This was another very busy weekend in Rockhill Furnace. A total of 36 people attended Saturday with slightly less on Sunday. Lunches were provided for a donation and were well attended at the Trolley Museum pavilion both days. I heard many good comments on the meals.
The volunteers were separated into five main groups. One group continued brush cutting on the line and around the yard. It’s amazing how much more clear things are beginning to look.
Another group continued work on the Roundhouse track towards where it ties into the main. Many more ties were dug out and made ready to be pulled. I was told that more than 300 new ties have already been installed.
Work continues on Combine #14 as well. The scaffolding has been moved to the north end of the Paint Shop and the outside of the car is getting very close to ready for the final covering with tongue and groove.
As always, there is a constant need for painting. A good crew painted the entire Electrical/Brake Shop, and then continued on down the corridor painting the westward walls of the pattern house and foundry. Only a small section of the upper foundry wall did not get paint. Some painting was done on the east side of the coal bin. At one point I saw four empty 5-gallon cans being carried away. That is a lot of paint for one day!
Good progress was made replacing the floors that had been taken up in the machine shop. Since much of the flooring was rotten or broken during removal, the decision was made to steal some of the flooring taken up on the boiler shop side so that all of the wood on the machine shop floor would have the correct patina. New wood will be ordered for the boiler house floor. Many boards needed a 1/4 inch deep notch carved in their bottoms for 10 to 14 inches to account for a few of the massive floor joists being a bit high. The 100 year old oil soaked oak had several circular saws groaning throughout the day. There is only about 20 inches to go to reach the alley wall and complete the machine shop side.
While the floors were getting their makeover, the roof above was also receiving some attention. The years had not been kind to the eaves overhanging the wall, and the tin was full of holes. A 20-foot length of roof was cut off right where it passed over the wall. New stringers had to be put down on the rafter tails as the old ones were quite rotten. After replacing the stringer, new four-foot long pieces of tin were slid up under the old roofing to replace the removed bad sections. This work will continue in the next session down to the end of the roof and will then be finished with new gutters and downspouts to keep the rain splash from rotting the walls again.
It’s amazing to see all that’s happening so quickly, I’d like to thank everyone who was there helping and all those behind the scenes planning, donating and working to keep the hype going.
-Randy Lehrian, FEBT Crew Leader