The Timbers Lodge
April 9, 2021 to present

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This local landmark building was constructed in the years from 1939 to 1943. It was originally built as a community hall as a grassroots project by members of the town.  It eventually became a WPA project, but WPA was dissolved before the building was complete.  Thankfully, the town was able to raise enough funds to complete the building.  It was used by the town for many decades. Lots of Eureka residents have stories of roller skating in the main hall or attending a haunted house in the spooky basement. 

Fast forward about 40 years and the building found itself as an underutilized burden on the town.  Thankfully, the Kincheloe family stepped in to save this wonderful old building. For many years, they ran the very successful Lodgecraft Furniture business here.   They built the furniture in the basement, used the main floor as the showroom, and had their offices in the loft.  They built a new location in Kalispell and closed the Eureka operations sometime around 2014.  

The Eureka Community Players theater group was allowed to hold their plays in the building after Lodgecraft vacated. However, the building went mostly unused for years and was in need of repair.  In April of 2021, a group of Casazza family members decided to purchase and refurbish the building.  It was Lucas & Kristi, Eric & I, and Larry & Mary Beth who went in together to purchase the building.  Our first order of business was to christen it with a new name, The Timbers Lodge.  We then spent an entire year updating and remodeling the building.  It is now home to two businesses - Timbers Event Center and The Gathering Place Coffee Shop.  It has been a labor of love.  

I visited the Eureka Library to go through old Eureka Mirror newspapers from the years from 1938 - 1943.  I also visited the Tobacco Valley Board of History.  They have an entire binder dedicated to the building.  They allowed me to go through and take pictures of those items.  Also the Kincheloes shared some historic photos with us as well. 


 This is by far our favorite photo of the early days
 of the lodge.  These are the men who built this
 amazing building.  Notice they're holding saws 
 and hatchets.  They custom made all of the iron
 work that joins the logs.  It's truly amazing work.
 And none of these guys are young!    
Community Hall site in August 1939, during the period of community effort to gather financial 
and material donations. 
Work underway March 11, 1941.  Pouring the basement flooring.  Lucas does concrete for a 
living and he says it's beautiful work. 
    The man in the rafters is holding a hatchet.  
Community Hall building in November 1941 when approval was secured for holding a barn 
dance on the subfloor.
The south side of the building sometime after 1943

Next we have some pictures of the building when it was functioning as the Lodgecraft Furniture business.  These were likely taken around 2010-ish. 

 The south side of the building.  The west side of the building.
  The west side of the building, including the loft.
In the main hall, looking toward the stage. At this time there was a large opening between the main hall and the west section of the building. 
 The loft area, functioning as offices for Lodgecraft Furniture.




Next we have photos that we took when we toured the building before deciding to buy it. 




These are the old theater seats that were pulled out
of the local movie theater as part of their remodel.

Notice how the stage area is all enclosed.  The heat
for the whole building came from those huge propane
heaters hanging from the ceiling.   

All of the windows on the east side of the building had been removed, making it rather dark in there.

  These stairs were the access to the stage.  Notice the floor after decades of hard use. 
The stairway to the loft.  It took up quite a lot of the space in that area.  The Kincheloes had been using the building as a storage unit, so there was a
lot of stuff that had to be gone through before they could sell the building. 


The fireplace mantel stuck out into the room quite a bit.   The doors into to the main hall. 


 The loft was pretty basic.  Part of the west side of the building. 
 in the basement, a lot of the stuff they used to make furniture was still there.   

Now we start on the remodel pictures.  The Kincheloes kindly allowed us to start early, so some of this started in March 2021. 


The evolution of the stage.  Here is how it looked when the theater group used it last. The first thing we did was to open up the stage so you could see the rafters all the way through
the entire building. We saved all of the logs and used them in other places around the building. 
Clearing out the back wall of the stage.  Starting to frame the new partial wall behind the stage.  You can also see the framing for the 
 hole on the left which now separates the event center from the coffee shop.  
We had no place to put new, modern heating units
so they were installed on the upper part of each 
stage side wall. Then the guys used some of the 
old logs to build a cabinet around the units, complete
with a hidden door.

They also made the stage door on the back left side
hidden by covering it with the same logs.  

Eric & Larry sanded and stained all of these logs 
over a long period of time and it made a huge 
difference.  They are beautiful now.  

 Mike's beautiful stairs in place.  The hand rails are removable.
The finished stage, so beautiful.


It is complete with under-stair LED lighting that changes color.



This is also a good time to mention the lighting changes we made.

We pulled out all the track lighting that hung down from the rafters
as our first order of business.  Larry & Mary Beth took on the task
of arranging new lighting.  Now we have six beautiful black iron 
chandeliers that give the place class as well as perfect light. 
You can see two of them in the stage photos above.  

