An Island Fishing Village Brought Back to Life

Fish House
Fish House

Fish HouseHistorical renovation and replication of a traditional fishing village has been a twenty-year, ongoing project for Daggett Builders. Daggett has accurately renovated many completely deteriorated buildings, replicated buildings from old photographs, and designed and built new structures to compliment the existing. Today, fishermen and their families again live and work on these islands, and the village serves as a retreat and creative inspiration for its owners.

The post & beam barns were built in Daggett’s shop, using a combination of old wood and new, and then ferried out to the island. To make new beams match old beams, Daggett replicated the method of construction by using antique hand tools – draw knifes, chisels, and adz. An adz is like an axe, which one has to swing very carefully between ones’ legs. To manage the extraordinary length of the beams, a local saw mill removed a wall in their shop to accomodate the long lumber.

Doors were built using old pine boards, and the strap hinges were hand forged by a blacksmith in Union, Maine.  The door locking mechanism is a spring loaded fly bolt, replicated from the mechanism in an old mill in Pennsylvania

The Block House is actually a new custom home designed by the owner.  Daggett Builders worked closely with the owner, drawing detailed plans as the look was described. Twenty-three foot antique floor boards, tapering from 20″ to 6″ wide, run the length of the house. An antique but versatile cook stove is incorporated into the fireplace. Kitchen cabinets were custom built in Daggett’s shop, and the walnut knobs were turned one-by-one on a lathe.

The bunk house was originally built for lambing, but evolved into practical housing for fishermen and a storage facility. Daggett also constructed a hen house with easy-to-clean stainless steel shelves and a fiberglass floor to supply fresh eggs every morning.

A new cape was built from parts salvaged from a disassembled antique home, and a one-room school house built in the 1700s was moved from the mainland and attached to the cape. There are still children’s initials carved into the walls. Over the mantel is a painting of this same schoolhouse while on the mainland. The walls are plastered and antique floorboards were installed; windows were custom-made in Daggett’s shop using antique glass provided by the owner. Wrought iron hardware was hand forged by a local blacksmith. A woodshed attached to the cape boasts gutters of Douglas fir, bleached to look aged, and an antique downspout.

The generator shed is actually a very high tech building, built to meet the customers needs while conserving the antique look. Daggett consulted with an acoustical engineer who designed an elaborate structure using high tech materials to deaden sound. The little bump out is actually fuel storage for underground LP lines, and the stone wall and the large blocks of stone at the end of the generator shed are part of the cooling system.

The octagon-shaped library sits on a concrete foundation with radiant floor heat covered by a layer of sandstone. The ceiling is vaulted with a “Boston weave” on the roof shingles.

The Wharf House was almost beyond repair, but Daggett rebuilt it with a small bathroom addition. The door came off an old ship.

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