Glenwood Township House

Located in Norwegian settled Glenwood Township in eastern Winneshiek County, this little 14′ x 16′ house is almost totally intact.  It was replaced by a new house in about 1900 and converted into a shed.  The primary facade (with door and most likely side window) was chopped out and two swinging doors installed in their place.  The steeply pitched 12/12 roof is not original either, and replaces a much shallower 4/12 or 6/12 roof.  The standing seam metal is perhaps a hundred years old and still functions like it is new.  The logs are all oak and the corners are joined in a very shallow dovetail notch.

West and South elevations: The front door (south or long side of the building) was removed and two swinging doors installed in its place. The steeply pitched roof is not original and likely replaces a much shallower 4/12 or 6/12 roof.

Still functional standing seam metal roof, likely 100+ years old

oak logs, notice location of original roof rafters

swinging door hardware

above window, north elevation

East-north corner. Despite looking crummy from decades of exposure to the weather, oak logs are incredibly rot resistant. Not a single log on this wall is structurally compromised. Notice the fieldstone foundation mortared together with pure lime mortar.

east elevation

Southeast corner. Unfortunately a big chunk of the south wall was removed when it was made into a shed. Notice shallow dovetail notching.

second floor, looking west

second floor, looking west

NEHI bottling of Decorah

2 thoughts on “Glenwood Township House

  1. limewindow

    I just love how you afford us a peek inside these buildings at the traces of inhabitants. I’m really surprised at the durability of the timber – but also really impressed with it’s durable compatibility with Lime, a combination of which little remains here in Ireland, our timber framed buildings being long gone. That has much to do with rainfall levels I suspect.
    The foundations of this house are interesting insofar there seems to be a lack of large stones available, hence the plentiful mortar. Again the opposite problem in Ireland – all rock and no trees – the fields had to be cleared of stone before they could be ploughed.
    Whereas in Iowa it must have been the land needed cleared from trees before agriculture could be established.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s