Roofing Project: All cabins have new roofs

All the cabins at the Lodge now have new roofs. The golf course-side cabins (12 cabins*) had new roofs put on them in the spring of 2019, and this spring the roofing crew finished the 2nd phase of the project to ensure new roofs on the forest-side cabin (11 cabins).

In 2019 we started working on freshening up the resort, with an initial focus on deferred maintenance projects — projects that had been neglected in the past. One of those projects we started in the Spring of 2019 was replacing the roofs of the 24 cabin structures we have on property. The shingles were deteriorating, cabins were experiencing leaks, and moss was growing on the roofs.

In the Keweenaw, roofs are critical for the sustainability of a structure. Neglected roofs in the Keweenaw will result in both damaged roofs, as well as damaged integrity to the foundation of the structure. In our case, if a roof had fallen in, the logs would be damaged — either by rot or the weight of the fallen roof.

To show how much snow the Keweenaw gets, and how important strong roofs are, we can point to the 2019 winter season. During the 2019 winter season, we had close to 4 feet of snow on the forest-side cabins before we started to remove the snow. 4 feet of fresh snow equates to around 20 pounds per square foot. We had packed snow, which would mean there was probably twice as much weight on those roofs. That is a lot of weight to have on a roof. We were thankful that none of the cabin roofs fell in. It was also a testament to how well built these cabins were and the craftsmanship in the 1930s. [ And we have gotten better at snow removal this past winter. ]

There wasn’t much documentation about the cabin roofs; however, with our research, we deducted that the singles on the roofs hadn’t been replaced for at least 30 years. When we started on the roofs on the golf course side, we found that there were up to 5 layers (a combination of rolled-roofing and asphalt shingles). On the forest-side cabins we worked on this year, we found up to 3 layers of roofing.

In each of the 2 roofing phases, the roofers found interesting artifacts where the roofers in the 1930s left behind their names — carved their names into history at the resort.

Guests won’t notice much of a difference, as they expect cabins to have solid and strong roofs. However, they will notice that there will be less or no leaks when it is raining in the Keweenaw, and they are enjoying a fire in the fireplace of their cabin.

We thank Joe Goulette and his crew at JG General Contracting for the quality work they did on the roofs on the cabins. They respected the history and the significance of the structures they were working on. They took pride in their work.

* There are 13 cabins on the golf course side, but we only did 12 roofs in the spring of 2019. Cabin 4 didn’t need a new roof, as it was replaced in the past 5 years. A tree had fallen on cabin 4 several years back, and the roof was replaced at that time.


One Reply to “Roofing Project: All cabins have new roofs”

  1. Wow, you folks have been very busy up there. What a great accomplishment to have all those roofs replaced. Thanks for all the narrative and photo documentation. Very interesting to those of us following your progress and knowing the history of that wonderful place!

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