The Boutwell House in Stillwater, MN was built in 1870 for Reverend William T. Boutwell and his family. After renovation in 1981, the owners sold the property in early 2015, with the purchaser intending to demolish the home, making way for new construction. Moments after demolition began; the demolition crew was persuaded to stop by Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s Rehab Addict. Later, the Washington County Historical Society purchased the property with the intention of preserving the house and other historic elements on the property.

Rev. William T. Boutwell House in Stillwater, Minn.

Rev. William T. Boutwell House in Stillwater, Minn.

The focus of the work done by the crew was removal of the houses structural components that had been damaged during the demolition activities. Materials not original to the house were removed and disposed of, while any original materials were salvaged and will be reused during the preservation process.

During the Boutwell House project, the crew also worked across the street at the Boutwell Cemetery.

The City of Stillwater has owned the cemetery for about 15 years and has performed seasonal maintenance, but has never done anything with the gravestones. Northern Bedrock proposed cleaning ve headstones and resetting four footstones in the cemetery. Utilizing their previous training and experience, the crew cleaned and reset the gravestones and footstones, graded the soil around the gate to allow easier opening and closing, as well as removing any invasive vegetation within the cemetery border.

The crew camped at the Hay Lake School site near Scandia, MN, another WCHS exhibit, for the duration of the project. This location presented two projects for the crew to gain more general carpentry skills. The first project was replacing the posts for a wire fence along the front of the building. The crew also repaired two picnic tables used during an annual fundraising event and throughout the year.