Thursday, April 22, 2010

Going primitive in the Ozarks

City folks often call us Ozarkers "primitives." Maybe we are, because we like a lot of the old-time ways of doing things, like raising gardens, hunting and fishing, living simply, paying our bills, going to church, believing in Jesus. City folks have a hard time understanding us.

Even outsiders and transplants, once they get into the Ozarks, turn primitive. Take, for instance, the case of a French couple who moved to the Arkansas Ozarks. They're overseeing the construction of a medieval castle on their property. What's primitive? The builders are required to use medieval tools and medieval methods while wearing medieval clothing. Boy, howdy, talk about primitive.

From the Baxter Bulletin: A Castle Rises in the Ozarks.

LEAD HILL — The clink of hammers against chisels fills the air as stone masons shape quarried rock high in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

An apprentice struggles to lift a large stone into place and calls for mortar. Cody Hannah dips a wooden bucket into a pond, fetches water, and hooks the bucket on a yoke across his shoulders.

Hannah, 28, of Lead Hill is one of 25 artisans and craftsmen, dressed in tunics authentic to the 13th century, laboring to build a medieval castle here — using only medieval material and methods.

"We are the modern-day Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone," Hannah said.

The Ozark Medieval Fort-ress is planned as a 20-year-long work-in-progress, an outdoor classroom where students will experience living history while learning about architecture, geometry, economics and geology.

The castle-in-the-making opens to the public May 1, when students and volunteers will be able to participate in the actual building.

The project, the second such original castle construction in the world, originated in October 2008, when Lead Hill residents Jean-Marc Mirat, 70, and his wife, Solange, 70, both natives of France, visited Gu├ędelon, France, and met Michel Guyot.

Guyot, 63, of Saint Fargeau, Burgundy, had purchased the crumbling 1,000-year-old Chateau Saint-Fargeau, two hours south of Paris, in 1979. Archaeologists hired by Guyot to study the history of the structure discovered 13th-century stone walls hidden behind red brick. The mortar within was still moist, Guyot said.

Pretty interesting, and I recommend you click on the link above and read the whole story.

No comments: