builders (163)

Cowboy Cathedral in Oregon

I’m delving around in the photo files from our book Home Work, published in 2004. This is the so-called round barn, built by cattleman Peter French and what is now the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon. In 1872, French set out for Oregon from Sacramento, California with 1200 head of select shorthorn cattle, six Mexican vaqueros, and a Chinese cook. He drove the cattle across the Sacramento River and then then northward up into Eastern Oregon, where he settled on the west side of Steens Mountain. Over the years, his ranching Empire grew to encompass 200,000 acres and 45,000 head of cattle, one of the largest cattle empires west of the Rockies.

In the late ’70s or early ’80s, French built three round barns for breaking horses in the winter months. This one is 100 feet in diameter, the conical roof framed with a 35-foot center pole of Juniper (about 40 inches at the bottom, tapering to maybe 28 inches at the top), 14 surrounding Juniper posts and then a third wall of posts at the perimeter about 8 feet high. It’s a breathtaking building; I spent a couple of hours there in Spring, 2003, shooting photos.

It’s a great story, with 7 more photos, told on pages 206 to 207 of Home Work.

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First Nations Builders

The natives of the northwest coast of North America are referred to as First Nations people. In Builders of the Pacific Coast, we have a 12-page section, with 30 vintage photographs of their buildings and totem poles, as well as drawings showing how they raised the huge poles and beams of their remarkable longhouses. (A Salish building discovered by Capt. George Vancouver in 1792 was over 1000 feet long.)

Haida man standing in front of a six-beam Haida house at Haina, Haida Gwaii (formerly called Queen Charlotte Islands), 1888. Note the immaculate carpentry.

Kwakiutl (Kwagiulth) House frame of relatively recent times (note milled wallboards)

From the wonderful book, Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians, Copyright 1984 By Hilary Stewart, Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto

Rear totem of the Raven House at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, Shows (from top) Raven flanked by two frogs, a human figure and the Thunderbird.

Interior post from the caps on big house of Yestaquana at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. The post, originally painted black, red, white, and blue, stood at the rear of the house, aligned with the front door.

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Steel-Framed House on British Columbia Island by Builder Dean Ellis

From Builders of the Pacific Coast, pages 154 to 155.

As I go through the 1000 or so photos in this book, there are more than 100 like this that deserve large-formatted viewing. It strikes me that we could do an exhibit of selected photos from this book.

Note: We have an unconditional guarantee on all of our books. If you are not completely satisfied, for any reason, at any time, call us up and we will send you a refund. No need to return books. Also, we have a 30% discount on two or more books, with free shipping — which is usually a lower price than Amazon.

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Boathouse with Steel Rafters on British Columbia Island

This gracefully curved little steel-frame boathouse was built by Dean Ellis on the beach of an island in the Strait of Georgia, BC. Posts are 4″–5″ steel, 8 feet on center. The curved steel purlins are 2½″ steel tubes, The curves formed on a break in a sheet metal shop. The 1″ by 6″ wood sheathing is welded to the steel purlins with nails.

The wood sheathing is connected to the steel purlins by driving nails through the roof sheathing alongside the steel purlins, then welding to the purlins with wire-fed welder.

Details in Builders of the Pacific Coast, page 159.

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Stefan’s Home, Built by Lloyd House

This is my favorite house in the world. When I first saw it, I sat down. I was stunned. Every feature about it was beautiful, inside and out. It was built by master carpenter Lloyd House, and is shown in detail on pages 36-41 of Builders of the Pacific Coast. Unfortunately, it burned down.

I just started looking through the photos from this book (which in many ways is the best building book I’ve done) and decided to post some of them large-size here.

I’m also going back into blogging — bigger and more often.

Photos on a smart phone (Instagram) are pretty skimpy.

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SunRay Kelley’s Solar Electric Diesel Hybrid

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18 solar panels charge a Leaf battery bank that powers the electric motor. When battery runs low, a diesel generator kicks in to power the motor and extend the range.

It has a 1937 Willy’s front end and custom-made doors and grill.

Will be featured in our next book, Rolling Homes.

It’s for sale: SunRay@SunRay Kelley.com.

If you know of any unique road rigs, contact me at: lloyd@shelterpub.com

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Photo of Zome Workshop in France by Yogan

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Photos from yogan carpenter of his friend Robin’s workshop in SW France, with a zome roof. Again, yogan has photographed a building shown in Home Work (page 49) but gotten better shots. This is really a nice idea: using a dome as roof on vertical walls. It’s in a section in the book on countercultural builders in France. (A friend of ours who lives in Amsterdam says that France is the California of Europe.)

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Louie Frazier and the Connection Between Our Books Shelter and Home Work

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I was photographing Jack Williams’ house in Point Arena, Calif. in 2000, and he said, “There’s someone up here who wants to meet you.”

We drove about 5 miles out of town, down into a riverfront valley, and I saw this beautiful little building. The two doors were open, and this guy, who I’d never seen before came out with an old tattered copy of Shelter, and he told me to crouch down in the doorway and look at the building’s framing. See this? He said? I built it from this painting (of a Mandan earth lodge) in Shelter.

Wow I thought, If Shelter inspired something like this, it’s time to do a sequel.

So Home Work, published in 2004 was born, and it featured lots of buildings inspired by Shelter.

BTW, the other day Louie said that back in the day, the saying was: “Turn on, tune in, drop out, and read Shelter.”

Note: With a 30% discount for 2 or more books, you can now get both Shelter and Home Work for $41 with free shipping: www.shelterpub.com

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