Morton Schoolhouse Restoration News
Exterior Brickwork
Only a few days after the bell tower had been installed and
the trucks and crane had left, another trailor arrived in the
school house parking lot. It was the first of several that are
being employed by the crew that will restore the exterior of
the building.
Morton School - April 2, 2002
There are multiple steps in the process required to
restore the brick exterior. This will be a summary
of those used at the Morton Schoolhouse.
What a grind!
Loose and deteriorated mortar is removed by grinding the
joints. All the mortar joints are ground to a depth of about
1/2 to 3/4 inch.
The front enclosure is removed
In order to facilitate the grinding on the front of
the schoolhouse, the enclosure was removed the
day after the work had begun.
The weather has been a mixture of snow, rain,
and bits of sunshine for the benefit of the work crews.
Same old grind
The grinding of the mortar joints took the crew about 4 to 5 days
of dusty, grimy, work. The rain that occurred was welcomed, since
it helped to reduce the amount of dust in the air and helped to
remove some of the dust that settled on all the surrounding
surfaces. After an area was finished, pressurized water was
used to further remove the dust and grime.
Face lift
Once the surface has been washed, the task of removing
damaged bricks begins. Over the years some of the bricks
have deteriorated, or have been damaged. If the damage
is extensive the brick is removed. In the picture above,
the school front has been washed and several bricks in
the outer course have been removed.
Bricks on the West side as well as the remainder of
the schoolhouse have been removed.
The brick used in the construction of Morton School, as well
as many of the early schools, were a soft brick fired at a relatively
low temperature. The bricks that are currently manufactured are
much harder and of a different size. In order to properly restore the
building, the bricks that replace those that have been removed should be
as similar in appearance, age, and all other characteristics as possible.
Bricks that the work crews had reclaimed from other area projects,
proved to be unsuitable for Morton School for a variety of reasons.
When faced with this dilemma, friends in the community again
came forward to help.
Faulkner school, another area one-room school that was constructed
at nearly the same time (1889) as Morton, is currently in bad repair
and many bricks are becoming detached from the inner brick courses.
Current descendants of the Daniel S. Faulkner family who owned the
land where their school was built, agreed to allow the use of some of
the brick from their schoolhouse in the restoration of Morton School.
Lawrence Faulkner, a grandson of Daniel, and his sister, Mrs Doris
Faulkner /Stotts, and her daughter Mary Ann Stotts have been closely
following the Morton project. When they heard of "brick problem",
they all agreed to help and volunteered to participate in removing
the Faulkner school bricks. The Faulkner bricks were taken to
Morton School so the crew could begin installing them the
following day.
Now the schoolhouse with some bricks removed and freshly ground
mortar joints, was washed with a mild cleaning solution that removed
most of the surface grime, stains, paint wash, and bird droppings that
had accumulated over the years.
The Faulkner bricks were then put in place with a mortar that cures not
nearly as hard as the standard mortar commonly used today. Since the
bricks are a softer variety, the mortar must be also, so that the relative
hardnesses are compatible. Otherwise, today's commonly used mortar after
a period of time, would destroy the surface of these brick. Mortar was then
applied overall to replace all that was removed in the grinding process.
Morton School West Side - April 9, 2002
Newly cleaned, with some Faulkner School bricks and fresh mortar!
Doesn't it look great??
In another week or so, all the scaffolding and equipment that was used by
the crew from Oak - Stone Renovators, Inc. was gone gone and they have
left us with a beautifully restored building exterior.
Morton School House - May 2002
The next step is the replastering of the interior . . . .

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