The entire exterior of the house and the fireplace chimney is limestone. The choice of an expert mason was critical to the success of the house. Bob Pulfer and his son, Ernie, are the expert craftsmen this job required.
Bob's Masonry, Belleville, WI - 608 424-6477
Like the Lone Ranger, you will usually see Bob Pulfer working in a cloud of dust or chipping and measuring a rock. Bob and Ernie take the care to shape each rock so that the mortar joints are level and uniform while preserving the rustic cut of the rock. There are no cut edges showing. Bob recommended quarried limestone from Vetter Stone of Mankato, Minnesota. We visited the quarry which is about four hours drive west of Spring Green.
Below Ernie Pulfer is constructing the chimney flue. The Isokern flue system was chosen. The flue-within-a-flue system is made of pre-cast blocks of pumice or volcano rock.
The chimney is multi-purpose: the fireplace flue, hot water boiler flue, and the satellite dish cable conduit. The mason's line indicates the straight flashing line. Only rock must show above the line.
Below Bob and his assistant are cleaning the fireplace chimney. All that remains inside is the hearthstone (see below).
The mantelpiece and hearthstone surfaces are polished. Between the two large hearthstones is a foot-wide piece of limestone that came from the excavation of the house.