Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dreams Under Construction

By Ron Heffelfinger

In 1960, Timber Lake Playhouse was started. After trees were taken down and all the stumps removed, R.C. Traum Construction Company took over. Bob's crew was: Ron Heffelfinger, Arnold Provant, Denver Traum, Ken Heffelfinger, Arlen Larson and Fred Queckboerner.

All the wall footings were dug by hand and the wall forms were done by hand. They were of boards, steel and wire. The large posts that was used to hold the roof were 12"x8". The siding was 1"x12" oak, all different lengths and the framing lumber were all cut at Tautz Brothers saw mill. The siding was board and bat. The bats were 3" oak. Both of the boards and bats were dipped in an oak stain and laid out to dry before use. The only lumber in the theater that was brought in were the trusts for the roof.

While working on this project there were a lot of early morning changes made. Whenever Mr. McKay showed up there was going to be a change! One change that I can remember, which is getting hard to do, is that for two or three days we would put a trap door in the stage floor, then one day later take it out. Finally, it stayed there after Bob had a discussion with Mr. McKay.

The last thing we did before the opening was to drill hundreds of holes into the cement floor. These were to hold the bolts that held the seats down. We set a row of seats and cemented the bolts into the holes. It took a very long day to get all seats set. The cement was to set up very quickly. Two days after drying Bob pushed on the back row to see if they were set and to out surprise the back row went forward hitting the nest row and all the seats went forward. The cement did not set up, s0 we had to re-drill all the holes and reset the seats. This time the cement set up and it worked. We finished just a few days before opening.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the lumber in the lighting catwalk over the audience as being commercial pine, but everything else but the trusses was described to me as local. The lumber rack, which had been the bridge for Mr. Roberts, was commercial.

    The branches used to spell out Timber Lake Playhouse on the front of the house were oak, and putting those that had come down over winter was a royal pain.