Well, the inside of the main building was coming together. Inside the tower was a bit of a different story. There was some more work to be done replacing some worn down studs and repairing the top plates. But, after we finished these up, the main structural repairs were finished!

Now that the roof is finished we plan to begin finishing the upstairs section. So far we've replace the windows, put new wiring in place, and have almost finished wire brushing the ceiling. We do have a little of the ceiling to replace due to previous water damage from before the roof was replaced, but once we get this ripped out and renewed we can get started on the insulation and drywall!

Thank you for reading and following along with the restoration so far. We would like to give a very special thank you to the following groups, businesses, and individuals who have assisted us throughout the project so far:

- The Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Company

- Storm's Lumber and Logging

- Zurn Realty

- American Legion Post #314

- Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

- Mahoning Township Lion's Club

- Executive Auto Gallery

- Bear Mountain Real Estate, LLC

- Pencor Services

- Ally Schubert

- Cathy L. Smith

- Darryl & Gail Rotherforth

- Richard & Darlene Nothstein

- Anonymous

If you would like to know more about who we are or would like to stay up to date on what we're doing outside of this project, you can follow us on Facebook here. You can also reach out via Facebook with any questions regarding this project or the organization in general. Thank you again for following along!

Strength & Honor

Here we have a list of a few of the projects that we've already accomplished at the Chapel. We've also included a few picture so you can see some of the work in progress, but more can be found on our Facebook page by following this link.

We've come a long way in just a few years. Take a look below for a chronological list of what we've accomplished so far!

Chapel Cleanout

What's Next?

The French Drain

More Studs and Top Plates

It was a long and arduous process, but we were finally able to put a new roof on the building. We had to work on one side at a time, first removing the old slate, adding new sheathing, and then finally tar paper and shingles. It took us the better part of six months over the course of the summer but now we officially have a roof over our heads!

Copyright 2015. The Sword Tag Society. All Rights Reserved.

As a part of putting in the drain, we had to remove the old concrete pad in front of the front doors to the chapel. Since we'd finished work on the drain, it was time to pour a replacement. It was definitely easier pouring the new concrete than it was removing the old one.

The next project on the list was to remove the walls and flooring in the basement. Due to some mildew issues, these needed to be removed so we could address the moisture issue. There were some places in the flooring where the wood was quite literally rotting away. After removing we've been able to take a closer look at the foundation to see what repairs might need to be made.

The next step in the restoration was to remove the old lathe and plaster from the walls upstairs. We needed a closer look at the overall structure of the building to see what further repairs we might need to make. This was a long and arduous process, but ultimately we were able to get everything down to the bare studs.

Pouring a New Pad

Water in the Basement

We spent some time toward the end of the winter to replace the windows in the upstairs section of the chapel. The whole process turned out a lot easier than expected and we were able to get them installed in one batch. Another big step in finishing the upstairs!

The Restoration

New Windows!

Shingling the Roof

Now that we had replaced the sill plates, it was time to start working upward. All of the studs and the top place that sat below where the main roof meets with the side of the tower had rotted away due to excess water sitting and leaking below. We had to prop up the roof with some planking and jacks to hold everything in place while we put in the new structural support. With the addition of these new studs and repaired top plate, the inside of the chapel was beginning to come together.

Next: Studs and Top Plate

Since we had cleaned out the basement, we now had to remove the old furnace. This old wood furnace used to heat the whole building, but after years of disuse was no longer functional. Sometime later an inefficient oil furnace was installed to replace it which we will also need to remove in the future. It was a large piece of equipment to load out, but after some finessing, we were able to get it out and disposed of. We've also already purchased a newer propane furnace that we plan to install later to replace it

Now that we had a better look under the flooring and walls in the basement, we could see that there was a real issue with keeping water away from the building's foundation. In an effort to help solve this we began our first big project: installing a French Drain. With some help from the guys at the Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Company, we were able to dig out a channel and get drain pipe, gravel, and a covering installed before burying everything back up. While this hasn't solved the water issue entirely, it has made an enormous difference!

One of the first projects we tackled after we started working at the chapel was cleaning out the items that were stored here. Over the years, the chapel became a repository for a lot of different things: some antique and others not so much. We first held a sale to try and get these items to people that might want them and then disposed of the remainder.

The Sword Tag Society

Removing the Furnace

Getting Down to Studs

Replacing the (first) Sill Plate

So, we were able to get a closer look at the actual structure of the building but we found there were a lot of issues that we needed to repair. One of the big goals in the restoration is to repair the old slate roof (another cause of the water issues in the building) but before that we needed to fix some of the major structural problems. The first of these was replacing one of the sill plates in the chapel tower. After replacing the first, however, we ended up needing to replace the plates along all but one of the walls of the tower.