Looking Back: Farmhouse restoration

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 18, 2020

Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The “old Green farm house” stood at the corner of 11 Mile and Grant Roads in St. Clair Shores since its construction in 1868. Threatened with demolition because of the I-696/I-94 interchange, the log building was moved behind the St. Clair Shores Public Library in 1975. Restoration of the home began in the late 1970s.

Part of the restoration work included filling the spaces between the logs from the outside of the building in a process known as “chinking” and “daubing.” Chinking is a two-part process: first, a dry, bulky, rigid blocking, such as wood slabs or stones are inserted into the space between logs, followed by a soft packing filler such as oakum, moss, clay or dried animal dung. Daubing is the finishing step, when a wet-troweled finish layer of varying composition, often consisting of a mixture of clay and lime or other locally available materials, is applied over the chinking.

The chinking is the least durable part of the process, and it was common for buildings in the 18th and 19th century to have cladding added once the daubing was dry. This was both to protect the daubing and for beautification.

In this photo from 1978, two of many volunteers help with the daubing at what is now the Selinksy-Green Farmhouse Museum.

To view this image and other historic photographs, visit the Digital Media Archive at www.scslibrary.org.

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library

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