Anyone hanging around the Clair Nelson Community Center this past Fall will have noticed a new structure near the swingset. What’s that going to be? Well, it’s going to be another picnic shelter. Down the road, when we can raise the money, it’s going to house a wood-fired oven for baking fun things, like bread and pizza. This new structure ended up happening for a number of reasons, the main one being that a local artisan, Heather Brown, received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to become proficient at timber framing, and proposed to do so by building a structure that could be used for community purposes. The Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and Co-op Light and Power’s Operation RoundUp each donated funds for the concrete slab. What this all adds up to is more room for outdoor programs and activities, such as the Finland Farmers Market, Camp Finland, community barbecues, cookouts, outdoor meetings, classes, and more!
This video is a slideshow of the photos taken that day to give an idea of how the structure went together and how many people helped!
We raised the timber frame on September 30th, and it was an amazing community experience. Over 30 people of various ages and all walks of life came to participate. There were experienced builders, both young and old. There were small children who were excited to help. There were folks who helped by making lunch or keeping children safe. There were lots of men and women to provide the muscle of moving all of the parts around and fitting them together. There were older folks who helped by providing experienced advice. There were folks who helped by staining the wooden beams. There were many interested onlookers. At several key points, nearly everyone present mobilized to move and raise the timbers in an organized way. We were an amazing and well-coordinated team, and the result is this beautiful structure that will be used by the community for many years to come.
Special thanks to Heather Brown for applying for this grant and choosing to donate her work to the community of Finland, and another special thanks to Andrew Norcross for also choosing to donate his time and energy for this project, especially being the head guy in charge on the day of the timber frame raising.
Donate here to support this project! We are still raising funds to defray the cost of the concrete slab, and we’re hoping to raise about $5,000-6,000 for the future wood-fired oven. We appreciate your support. Checks can also be mailed to Friends of Finland, PO Box 582, Finland, MN 55603.