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We build a Basement:

 It was in 1962 we start building a basement, this would be the start of our new home. The basement would be 24 feet wide and 50 feet long. Since it was built on a small hill the back of the basement was out of the ground so we had a door where we could walk right into the basement, My dad called it a daylight basement.

 Since we did not have the money to have it built, my dad built it himself, with some help from me by this time I was almost 12 years old. My dad rented a small CASE 350 cat and dug the hole where our new home would be. I remember when dad moved the trailer which was sitting on the spot where we would build our new house. When he started to cut into the ground with the cat the ground was still frozen where the trailer sit. I could not belive this the snow had been gone for almost a month. He had a hard time breaking up the frozen ground one piece of dirt was about 18 inches thick and as big as the cat.

 

 

Alaska

We spent the whole summer working on it, my dad would come home after work and we would go outside and work on it till about midnight. He even did his own block laying. He had a friend who said he would come out and set the corners and show dad how to lay the blocks. I remember the man was a very big. I watched him put mortar on the end of four blocks and then pick up the four blocks at one time two in each hand and lay them in place. I remember only being able to pick up two blocks one in each hand and carry them to my dad as he laid them in place.

The walls weren't real straight but it worked and they would keep the snow off us when we move in. A lot of the blocks for the basement were used most of the used blocks came from an old retaining wall that had fallen down and my dad bought the blocks and we hauled them home in the old 1948 Ford Pickup, One trip we made from town to the house which was over 12 miles we had 110 concrete blocks on the truck, and if I remember right each one weights about 50 to 55 pounds which would mean there was over 5500 pounds in the old half ton Ford pickup, a lot of them were full of concrete because some of the old retaining wall had been back filled with concrete. On our way home we with the blocks we had a flat on the truck and when we went to jack the truck up our hydraulic jack would not lift the back of the truck so we could change the tire. Fortunately a good friend who lived about three miles from us on O'malley Road was going home from work and he stopped to help. He had a ten ton jack which lifted the truck so we could change the tire.

The day when we finally got three of the walls up it was time to poor the floor but not having a lot of money we did what poor people do we did not hire a concrete company to come poor the floor using one of them fancy trucks, that would have cost to much so my dad bought 100 bags of concrete, a Dump truck load of sand and a couple of dump truck loads of gravel and borrowed another wheel barrow and cement mixer we already had one of each, so this way while one mixer was mixing the other could be dumping into a wheel barrow, he found a couple of friends to help and we poured the whole floor by hand in one day. I think it figures out to about 15 cubic yards of concrete we mixed and poured in one day with 4 people by hand.

 

 Is wasn't long before we had the last wall up but it was September and winter was upon us so until Spring (next June) we would have to put off starting the roof of the basement which will be the floor for the up stairs when we can save up enough money to build the upstairs. We would have to live in the trailer another winter.

 

As soon as the snow was off the ground we started on the Roof/Floor of the basement. By the end of June we had the Roof/Floor on and started putting in the windows and doors. Around August of 1962 we got the inner walls up inside and started moving out of the trailer and into our new Home well at least the basement part. The only thing good about moving into the basement was we had a lot more room instead of the 8 by 35 trailer we now had a 24 by 50 house with four times as much space but it was still as cold as the trailer was, sometimes I think more so.

 

 

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