Next stop, Kingston Bay

Let’s you and me river run down to the sea.

These are a couple of boathouses along the winding Jones River in Kingston, Mass. They once made for a nice launch and hauling-up for small boats. A few years ago, MLB Restorations rehabbed the house to the east.


One house is closer to Kingston Bay, the other to its source in Silver Lake.

Now, we’ve come to work on her westerly sister.


The truth is in there.

It’s a simple structure, built in the early part of the last century. Sills, plates, shingles, doors and windows are all on the menu.


Fortunately, we’ll only need rubber boots during flood tides. Normal high-waters don’t flood the house.

Whenever there’s sill or plate work, Pret isn’t far behind.


Michael and Pret unloading cribbing.

Two jacks beat a full house.


The left jack is the “Walter Keenan” jack. It’s sort of all-right to be remembered by the tools one gave away when one was still alive.

We went up a few feet with the first cribbing pile.


We’ll first lift the roof off of the frame a few inches in order to replace soft portions of the wall plate.


As always, we are distracted by interesting finds in old buildings:


We also found some old braided fishing line.

There were several pieces of slate, some of which had been carved with numbers and lamb’s tongues. Maybe someone had once used the boathouse to moonlight as a gravestone-maker.


We also put the slate to good use…


…making a cut-list…


…for our friends at Gurney’s Saw Mill:


There were also external distractions, like the commuter train rolling through Kingston a few hundred feet down river.


Pret and I agreed that we liked the sound of the passing train. It’s a TRAIN, after all! Also, it took so long for the south shore to be connected via rail to Boston that it’s a reminder of a victory for more efficient people-moving.

While we were taking out sashes and window frames…


…we saw evidence of hand-work. Below is a rough-trimming of a window opening with what appears to have been a hatchet, complete with stop cuts:


It’s nice to think that in the early part of the 20th c., hatchets were still part of a carpenter’s tool kit.

The phragmites, though invasive, are nice enough to look at this time of year.


And the staccato announcements of a territorial kingfisher reminded us of why this area and its history are worth preserving.







Ye ricke of woode


A long time ago, in a blogosphere far far away, I wrote about circular woodpiles in The Riven Word. These “rickes of woode” inspired several readers to make their own, including my friend John Wolf:

003 (2)

According to John, Stella (pictured above) owns the truck and I assume, does most of the work. John takes nice pictures though! Thanks for sharing, John.

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7 thoughts on “Next stop, Kingston Bay

  1. Marie Pelletier says:

    I’ll come by and see you–

  2. francedozois says:

    always like Bill Staines lovely tenor–and I like this song–

  3. Jen Durant says:

    You guys always have the coolest projects! Hope to see you soon… if not, Happy Thanksgiving – Jen

  4. pfollansbee says:

    Could you guys raise those buildings up a few feet, out of the water.Put in a wood floor & I’ll be ready to move in…I could kayak to work.If I had a kayak…

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