Thursday, May 8, 2008

Alone In the Wilderness

Anyone who has an interest in woodworking by hand and a yearning to return to the wilderness will love this DVD!

In 1968 at age 51, Dick Proenneke left life’s mainstream (if you can call living in Alaska mainstream) to live in a remote region of Alaska called Twin Lakes. He took with him some basic supplies and a few woodworking tools and built an incredible cabin alone, and by hand. Dick lived in the cabin alone till the mid 90’s.

In the DVD you will see Dick ripping spruce logs with a hand saw for lumber. He makes kitchen implements out of tin cans and a gigantic table from an enormous spruce burl. The part I liked the most was when he makes wooden hinges for his Dutch door. The hinges are made from the base section of a spruce tree. See the attached picture.

Buy "Alone In the Wilderness" you wont be sorry.

For more info see this site:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dederman Cabin

On May 23, 1866, 124 German Lutheran settlers representing 42 families set out for Northeast Nebraska from Ixonia, Wisconsin in three wagon trains. The group arrived a few months later on July 15, and laid claim to land about four miles north of where the North Fork of the Elkhorn River joined the main branch. The area is now the town of Norfolk Nebraska. (Home of Johnny Carson)

Interestingly enough most of the group built log cabins. Norfolk had very few trees at that time so the settlers had to traveled far to collect the logs. The cabin pictured here was built by Fredrick Dederman and his family. The Dederman’s lived in a dugout cave for two years as they worked on the cabin.

After retiring from the military I happened into restoring the cabin for the Elkhorn Valley Museum and Research Center. It was really a learning experience, a lot more work than I expected, and a great deal of fun. One of the neatest experiences was finding Mr. Dederman’s name written in a Germanic like cursive on top of one of the logs. An experience like this gives you a feel for what it was like for those early settlers.