St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House Project
The house was built during the time of the Wisconsin Territory, prior to 1848. For the first several years of its existence, it belonged to Québécois immigrants. It originally belonged to Jean Baptiste Caron. Later, it was bought by Guillaume St. Germain. He and his wife, who has been named as either Madeline or Magdelaine, moved into it.
In 1890, Nina Dousman McBride bought the house. She rented it out to Charles Gremore. Gremore later bought the house and moved it to its present location, on an island in the Mississippi River in the late 19th or early 20th century. In 1902, George Coorough purchased it. An addition was added in 1916. The house remained in the Coorough family until 1978, when it was acquired by the City of Prairie du Chien.
It was added to the State Register of Historic Places in 2017 and to the National Register of Historic Places the following year.
August 26, 2020 - The St. Germain restoration is almost completed. Most of the windows are installed, lap siding cover the gables, the logs and boards and battens have been sealed, and new/old boards cover the floor. The Artisan Restoration crew has been great to work with - very skilled and knowledgeable, and patient adjusting to all the needs of an historic log house. And Buddy constantly patrolled the site to ensure all were busy. Just a few more things to finish, so keep watch.
August 4, 2020 - It has been awhile since I posted an update on the log house. So, much has been happening. All of the log walls were chinked outside and inside. A few beams supporting the second floor had been removed, so new (old) beams were installed and broken or missing flooring set in place. The original opening to the second floor was reopened and period steps are being crafted. Cedar board and batten siding now covers the wing. The original window sash had been removed and sent to Wadsworth Construction for restoration. Where window sash was missing, David fabricated new sash to match the original. And then today the crew began to install the window frames and sash.
July 17, 2020 - A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished in just seven days. With the basement filled, the sand was leveled, floor joist were constructed and installed, and a sub flooring laid. Now the four walls are tied together so no danger of collapse. One can now jump on the floor and not bounce. The floor was also stabilized in the wing, and the wing covered in sheathing to give a good base to the board and batten siding. While the floor was under construction, other members of the crew cut R-board to fit into the spaces between the logs. Then, on the outside of the house, they began to chink between the logs. That is meticulous work.
July 2, 2020 - It has been a busy week at the log house. When one begins a restoration, one never knows what to expect, and this project is no exception. The floor in the log portion of the house was "a bit bouncy." The crew was planning on pulling up the floor to place supports under the floor joists. They pulled up the floor and surprise - the floor joists were rotten and no longer attached to the sill logs. And the brick chimney was supported by one log. No wonder the floor moved when one walked on it. Nothing could be saved so all went into the dumpster. Thank you Town and Country Sanitation for the dumpsters! The cellar cavity was on three levels, so it was filled to create a firm base. Thank you The Kraemer Company for 100 tons of sand! The JWalkers returned and spent an afternoon shoveling sand. Thank you!
June 22, 2020 - Some of the members of the JWalkers youth group (Holy Family Parish of Prairie du Chien) offered to do volunteer "mission" work at the house this week. Today, they removed cement chinking and pulled lots of nails and staples from the logs. Members of the work crew were amazed at their hard work and how much they accomplished.
June 18, 2020 - Mark Johnson and crew have been working long hours and accomplished much. On south wall, rotten sill log removed, next log pulled into place, and sill log replaced. One north wall, sill and next log rotten and removed. Logs sprayed with boron to kill insects and fungus. Thanks to Blair Dillman for donating replacement logs. Buddy is overseeing all work.
June 16, 2020 - Restoration has begun on the St. Germain dit Gauthier-Coorough House. The work is being done by Artisan Restorations. In just one day, much has been accomplished to begin the stabilization of the walls. Come take a look. There will be periodic updates, so you can watch as the house returns to the way it looked in 1835.