On December 15th, 2010, South Carolina Park Service Historic Sites Coordinator, Mr. Al Hester, explained the history of Sesqui’s mid-18th century log house, and how it got to its current site on the Sesqui Park grounds. Click here if you missed that interesting interview.
[Click the photos for a larger view, and double-click the videos to open them as full-screen displays.]
The following day, December 16th, Sesqui Park Manager Daniel Gambrell agreed to talk with us about the log house’s more recent history. Especially the recently completed major renovation.
Mr. Gambrell is well acquainted with that renovation, since he was Sesqui’s Manager when it was done. Indeed, he wrote the grant proposals to the Richland County Conservation Commission to obtain funding for the project. Further, he and his Park staff devoted hundreds of person-hours to the process. Doing everything from site clean-up, to re-chinking logs, to removing unnecessary utilities ducting beneath the building.
The log house was moved to Sesqui in 1969-1970. Long before Mr. Gambrell was Manager. But here he describes that painstaking process. And how the Park Service decided a few years ago to go forward with the recent major renovation.
Mr. Gambrell enthusiastically described just how the renovation was done. No wonder! I often saw him at the site working with the crews to get this remarkable building in shape.
He gave much of the credit for the success of this renovation to Holder Brothers Timberframers of Monroe, Georgia. One of the very few firms in the United States with the expertise necessary to carry out such a project. And to the Park Service Central Maintenance crew. The latter, I believe, was responsible for adding the front and back porches on the structure.
Even Sesqui State Park volunteers contributed to the renovation project. In fact, the blacksmithing necessary to create period-accurate door latches and hinges was done by one of the campground hosts.
In conclusion, I asked Mr. Gambrell how Sesqui intends to use the building now that it has been renovated. He said the Park Service hopes to open it to the public in the near future. Once interpretive signs [they are very expensive, by the way!] are available, and arrangements can be made for security.
Thanks again to Park Manager Daniel Gambrell for taking the time to talk with us about this remarkable mid-18th century log house. When your travels bring you to, or near, Sesqui just outside Columbia, South Carolina, be sure to stop by.