Have a Hand in History!
Chinking the Cabin: July 8, August 12, September 9
The Aslak Lie House project has been a community-driven project to rebuild the historical log and post-and-beam home of a noted craftsman and Norwegian immigrant, Aslak Lie. We have used a combination of volunteers, students, apprentices, and interns to progress to the last stages of the home. One of the next major projects is the chinking of the logs that make up the first story of the structure. Given the fabulous outpouring of community spirit during our special volunteer event last spring, we hope to extend that enthusiasm during 3 volunteer opportunity days so that we may accomplish the chinking between the logs.
Not only will you learn the art and best practices of log chinking, but you will share in the camaraderie of others who value the old ways, and being a part of this monument to the life and work of an amazing craftsman.
May 21, 2022: It’s an Aslak Lie House Community Barn Raising!
By all appearances, “not much” had been going on at the Aslak Lie House site in 2020 and 2021. However, behind the scenes, tucked away in a barn a few miles from the site, the entire 2nd story of the cabin has been quietly and persistently being put through the renovation process, with all components being pre-assembled and pre-fit to ensure the success of the construction when the time came. That time came on May 21, when volunteers gathered to raise the second story workbee followed by a picnic and barn dance. Thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work!
A Craftsman on Two Continents
Aslak Olsen Lie House Restoration & Education Project
Background and History
The Aslak Olsen Lie (pronounced Lee) House was built in Southern Wisconsin in 1848-49. Aslak was a master craftsman, carpenter, cabinetmaker, and blacksmith in his native Norway and then in the United States. He is one of the few country immigrant craftsmen in the United States whose work has been traced on both sides of the Atlantic. His Wisconsin home is one of the oldest Norwegian American structures in Wisconsin.
Since the mid 1960’s, the Lie House had sat empty, untended and inaccessible to the public. By 2002, this 34′ X 17′ two-story log and timber frame home was in desperate need of relocation and extensive restoration if it was to survive. To preserve and honor this unique piece of Norwegian-American, early-Wisconsin history, its owners donated this treasure to Folklore Village in 2003. The Aslak Olsen Lie House has since been painstakingly documented, labeled, dismantled and all materials placed in storage.
At every step of the way, this project has been enthusiastically supported and encouraged by State, Regional and National historians. They have been joined in their support by their counterparts in Norway. All agree that this is a one-of-a-kind building with a rich and multi-faceted story. It is also agreed that Lie’s Wisconsin home deserves the effort and expense it will take to restore and bring it back to life.
A thoroughly researched Historical, Architectural Analysis, and Restoration Plan for the Lie House was completed in early 2009, thanks to a grant from the Jeffris Family Endowed Preservation Fund through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
We have been moving forward with the rebuilding process since the spring of 2015. We have assembled a task force of knowledgeable volunteers, whose collective experience and enthusiasm promises to see this project to completion.
Folklore Village will be offering educational opportunities for those interested in historical log cabin reconstruction, which will be led by Nels Diller, who studied Norwegian log cabin building techniques in Norway, and who built the elegant Norwegian “stabbur” located on the street in Mt. Horeb, WI in front of Open House Imports. Nels’ building is modeled after a famous stabbur located at Torvetjonn in Telemark, Norway.
Left: Nels Diller and his wife Karen standing next to the Norwegian stabbur he built, which is located in front of Open House Imports in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
Thanks to Brooke Bechen for the great article on the Aslak Lie House in the October 29, 2015 edition of the Dodgeville Chronicle!!