Rains lead to delays in North Ridgeville bicentennial cabin completion

Gene Kleinholz (left) works with Tony Carrozzino on the bicentennial cabin in South Central Park. Scouts will likely do the chinking to insulate it. NRP photo – Jami Knoth

North Ridgeville

The North Ridgeville Bicentennial Committee’s bachelor cabin construction, located on Bainbridge Road next to Safetyville, continued amid rainy weather the city has been experiencing.

“The rain has wreaked havoc on a lot of things for the project,” Gene Kleinholz, Bicentennial Committee member, said. “We lost a number of days. We were out here working on the cabin and had to pack up because of the rain.”

Construction of the cabin began on May 8, in commemoration of North Ridgeville’s 200th birthday. The committee started building a replica of what a cabin looked like in the past. North Ridgeville’s first pioneers settled the area in 1810.

A few challenges along the way Kleinholz said his team have experienced, besides the rain, was fitting together the wood cut from trees.

“When you look at the cabins that are built today, they are like kits or putting Legos together,” Kleinholz explained. “But the people who put cabins together 200 years ago didn’t have Legos. They didn’t have straight wood, either.”

The committee completed basic cabin construction June 10 and 11 and added the roof. They did incorporate the use of a few modern-day devices, so the cabin would be better preserved over the years, but those are all hidden under a roof resembling one the pioneers likely would have built. The only remaining work to do is the “chinking,” which will be completed by the North Ridgeville Boy Scouts, who celebrate their 100th anniversary this year.

Chinking is a material made of clay, lime and straw that is inserted between the logs of the cabin and was considered an early form of insulation.

“I would like to see the Scouts participate in the chinking,” Kleinholz said. “The logs do not necessarily sit tightly together. They will stuff this material between the logs to keep it airtight and avoid the winds during the wintertime.”

Once the cabin is complete, it will be the property of the city of North Ridgeville. The Boy Scouts will use it during their Jamboree celebration in August. North Ridgeville’s Parks and Recreation Department’s Spookville also has plans for it during the Halloween festival.

“It just goes to show you when the people in our community put their heads together, we can do all kinds of different things,” Kleinholz said.

“This isn’t anything big by anybody’s imagination, but it has been fun.”

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