NFLA Sondreson Hall Fall Maintenance Schedule

Members are taking advantage of the cooler weather to perform some maintenance at Sondreson Hall.  Following is the schedule:

  • Help with moving – On Wednesday, September 10th, a few folks are needed to help put the kitchen back together after the floor work in that area has been completed.  Work will begin around 4PM.
  • Minor repairs and oiling – On Tuesday, September 16th, folks are asked to come help with some minor repairs to Sondreson Hall, including flicker damage and oiling the logs on the south side.  Work with begin around noon.
  • Major work – On Friday, September 19th, a major work day has been scheduled for Sondreson Hall including starting construction on the back porch, raking gravel, and putting the stove back in place for the winter.  Work will begin a 9AM and go throughout the day.  Please bring work gloves, a rake, and your lunch.

We want to say a special thanks to all the folks who plan and supervise these work parties.  Sondreson Hall is in the best shape its been in years due to their efforts.

The Mystery of the Table Knife

During the recently completed Hazardous Fuels Project at Sondreson Community Hall, a very curious item was found.  A table knife was found stuck into a spruce tree near the southwest corner of the NFLA property.  The knife is an old style of tableware, and has obviously been in the tree for decades due to the tree growth over the blade.  It was stuck about six feet above the ground.

Great speculation was revolved around who stuck the knife in the tree, and when did they do it?  The knife could easily have been stuck into the tree some 50 years ago.  Very curious!

The knife is still in place – please feel free to examine it – and share any information you might have on the mystery surrounding it.  But please leave it in place for others to wonder over!

Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project Completed

Work completedWork was completed on the Sondreson Community Hall Fuels Project in Phase 2 on May 30th and 31st.  The intent of the project was to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.   Phase 1 was completed on May 16 and 17 with the removal of the smaller diameter material as green firewood and posts.

The workday scheduled for June 21st is not needed and is CANCELLED.

The NFLA would like to thank all the Volunteers who participated, and especially Duke Hoiland for his professional falling skills and the donated use of his ATV for skidding, and Richard Hildner for the donated use of his tractor for skidding.

With the completion of the project, the North Fork Landowner’s Association will receive a grant of just over $300. Contact Allen Chrisman with questions about the project or advice on your own fuels project at 406-249-6130 or

For a full report of the completed project including pictures, see Sondreson Hall Hazardous Fuels Project Completed 6.1.2014.

Refinishing the Hall floors

Sondreson Hall will be getting a floor facelift this summer.  The main area will have the wood floors refinished from June 2nd through June 5th.  The kitchen and wood stove areas are going to get brand new tile to make them even more fireproof and easier to clean.  This work takes place between July 7th and 10th.  A special community auction was held last year to raise the money to pay for these improvements to the hall.  So thanks to everyone who donated their time and cash to make this needed upgrade possible.  You can check out the calendar for information about these dates.  Now let the square dancing begin.

Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project Update 5.19.2014

IMG_3132Allen Chrisman sent in an update for the Hazardous Fuels Project that is taking place at Sondreson Hall this month.  It begins…

Work started Friday May 16th on the Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project. Duke Hoiland and Allen Chrisman spent the day falling the smaller trees, cutting it into lengths for post material and green firewood, and piling some of the slash, getting ready for the general workday on Saturday, May 17. The intent of the project is to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.

Read the full report with all the pictures here.

Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

Marked treesAs discussed at the October Business Meeting, the NFLA Board has proceeded with application for a Hazardous Fuels Project grant from the Flathead Economic Policy Center.  Fire Mitigation Committee Member Allen Chrisman met with Mason Richwine from the FEPC on Wednesday October 16 to look at the project at the Hall.

The intent of the project is to remove surface fuels, ladder fuels, and provide space between the crowns of the remaining trees to reduce the fire hazard.  Excellent work has been done on the property to reduce surface fuels and prune the remaining trees.  This project will remove additional trees to provide more space between crowns, and prune the trees that are left.   Continue reading Sondreson Community Hall Hazardous Fuels Project

New Sign on Sondreson Community Hall

New sign on the Community HallThe NFLA board has been discussing a new sign for Sondreson Hall for over a year.  While visiting the North Fork, Paul Genovese became interested in what was happening up here.  He checked out the NFLA website and listened to the oral history interviews posted by the North Fork History Project.  After that, he started reading the board minutes where he discovered that we were interested in a sign for the Hall.  He contacted me because I was still the NFLA President at the time and we talked about the sign design that the board had in mind.  Using a computer-controlled plasma cutting machine he cut the design out of a steel plate with a rustic finish.  When the sign was finished, he drove up to the Community Hall and mounted it.  Many thanks to Paul for his initiative, creativity, time, materials, and interest in the North Fork Community.


