W. Mullins Basket Shop

This Summer, the museum was given three buildings. The owner wanted to build something new, but that township gov’t wouldn’t allow any new construction until the old was gone. While that seems an example of government overreach, it was lucky for the museum. The buildings are now at the museum. Two of them will become a future church with steeple. The first one moved is now the basket shop.
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To deconstruct it we first took off the asphalt shingles and then the roof boards and rafters. We cut the corners and laid the sides down. Then we backed up the trailer and laid several boards for ramps and simply slide the walls onto the carry-all. Once home we stacked all the pieces parts in the driveway parking area, and built the foundation, and pulled (lots of) nails from the roof boards. When all was ready we carried the walls over to the foundation and over the course of several days stood them up and nailed them together. We then cut a number of 5 to 6 inch trees and, once the bark was removed, bolted them to the top of the walls, -which considerably strengthened the building, and provided very nice looking rafters for hanging the future baskets. We then restored the roof beams and boards, then finished it all with slate shingles & paint. ~~A couple month’s work and the basket shop was born.
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The building is now filled with lots and lots of baskets, basket making tools and equipment, and basket materials. There is also a Civil War-era tin and wood bathtub, for soaking dried white oak splints to make them more pliable for basket making. And we acquired a lovely old desk from a Smithville residence, with name and date inscribed on it on one of the inside drawers (it really should have stayed in Smithville at their museum, but they wouldn’t spend the money to save it). There is also a number of nearly ancient wood splint and cane bottom chairs the museum had acquired over the years, and a quite nice wood barrel, wrapped in wood splint bands, that is used for holding strips of bark for future baskets. For the steps into the shop, we used a (probably) one ton 8 ft. long sandstone block that had once been one of the foundation stones for the now lost Babb’s Apples barn, and an 8′ granite curbstone that had once graced the road in front of the Brecksville Stage Coach Stop. The basket shop sign over the entrance door came from a 19th Cent. basket shop in England.
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When the shop was done, I just couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t quite right. So I added a brick floor open-sided porch to the north side of the building. Under the porch roof is now displayed a Revolutionary War era cannon, a nitre kettle, and a very large cider press. The building and shop and porch now make a fully functioning and nice-looking display. ~~We have already had fun making very creative baskets.
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P.S. -Baskets for sale at Fryburg Gen’l Store.
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