SCHUYLERVILLE — In three weeks, carpenters and novices who want to work with wood will converge on Schuylerville to build the new regional tourism center by hand.

The Champlain Canal Region Gateway Visitors Center, to be built at 30 Ferry St., will be made of hand-cut timbers and will be raised by hand.

The building was designed to incorporate elements of the Dutch barns built in this region. The Timber Framers Guild, which will organize the community build, helped design it with architects from Saratoga Associates.

The operation will begin Aug. 8, with the lower floor completed on Aug. 12. Then, volunteers will complete the second half of the building in 10 days, beginning Sept. 5.

On Sept. 14 and Sept. 15, an old-fashioned community barn-raising will be held to complete the job.

The group has enough volunteers signed up for the August session, but could always use more help, said Project Manager Neil Godden.

“We don’t have a ton of people,” he said, but he added that people often sign up at the last moment.

Members of the community are welcome, he said.

Those who want to join in must first become members of the Timber Framers Guild, which usually costs $132. Occasionally, the group offers discounted temporary memberships to those who live near a work project and want to help with it, but prospective members must contact the guild to get the special rate for the Schuylerville project. Guild officials ask residents to email them at to ask about the special rate.

The group trains novices, so no experience is required. But every member who joins a work project must bring common tools that are used so often that sharing would be difficult. Those include a timber framing chisel, wooden mallet, framing square and hand saw.

Godden is excited about the project, which will be finished the day before the guild’s annual conference begins in Saratoga Springs.

“I love timber-framing,” he said. “I’m excited because this is going to be a hand-raising.”

The visitors center will serve as the starting point for people wishing to visit the historic sites of the upper Hudson Valley. But it will also serve those who want to visit other tourist attractions.

“It’s going to be able to inform people not only about the historic sites, but it will be able to send people over to Washington County or apple-picking or festivals,” said Saratoga Battlefield Superintendent Amy Bracewell.

She’s hoping bike clubs and other groups will use the building as a meeting spot and then “go explore the community.”

The location, in Fort Hardy Park, is ideal, she added.

“I think it’s going to be a really convenient stop for visitors,” she said. “We’re all very excited.”

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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