E. R. Hinman & Sons

A Burlington CT Lumber Mill


E.R. Hinman Press Release

April 26, 2013 Charlie Leigus

E.R. Hinman and Sons, Inc. Raises “Nature’s Porch” at Winding Trails

Timber Frame Educational Building Uses Recycled Pine and Oak Trees from 2011 Winter Storm “Alfred” for Flooring, Siding, and Trim

Farmington, CT – E.R. Hinman and Sons of Burlington, CT and Winding Trails of Farmington, CT will soon complete Nature’s Porch, a locally manufactured timber frame building located on Walton Pond. The new educational building, made from locally harvested timbers and trees taken down during the Halloween blizzard of 2011, will function as a classroom and community gathering center.

Scott Brown, Executive Director of Winding Trails, is excited to open the new educational space for the non-profit organization. “In 2011 Winding Trails took on its largest capital project ever, saving Walton Pond,” says Brown. “Nature’s Porch is the natural continuation of the Walton Pond project. The new building will provide space and resources to educate children and families in the wonders of the natural world.”

Nature’s Porch is designed to showcase building and living techniques of generations past. The structural frame is handcrafted from locally harvested Hemlock timbers, cut to fit with mortise and tenon joinery and secured with White Oak pegs. An impressive field stone fireplace rises along the front wall just outside of the timber frame providing a place for Park Naturalist, Judy Witzke, to teach about the history of hearths. “We wanted to show the beauty and function of a large stone fireplace that historically has provided heat, cooking and a place to gather,” says Witzke.

The building has three distinct focal points, the timber scissor trusses spanning the full thirty foot width of the building, the field stone fireplace and, of course, the front porch. “One of the biggest design challenges was creating a way to span a 30 foot wide building without any support posts in the middle of the bent,” says Rudy Niksa, E.R. Hinman and Son’s master wood craftsman. “The solution is one of Nature’s Porch’s most striking features – the two massive scissor trusses in the main hall.”

Nature’s Porch also enhances the outdoor experience for students. As the name suggests, the front of the building is wrapped with an inviting 15 foot deep front porch welcoming everyone to rest beneath its timber framed roof and soak in the summer scene at Walton Pond.

Keeping true to the principles taught inside Nature’s Porch, the building itself is constructed from locally harvested and recycled wood material wherever possible. The structural Hemlock timber posts, beams and rafters are responsibly harvested from a professionally managed wood lot in Andover, CT. The Pine siding and trim and the Oak flooring are made from trees taken down during the Halloween Blizzard of 2011. The logs were transferred from Winding Trails to Hinman Lumber for processing.

To learn more about E.R. Hinman and Sons and Nature’s Porch, please contact Jared Braddock of Hinman Lumber at 860-309-9906 or jbraddock@supremeindustries.com. Interviews with E.R. Hinman and Sons Master Craftsman, Rudy Niksa, and Winding Trails Executive Director, Scott Brown, are available upon request. Visit www.erhinman.com and www.windingtrails.org for more information about each organization.