Roll Out the Barrel House

The rectangular “Private” sign on the tree to the barrel’s left wasn’t taken seriously by the throngs of curious visitors who reportedly flocked to the structure during its 11-year tenure as a lakeside camp. In 1936, having had enough of life in a barrel—which may have seemed more like a goldfish bowl at times—the original owners sold it and went elsewhere.

Boatbuilder George Powell cuts a scarf joint in an existing stave to splice in a steam-bent replacement. The smaller “kitchen barrel” at left was in better shape, thanks to a roof overhang large enough to direct water from the eaves beyond the outward-bulging walls. The temporary structure at right protects the open doorway.

Restored to a semblance of its former glory, the Pickle Barrel House—now a museum—awaits the arrival of the painting crew.

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