Constructing a Unique Wooden Chapel on a Connecticut Farm

Constructing a Unique Wooden Chapel on a Connecticut Farm
Constructing a Unique Wooden Chapel on a Connecticut Farm

About ten years ago, Bill Miskiman and his wife Amy Finnegan purchased an 18-acre farm in New Milford, Conn. The area used to be completely forested, so over time, Bill cleared it and turned it into an organic farm. At the same time, he built up a certain amount of logs. “I don’t like to throw away good wood,” Bill admits.

Inspiration struck Bill and Amy while they were traveling in Iceland. With the island's rural population widely spread, it is practical for farmers to build a place of worship right there on each farm.

“This inspired us incredibly!” says Bill. “We decided to build a small chapel on our farm as a place to thank God for our blessings!”

Returning to home, they shared the idea with their friend Jon Scott. Jon was immediately involved and soon arrived at the farm with his Wood-Mizer LT40WIDE portable sawmill to begin the project

In just three days, they milled a small log pile into the required sizes of lumber, including Northern white ash, black cherry, and hemlock.

Anyone who has ever milled cherry trees knows how difficult it is. Cherry trunks are dense and incredibly curved. To mill such a tree, you must have excellent skills and a high-quality sawmill. Their reward was exceptionally durable and beautifully textured cherry wood intended for the structural elements of the chapel.

“I admit, we wouldn't have been able to complete the chapel project if it weren't for my Wood-Mizer,” Jon says.

They neatly stacked lumber and left it outdoors to air dry for about a year. Two experienced carpenters, Scott Keller and Kevin Parsons, then came on board to build the chapel, which took about four months to complete.

The chapel's antique glass windows were reclaimed from the Tiffany Estate in Greenwich, Conn., and they obtained a brass bell, cast in 1820 in Troy, NY, from a bell restorer in Michigan.

“Unusual and unique” is the most common response from those who visit the farm, amazed by the design and skills of the builders.

“We already have a wedding planned for the Trinity Knot Chapel,” Bill says proudly. “I think that will be the first of many.”

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