Maintenance Committee update – new porch on the back of Sondreson Hall

Lynn Ogle, Gary McDonough and Allen Chrisman replaced the back porch at Sondreson Community Hall on Wednesday September 11, 2013.  The decking on the existing porch had rotted.  The porch was replaced with pressure treated 4×4 stringers and 2×6 decking, and placed on concrete pads to prevent ground contact and rot.  Thanks to Lynn for picking up the materials in town, and to Lynn and Gary for providing the tools and expertise necessary to complete the project.  We were one board short – but found a scrap to finish out the project for the time being.

NFLA Auction was a BIG Success!

The Sondreson Community Hall was packed with almost 100 people on Friday night to raise money to re-finish the Hall floor. Before the auction began, participants enjoyed a “Sloppy Joe” dinner. Richard Hildner, the auctioneer, kept the crowd going with his antics. Everything was auctioned from a sled and a dump truck load of topsoil to a gourmet dinner with fine wines and a drift boat trip.

Other services by North Forkers were auctioned including lessons in fly fishing, dancing, guitar playing, and noxious weed pulling. Beautiful baked goods were sold through a silent auction on one side of the Hall. At the end of the evening, the NFLA met its goal of $5,000 for the floor project.

Many thanks to those who donated food and drinks: Karen & Gary McDonough, Larry Wilson, Bill Meeker, Ed Neneman, Bob & Jackie Graham, Duke & Naomi Hoiland, Carol Grobe, and Alice Caldwell. The North Fork Worship Family donated $375 for the floor project and Richard Hildner/Suzanne Daniel made a donation at the end of the evening to put the total over $5000. Everyone had a great time!

2013 Hall Cleanup Day

Smiles, conversation, and productive work fueled the twenty-three landowners that showed up on Saturday, May 25 for Hall Cleanup Day.  Everyone was busy cleaning up the inside of the Hall and the grounds outside.

Gary Haverlandt worked on a picture display commemorating the Christmas celebration at the Hall.  Joe Novak washed windows.  Margaret Heaphy and Bill Walker cut kindling which was carried into the Hall by Margaret, Becky and Suzanne and stacked near the wood cook stove.  Karen McDonough, Carmen Edwards, Bonny Ogle, Naomi Hoiland, and Alice Caldwell orchestrated the work inside the Hall while outside, trees and bushes were limbed and a fire was started to burn the debris.

The fire was guarded by Larry Wilson and brush contributors were Mark Heaphy, Jan Cauldwell, Nat Johnson, and Tom Edwards.  Bob Graham cleaned the outhouse and Jackie Graham cleaned the generator shed.   Richard Hildner brought his tractor to the Hall on a trailer and spread topsoil around the new outhouse site.   Bob and other landowners used rakes and shovels to smooth the dirt while Lee Secrest, Gary McDonough, and others moved large rocks and placed them artistically to create a beautiful landscape.   (The topsoil had been previously donated by Rob Alm.)

Grass seed was spread over the new soil by Debo Powers.  We need a load of gravel to finish the landscape job.  Duke Hoiland showed off his logging skills by expertly felling seven dead trees behind the Hall without dinging a single structure.  Duke, along with Nat, cut the trees into firewood.  There were many hands to stack firewood and haul brush to the burn pile.

It was amazing to see how fast the work was accomplished with so many people!  Everyone enjoyed a wonderful lunch of hot dogs and chili provided by Karen McDonough.  Karen’s fabulous homemade chili was a big hit with everyone.  After lunch, the last few trees were felled, firewood stacked, and brush burned.  Tom Edwards commented that more work was done in a half day than in the last three years combined.  Everyone had fun too!
We want to thank everyone who participated for all of their hard work. And thank you Debo for both the report and the wonderful pictures. Let the summer begin!