Building The Park Grill
Dead-standing spruce trees were harvested from the top of the Payette National Forest in Idaho and used to construct our massive log superstructure. Some had been killed by bark beetles and others by lightning strikes. Rest assured no live trees were cut down when we built our mountain lodge. Many of the logs used were hand-picked because they had unusual markings, like burls, big knots and natural scars. Today, these magnificent trees have been given a second chance at life and now provide shelter and comfort to all who visit The Park Grill.
The harvested trees were trucked to Timber, Oregon where the prefabrication was performed at Sun Country Logworks. Prefabrication of the logs began with hand peeling, which is performed with razor sharp drawknives. The char from fire was peeled off with the bark. Each peeler has its own style; therefore the same peeler was used for all the logs so that the peeling pattern would be consistent throughout the entire building.
The logs were then properly decked, sorted and treated and moved to the milling area where band saw cuts were done. They were cut to length and many of the mortise and tenon joint seat cuts were made. Logs were then tagged for shipping and stored ready for their trek to Gatlinburg.
A scale model of the building accompanied the logs through the entire process. Each log was selected and tagged for a specific spot in the building. The logs and model were shipped to Gatlinburg on seven flatbed trucks and carefully stacked using cedar filled burlap bags between them to prevent damage.
A crew of log builders trekked from Washington State, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Canada to construct the building using traditional log building methods.
The logs were joined with mortise and tenon connections and the scarfs (the flattened sides of the logs) were all cut by hand. Notice the fine joinery that ensures a clean look to all joints when you visit the Park Grill.
Huge, long chains are used as downspouts from the roof to guide the rainwater into stone receptacles. An outside porch on the front of the restaurant, with a fireplace and handmade rocking chairs, accommodates those waiting to dine.
The stonework throughout the restaurant came from old rock fences in the Cosby area, located approximately 30 miles east of Gatlinburg. The painstaking detail we put into building our rustic mountain lodge shows throughout the exterior and interior alike.