craftsman who was essential to pioneer life. Every crossroads village had a blacksmith shop to create and repair farm equipment, make household utensils, tools, wagon wheels, parts of oxen yokes, and much more.
This project does not in any way take away from the Messer/Mayer Mill restoration and the goal to "Get the Mill Grinding." It is the hope that private donations to the blacksmith project will cover the majority of the cost. Already, the Society has quite a collection of blacksmithing equipment which will be placed in the shop.
If you are interested in donating to either the blacksmith shop project or the resoration of the Messer/Mayer Mill click on the following links: