Tilman Cabin Restoration – Tornado damage

Scope of work: Documentation, restoration of roof structure and parapet walls, porch restoration, borate treatment

The Tilman Cabin is a small log cabin with a large wraparound porch located on the homestead site at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. On July 28th a tornado ripped through the Wildlife Center with winds up to 107mph and tore the entire roof, nearly intact, and dropped it on the ground about ten feet away.

The log rafters (circa 1970) were all shattered where they joined at the peak of the gable so all new log rafters were made and reinstalled. Some of the historic logs in the side walls had to be eased back into their original location. Historic clapboard and other pieces of the gable ends cabin walls were torn off in the tornado.

Most of the historic pieces were recovered from the adjacent wood which were now torn apart. This historic fabric was sorted, photographed and then put back together like a puzzle.

Many of the historic pieces had the original numbering from when the cabin was disassembled and brought to the site years ago. Several of the pieces were split or otherwise broken and these were carefully repaired and put back into use.

A new cedar wood shake roof was installed along with wood handrail added to the front porch for safety. The entire structure was treated with borates to prevent future insect insfestation. The cabin can continue to be used as an educational tool for generations to come.