2015 saw the discovery that all was not well the Dibble House.  The first sign of trouble was the observation of warped lap boards on the first story interior walls.  Removing a board for inspection, it was discovered that water had egressed into the south wall of the Dibble House.

Subsequent inspection discovered that a considerable amount of rot and damage had been occurring over the years.    Previous repairs in prior years had seen the siding replaced.  However, attempts to retain the structures original siding in material and dimensions, were not entirely successful in obtaining waterproof seals.  Subsequent complications arose due to the blown in insulation that was incorporated at the time that resulted in a water retention medium that provided a continuous moist environment for rot to thrive.  Repair action was deemed to be required to save the building.

With the financial assistance of several grants, the necessary funds for restoration could be commissioned.  The services of Gregg Olsen of Historic Building Repair, a professional historical structure restorer, was secured.  Work has begun in September and is expected to continue through the next several weeks.

 

It is with great appreciation for the following major financial assistance was given for this project to help ensure the ongoing effort to retain and make available to everyone the historic past of the Molalla Area.

 

The Kinsman Foundation $10,000

Clackamas County Tourism Heritage grant $10,000

Molalla Communications Company $4,500

The mud sill had to be custom cut from a tree.  To do this, a tree was acquired early in the year and allowed to dry. It was then hand cut as so every square hole would align with the vertical joists. It was then carefully lifted into place and fitted.  No small task!

The siding and insulation that had been installed was removed to reveal the extent of the damage.  Not only had many of the planks suffered wet rot, but it was found the main structural mud sill had been damaged and would have to be removed.

By March 2016, the new beam has been installed into the building, providing the necessary support for subsequence repairs that require the structural support this provides.  The beam had to be hand formed, cut, and fitted with the utmost care.

With the beam in place and the remaining structure repaired, full reassembly could begin late in 2016.  Special permission had to be granted by the county to allow the structure to NOT have insulation installed, as this was blamed for much of the damage, and is not part of the historic construction of the house.

The side boards were of a non-standard size, so had to be custom cut.  During the repairs, it was determined that the original color of the painted house was a greenish hue.  It was decided to repaint with a similar color. The plans are the next time the house is painted, the color will be used to complete the house.

Addition repairs had to be made inside the house.  It was found that a support beam under the floor was rotted.  As this was in a primary pathway between rooms of the house, it was particularly concerning.  It was very difficult to extract the existing beam from the floor and minimizing damage to the existing floor and structural elements.  After much planning and effort, the task was successfully accomplished.  Now, the floor is solid and everyone is happy!

More progress in January.  The wall is working its way up the side.

In the mean time, now that the south wall is up, work on the interior has started.  New paint!  This year, we have researched the historical type of original painting style used, and it was faux graining!  Yes, we get to grain all the wood trim.  Check out these photos of the progress.

 

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Clackamas County Cultural Program (managed by the Clackamas County Arts Alliance ) and made possible by funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust., and generous donations from individuals in the community.

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