Light Station Restoration Diary
October, 2001
As written by the people working on the restoration.
Unless otherwise identified, the diary author is Linda Nenn,
co-chair of the Restoration Project


October 12, 2001

A thousand Canadian Geese took wing, circled the small lake and glided in for a precision landing out of the reach of a bevy of my nieces who had charged across the park, arms waving, voices raised in exuberance. I have the feeling that the resultant cacophony of sounds went largely unnoticed by the citizens of Cascade, WI as the "the battle of the Bays" was underway and no self respecting Packer fan was far from their TV.

Took the weekend off from light station duties. Celebrated my sister's birthday at her home in the little village of Cascade, tucked into the hills of the Kettle Moraine. We have sort of a family tradition that when we get together, we feast and then take a walk. Birthdays and holidays, the Nenn gang is out and about. Sunday was a perfect day, cool, crisp and the sun highlighting the autumn colors. Had to snatch a few willow whips to dip into the lake and drop a few sticks into the race to watch them disappear over the small dam. Serious business.

The Light Station Restoration continues. Currently we have only approx. $8,000 in the Restoration Fund, but should be up to date with our bills. I made my donation for the week at Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Drew's Hardware. Have you made your donation? Every little bit helps and we have to get the Light Station ready for winter. Last Thursday, when the temp tumbled and I was standing outside at a cross country meet, in shorts, getting the heating plant up and running took on a greater priority. Found out through Nancy M. that apparently to receive Coastal Management Grant monies we have to first pay the bills then submit our cancelled checks for reimbursement. Bills must be for work done after Oct. 1. Lots of work has been done since the first, so we need donations now. Ask your family. Ask a friend. Ask a stranger. They may be so surprised they donate a buck or two. Turned in two step orders on Monday. Thanks, Mom and Dad. And, thanks to the Langes of Port Washington.

Stan's Carpentry is 2/3s done with the gable and eaves extensions. Really looks great. We'll have to shingle or lay a 90# tar paper over the extended area to seal it through the winter months. Right now its just covered with a 30# felt. Have talked with Jerry Dries, a society member and employee of JT Roofing, regarding materials and roofers. He's going to see what deal he can come up with for us. Hopefully we can get the work done for a minimal cost. Ron Mann and I were going to try doing the shingling, but Stan won't let us use his scaffolding. Liability concerns.

Monday we received what I thought was the remainder of Kohler's donation of plumbing fixtures. Stopped by Greisch to let Bob know. Bill (or is it John?) came over later in the day to set the shower in cement, only to find out that's the one part of the picture we're missing. As he was leaving the site, I was sitting in my van talking with the Kohler contact. The shower base is made in Spartanburg, SC and hadn't been shipped yet. Said it might take 2 weeks, but when I pleaded a little, Dan said he'd try to get it to us by week's end.

Greisch is also waiting for the boilers to be delivered so we can move forward with the heating plant replacement.

Board members: Have contacted half a dozen contractors regarding air conditioning. Looks like a system called Space Pak will be best suited for our building. Most of the contractors I contacted haven't worked with this type of system. The ductwork will fit between the floor joists and up between the wall studs. Spent over an hour yesterday with a rep from Comfort Zone out of Hartland. They were recommended by the regional Space Pak distributor. Bill Buss, Comfort's rep, lives near Cedarburg, so I of course made him aware that he was practically our neighbor and really needed to get us the best price possible. I'll let you know when I get a quote. Mueller, of Saukville, doesn't do this type of work. Carroll Heating hasn't returned my call. Collins, of Cedarburg, said they're interested but haven't gotten back to me. I'll follow up.

Called Dennis, the city building inspector, and he stopped by yesterday also. Wanted to make sure we're putting the fire stops in all the right places. We should be able to drywall the ADA bathroom early next week or sooner if Ron Mann doesn't go up North tomorrow. We really need an extra volunteer or two to help us. Gad, that drywall is heavy and unwieldy.

Nancy S. and I have to go back and check all the drywall screws we put in. Dean, former student and friend from Fredonia, stopped in yesterday while I was out scrounging for 9 feet of vent pipe. He'll help us with taping and finishing the drywall, but said all the screws have to be straight and recessed. Gee, these quality control guys are tough.

City inspector also wanted to know why the lamp room walls were specked (sp?) out to have plywood on the exterior. I said, 'cause the architect drew them that way. Wrong answer, so unless Kathleen can give me a compelling reason, we're going to drywall the inside and outside of the lamp room.

Advanced Restoration is back on site cleaning the cream city bricks. Peter, from across the street, finally came through with a chemical cleaner from the company he works for. He's only been promising to demonstrate the effectiveness of his wares for the last 5 months. Dan, of Advanced, is going to purchase a barrel of the solvent, as it appears to work much better and quicker that the Diedrich 101 Chemical. Poor Harold, from Advanced, was out there working today in the rain. Poor me had to go outside to inspect the work, get an extension cord hooked up so we could dry off the spark plug on the power washer and chat with Dan regarding the difficulty of the work they were doing. Goes with the job I guess.

Nancy S., thanks for offering to come out and help today. Until we get some more drywall into the Station, from the garage, there's just piddly stuff to do. I spent part of this morning "pickin' up insulation and puttin' it in the pockets" around pipes and studs. Pickin' up pawpaws is probably more exciting.

I've taken a liking to the Sawzall. Cut out a couple of abandoned water pipes. Stopped when the saw started kicking back at me. Linda and power tools: not a good combination.

Haven't heard back from Jake, at Neuens, regarding the siding, windows and also about 70 square feet of flooring. We need the flooring so we can install the 1st floor bathroom fixtures.

Let's see. What else? Rick tore me away from my happy hour diet coke and friends on Monday, to help him get a tarp over part of the lifeboat. He'd been at the Station building a frame over the boat, while Ron and I were working inside, and I didn't even know he was there. Got my photos back from my Manitowoc to Ludington trip. Some good photos of the Manitowoc light which stills holds its fourth order fresnel lens. Just a few snaps of the loading of the lifeboat onto Rick's trailer as the sun was below the horizon by the time we figured out how to safely move. I hadn't brought my flash along, figuring I'd be outside taking pics. Oh well...

Sent a bunch of lantern plans to Jim, in Cleveland. Hope they may eventually help others in similar lighthouse restoration projects. Sent info on the wreck of the Phoenix and the Knickerbocker to Jim and Pauline, in Milwaukee. Jim and Pauline: hope you enjoy the reading. Neat to think that your forebears survived the loss of the Phoenix off Cedar Grove and settled in the area.

Turned to Rick Bernstein, of the SHPO, for help regarding the state inspector's insistence that we have to install fire doors throughout the lighthouse from the basement to the lamp room. Hope, with assistance from the state historical society, we can resolve this issue. I was in the midst of contacting Morgan Doors of Oshkosh when this came up, so I've put the whole door thing on hold.

Kathleen: thanks for the specs regarding the crane we'll need to hoist the tower and lantern in place. Great Lakes Marine's crane won't be sufficient, so its off to find a bigger crane.

Quarterly meeting next Wednesday, the 17th. Topic: Car ferry Milwaukee and its demise on October 22, 1929. Jimmy Fowler is going to check if Ansay's has a TV and VCR we can use for the video. I'm counting on you, Jim. Rick will put together some pictures and info to accompany the video.

About half of the corn fields have been chopped into fodder and the amber waves of grain have found their way to the feed mills. The trees are starting to shed their plumage and our first frost has shriveled my two tomato plants which never did bear me any edible tomatoes.


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This page updated Wednesday, November 07, 2001