There was SO much behind the scenes work that had to be done.
The electrical system needed a complete overhaul.  Ditto with the
plumbing.  There was almost no heat before and no A/C at all.

It was a big job and we had some great local contractors who took
good care of us.  Mark Hall of Hall's Electric, Mike Stramer of 
Stramer & Sons Plumbing, and Kristi's Dad Al of Energy & Air 
Systems, and Sean Newberry for floor refnishing just to name a few.  


There were lots of windows in the east wall of the original structure, but they were all boarded over.
We selected two of them to bring back to life as working windows.  Here is one waiting for glass.  



In the west part of the building, we decided to put a sit-down coffee shop.  We couldn't figure out
how to integrate this raised flooring into the layout, so out it came.  Eric is great at demolition 
but this floor put up a tough fight!   

 The evolution of the loft stairs. These stairs took up a huge amount of floor 
 space in our future coffee shop, but it took months of brainstorming to figure
 out another way to fit them in while staying within code.  


Here we see them at the half-disassembled stage, where they stayed for ages. 



Mike finally had the idea of sticking them in this corner.  They cut in front of the 
window, but truly this is the best place for them.  



The finished product.  They look great! 

The loft had too many changes to name.  There used to be a big A/C unit in the window, and a 
circuit breaker box on the wall, and conduit running across the space.  

We added a beautiful, huge bathroom which serves as a bridal prep area for weddings.  Rose has a 
private office up there.  There's a tiny kid's playroom.  Also a couch and these comfortable chairs 
and Kristi's pretty trees.  Also new black metal railings.  It's my favorite part of the coffee shop now. 

 The loft while work was in progress. 


The fireplace before. The mantel stuck out into the room with spindles on it, the real fireplace
was sealed over, and a pellet stove was stuck out in front on a platform.  


Kristi's Dad Al got us hooked up with a gas-burning unit which looks great.  Mike reworked the 
original mantel and also added a second tier. 


The finished product - It's beautiful!  
The evolution of the west stairway.  Originally there were a lot of stairs with a landing in the middle. 


Here the boys plot & plan to the left, and on the right you can see that Mike has removed the
original stairs.  He reworked it so there are fewer steps.  However, our ultimate goal is to add
a huge deck on this side of the building for coffee shop outdoor seating and a wheelchair ramp.


This shows the current configuration of the stairs. 
 The south deck and stairs.     
  In this photo to the left we've pulled off the old railing, jacked 
up the deck so that wheelchairs could roll smoothly in from 
the deck, and have started replacing rotten boards.

The boys also went through and repaired all that old skirting.  

Here the deck railing is installed but there's still a lot of work to be done.  This picture was taken 
during a "family work day" when we got a big crowd out for manual labor and fried chicken.  


 Some of that manual labor included the taking down of the old Lodgecraft sign from the roof.



This shows work in progress on the landscaping.  We pulled the flower beds back to add more
parking.  We had bigger dreams for the landscaping too, but they are held for a future time.  

 Also running the vent hose they needed for the gas fireplace unit.   
Mike making us a pair of big, beautiful doors for the entrance to the main hall. The lodge basement
was a great place for building things and staining boards away from the elements.  
Mike O'Neil, the man himself & those beautiful doors!  We later painted the 
trim black and it looks great. 

Mike, directing us minions as they dig the footings for the new sidewalks.  

 The deck after being repaired and stained.   
One of Eric's big jobs was the removal of the four huge hanging propane heaters,
and patching the holes they left behind on both the ceiling and the roof. 
Here the coffee shop kitchen takes shape.  I'm so impressed by the way that Kristi planned the
whole thing out a year before this.  She laid out all the plumbing and electrical when we first 
bought the property.  That's some great planning!  
Here the dynamic duo install more coffee shop cabinets.  This one had to be extra 
reinforced in order to take the weight of the coffee machine that will live here.   

Here is the coffee shop all decked out with supplies and ready for action.



Looking over the downstairs seating area from the coffee shop loft. 


A view of the shop as we prepare to open.


 This shows the main hall just after the floors were refinished.  We had to take all the baseboards
 off for the process.  The difference in the floors is just amazing.  
Here is the main hall nicely decorated for Erik's graduation party. 
 The main hall decorated for a "Beauty from Ashes" event put on by Hope Church.  A view from the outside with our new landscaping in place. 

Larry, Mary Beth, and I worked on these flower beds out front.  
We chose the hottest day of the year too, it was brutal!  

The coffee shop sign. Shout out to Kristi's sister Lisa for designing the lovely logo.   
 Ready for Christmas  The owner team, with Buddy standing in for Lucas.

What an adventure this has been!  

Believe it or not, we went through all of this and we still speak to each other!  :-)   

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