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UBVHS expects to complete King restoration in 2021

Reconstruction of the walls of the historic Matt King House began last month, but is winding down for the year due to weather.

The Upper Blackfoot Valley Historical Society project began in 2015 and UBVHS President Erin Dey says she hopes it will be fully restored and open to the public next year.

Exterior walls on the first floor and part of the second are almost completed at the front of the house. UBHVS Board member Bill Quay spent much of the summer preparing the logs to be reassembled, with help from Rod Krier and Pat Runyan. Cole Orth and Charles & Laura Butler also helped with the project.

The building's logs, which were salvaged when the King House was slated to be torn down in 2015, are being refitted to reconstruct the exterior of the building. Rotted logs are being replaced with new logs that will be cut and aged to fit in with the original structure. Lonnie Cox and the Lincoln Ranger District both donated logs for the project.

Once the exterior walls are finished, there will still be several smaller projects that need to be completed for the house to be fully restored. Dey says these include getting and installing new roofing, which will be aged to the right appearance, completing the interior walls, and rebuilding the windows.

"We received a quote from Chris Joyce to redo the windows. They'll look old and be insulated well. He's donating the labor, and we'll pay for supplies," said Dey.

She said the UBHVS is working to collect objects to help recreate the appearance of raw interior of the Matt King House. This includes the original stove, which has been donated to the project. She also imagines that the property will eventually serve as a venue for outdoor weddings and similar events.

The UBVHS is looking for volunteers and donations to help support the completion of the project. Over the winter, volunteers can help seek out and write grants, said Dey. When spring comes, or sooner, the white house on the property will be removed, she said, and by spring, volunteers will be needed to pull nails from the logs ahead of further reconstruction.

The project currently has a Wall O' Money fundraiser where supporters can donate a specific amount of money to fill an envelope on the wall. If all the envelopes are filled, the fundraiser will collection $20,100, Dey said. She added that because the UBHVS is a non-profit, donations are tax-deductible and can be made as Christmas gifts or remembrances.


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