On the morning of August 2, 2011, we broke ground on the New Windsor Cabinet Shop at the Living History Park!  Park members & volunteers, Paul Muckenfuss of Augusta, with John Douglas and Mike Gibson of North Augusta, worked to clear the land in preparation of excavating the basement.  Paul took the first shovel full of dirt off the site at 7:34 AM.  Work progressed throughout the 100+ degree day with the felling of 5 trees, trimming off the limbs, and cutting up the remainder for firewood.   We were joined by several youth volunteers (Lindsey, Rebe, Heather, Kim, & Dan) who stacked the firewood and cleared  the tree limbs from the site.
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Paul Muckenfuss taking the first bucket of dirt to commence the construction phase of the Shop.
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Mike Gibson (foreground) and John Douglas (background) trim limbs.
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Tree limbs piled up in preparation for mulching.
As mentioned in prior posts, the City of North Augusta is a supportive partner in the daily operations of the Park.  They have supported this new development effort by providing members of the Parks & Recreations Department to mulch the tree limbs and provided a dumpster from the Department of Sanitation Services to haul off the tree stumps. 
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Members of the North Augusta Parks & Recreation Department mulch the tree limbs from Lake Avenue.
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Paul loads a tree stump into the dumpster provided by the North Augusta Department of Sanitation Services.
Once the site was cleared, we were ready to start work excavating the foundation.  This ended up being a much larger task than I had envisioned.  Paul made good progress working for 2-days digging with the backhoe and removing dirt with the bucket.   On Saturday and Sunday, Tom Lawhead & Greg Burt came in to complete the job.  With Tom operating the backhoe and Greg running a Bobcat, the two were able to work in concert to carve out the remaining earth.  It was fascinating to watch these 3 professionals operate these machines like they were extensions of their bodies.  
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Paul digging with the backhoe.
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Greg Burt was able to move a mountain of dirt with the Bobcat.
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Tom Lawhead takes his turn digging what ends up to be a deep hole in the slope of the upper hill.
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Tom & Greg worked as an efficient tag-team to dig up the dirt and move it out.
By the end of Day 6, the excavation was complete and we were ready to start work on the footings.  The soil at grade level is dense hard clay with no signs of any water.  This was a relief, as the park is littered with natural springs that could have thrown a real wrench in the foundation plans had we found water. 

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Excavation complete on Sunday afternoon. next week, we move onto the foundation.
A special thanks goes out to Johnny Beam and Beam's Contracting for loaning us the use of his backhoe during this past week.
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Its been a long hard, hot, workweek and we are well on our way.   I am looking forward to completing the footings, slab, and block walls next week.

Chris



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