November 18, 2004

The final fate of the old shop was to be moved from the spot where it was built well over 50 years ago. One of our neighbors wanted it and knew a crew that had moved several other small garages and buildings. Since I wasn't excited about the prospect of tearing it down board by board we decided that this was the best thing to do with it. So after I had stripped the front addition off the old shop I stepped back and let them go to work. From the moment they started, which was about 2:00 PM on Saturday November 13 until 6:00 PM on Thursday November 18 we watched with a lot of anticipation and concern. We had fears of them getting hurt and concern that the shop may not make the move, in fact one thought I had is that it would collapse on the road and cause all sorts of problems. This page is the short version of this moving process, I have posted a long version with more pictures and description if you want to see all the details. If you prefer the short and sweet of it you can look down this page for the highlights.

The first picture shows the large trailer chassis that they moved into the old shop when they began work. It is a 4-axle mobile home frame and was positioned in the middle of the building side to side and a little past center front to back. They used 30 foot long railroad track rails to span the walls and jacked the building up so that the side wall supports rested on the track and the track on the trailer.

After a great deal of work they moved a skid loader into the building facing the east wall. The plan was to raise the front of the building with the loader as it lifted on the front rail. The old garage door was closed up with large timbers so the last of three rails were slid into place on the trailer. We anticipated the move on Wednesday afternoon but when all was ready it was discovered that the weight distribution was not correct and the building would not come off the concrete blocks under the front of it.

But the crew was presistant and on Thursday afternoon Sandy called me with the news that they had managed to raise the front of the building and move it as far west as it could go. The small ash tree stopped it from going any further. So the turn was started and it took a lot of see-sawing back and forward to slowly turn the shop to the southeast as it headed for the driveway. The picture above is the position the shop was in when I arrived home at about 3:15. They had used planks to support the wheels of the trailer and skid loader over the uneven ground and a large farm tractor behind it to lift it when it wanted to skid on the ground.

As the afternoon dragged on it was a constant struggle to move the shop slowly across the ground and then back to make the turn from southeast to due east. The picture above is the last good picture I was able to take as the skies darkened in the mid November late afternoon. At this point the back end of the shop was dragging on the ground and was unable to make the turn to the north. So there was lots of digging and prying as the tractor and skid loader were used to slowly drag the shop around. By this time we were both worried sick about blocking the road and the workers getting hurt. But luck was with us as they continued using the tractor to lift gently on the now sagging structure.

Rain started to fall about 5:00 PM as the sun had set leaving the crew to work by the headlights of their vehicles. The final turn onto the road came at 6:00 PM and within a couple minutes the old shop moved to the north into the darkness. We walked behind it for a while not believing that it was actually moving all in one piece down the road. There was a bit of a wait at the neighbors driveway as they used a smaller tractor and scraper blade to smooth off a few obstructions. After all the trouble of getting it out our driveway they weren't taking any chances with humps and bumps in his driveway. The crew moved the old shop onto his lane and pulled it well onto his property before stopping for the night. This final picture was my last attempt to record the short trip the shop made down the road.

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