The Carroll County Times
July 8, 2019
In Henry David Thoreau’s masterwork, “Walden,” he describes the simple, self-sustaining life he led when he stayed in a single-story cabin on Walden Pond in Massachusetts for two years.
He observed his surroundings closely, taking a microscope to the world around him — learning about everything from interactions between ants to what he could accomplish with his own two hands — before he left, and the building was broken down.
On Friday, that structure — or at least a pretty convincing replica thereof — will stand once again, this time in Westminster.
For four years at Common Ground on the Hill, a three-week series of classes focusing on art, music and culture that is held annually at McDaniel College, Ken Koons has taught a class called “Building Thoreau’s Cabin.”
His students have made progress on the wooden formation each year — amounting to seven weeks of labor, in total — and this week marks its completion.
Each year, they’ve worked on the 16-by-10-foot design, as Koons instructs the group on how to use hand saws, mallets, chisels and more to learn how to create the timber-framed building — held together not by nails, but interlocking mortise and tenon joints secured with a wooden peg.