By Sue Moore
Karen Hammond likes to call her Timber Framers Guild builders, “lumberjacks” whenever she calls her next victim to supply food for an anticipated crew of over 60 men and women who will be constructing the community pavilion in September.
To a person or business, she has gotten a positive response to potentially making over 2100 meals in the ten-day span that volunteer workers will be on the site at the Vicksburg Historic Village from September 12 to 22. People will be coming from all over the U.S. to learn or upgrade their skills at building in the old-fashioned mortise and tenon joinery that built barns and buildings for centuries. There are even some local residents who have volunteered to be part of the crew.
The logistics of three meals/snack/ fruit a day, for ten days are staggering if you have never done this before, but Hammond didn’t blink when asked to take on the responsibility.
She has said so many times to the committee that is working with her, the amazement she feels by the outpouring of help from whomever she has approached to bake, cook or supply food for the multitudes. There are also five vegetarians to be considered in the preparations, she indicated.
Her job was made easier in the beginning because Pastor David Downs of the Chapman Memorial Nazarene Church stepped up to offer their church as a meal site and allow the crew to use their showers. Pastor Ed Schmidt of Lakeland Reformed Church did likewise, as soon as he heard about the need.
They too have showers and together will prepare five meals between the two churches for the “lumberjacks”. Nancy MacKenzie and Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki are planning a neighborhood potluck dinner at Sunset Lake beach, and Evie Hall of Home Again Consignments volunteered early on to do a potluck at the Community Center where food would be supplied by many of her active customers.
In addition, aside from the needed three meals a day is a daily snack. Hammond has contacted Vicksburg’s finest bakers who have volunteered to make some of their special cookies and cakes to serve as the daily snack for the Timber Framers. It will take at least 13 to 14 dozen cookies to feed the crew each day.
Tina and Larry Forsyth have offered lodging and showers for the five women who will be working as crew members. It is unclear whether they will be camping on site with the men or accepting the Forsyths’ kind offer. Whichever way, it will be tent city on the grounds of the Historic Village.
To help defray expenses, the Historical Society has been selling pegs to the public that will go into the construction of the building. They will be available for purchase on site as well as the t-shirts that have been designed for the builders, to set them apart and provide a memento of their volunteer time.
Spectators are welcome to come by and watch the progress each day and possibly learn something about this age old practice of building. Those who might wish to offer their baking expertise could contact Hammond at 269-270-1522 or firstname.lastname@example.org, as it is not too late to be a part of this monumental undertaking she said. Following is a spread sheet of the groups who have stepped up to feed the hungry crew. Karen Hammond.