Preserving Our History

9 Jun 2023 9:13 AM | Anonymous

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Heritage Woodworks, Inc. to complete the preservation work on the McIntosh and Leland cabins!

Heritage Woodworks, Inc. is based in Clemons, Iowa. They work on timber frame and historic restoration projects throughout the state of Iowa. Our favorite bit about them from their website is: "We love our families, good chisels, sharp blades, beautiful woodgrain, traditional joinery and the smell of sawdust." We are looking to working with a group that is so passionate about their work!

A team from Heritage Woodworks, Inc. visited the cabins in August 2022 to assess the cabins and determine what needs to be done to ensure they remain a community resource for many years to come.

Their plans for our cabins include:

  • Remove the exterior chinking that is currently falling from the structures
  • Treat exposed logs with boron preservative in rot prone areas
  • Apply Sashco insecticide to the logs
  • Apply Q8 log oil with a mold-resistant additive to the logs
  • Install a historic mix chinking that includes colorant and straw for a period-appropriate appearance
  • Repair window sashes
  • Reglaze window panes
  • Replace rotted logs
  • Stabilize the structures using internal hardware
  • Repair decayed log portions using the dutchman's repair
  • Install vents for the foundation
  • Reframe the roofs to original, steeper pitch
  • Replace metal roofs with rubber roof shakes for a more period-appropriate appearance

We're hoping to begin this work in the late summer or early fall this year. We can't wait to document the process to add to our records!

To contribute to the project, visit We appreciate your support!

The Shelby County Historical Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1964. This four building complex is located at 1805 Morse Avenue Harlan, Iowa 51537.

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