December 2020 Ryssby Update

In late September the Ryssby Committee posted the Caretaker position on the Ryssby website and through First Lutheran bulletins. The caretaker position takes care of the property and buildings. We are excited to announce that in October we hired Brian Winn of First Lutheran Longmont. Randy Williams will continue as the Ryssby Sexton who handles the Cemetery activity.

This is a good time to share the Ryssby Staff, the people you may interact with throughout the year while visiting or when needing to contact us.


Brian Winn, Caretaker (Cares for Property and Buildings)


Peggy Shupe, Event Coordinator (Schedules Weddings, Memorials, and Events)


Randy Williams, Sexton (Handles all Cemetery and Columbarium Activity)

The Ryssby Committee met on October 3rd, and discussed plans to do restoration work to the floor of the church building since we had an October wedding get moved to 2021. This allowed us until a November 28th wedding to complete the project. We approved funding the plan to paint the pews and communion railing, remove the old carpet and have all the hardwood floor sanded, stained, and sealed with poly coating. Then put in new carpet in the entry, walk ways, and altar area. We acquired multiple quotes and selected our contractors. Our selection considered the ability of the contractors to work within our tight schedule and be flexible as we planned activity with weather and temperature concerns impacting the work without a heat system. We also approved the addition of a new Columbarium that matches the existing one. We approved the estimate by Hicks Masonry to perform the work, and planning has begun.

We started the floor restoration project around Oct 15th.  We needed to remove the old carpet and do floor repairs in the northeast corner (under the piano) and along the south wall. Herb lead the removal of bad floor boards and added support for floor joist in the northeast corner, with help from Brian and Randy. Dirt was removed below the joist, and large 4×6 treated wood was placed to support floor joist jacks. Treated 2×10” wood was attached to the existing floor joist with lag bolts and screws, and new treated wood replaced the base board on the stone foundation footings. Two small joist jacks were positioned to support between the new joist wood and the treated timber laid in the dirt for support. While this work was being done Randy Williams and Brian Winn removed the old carpet, staples, and tack strips in the entry, isles, and altar area.

Then I decided to go ahead and remove the bad board along the south wall to see what was the cause and repair needed. We observed the added floor support done previously during the wall repair in the 70’s was not holding. More flooring boards were removed for access to install treated wood with hangers to the end of the joist to provide support. At the doorway threshold we added cement for support, and set treated wood to nail the flooring boards.  (Click / Drag to view Flooring photos below)

The pew painting inside the church had to be delayed a few days because of cold temperatures that came with a snow storm, but Cornerstone painting was able to paint the pews the week of October 26-30th. We were able to complete the flooring support projects on Thursday, Nov. 4th. Then on Friday, Nov. 6th we moved the pews outside on the south lawn placed on tarps for temporary storage, and then covered with tarps. (Thanks Dave Boddiger, Artie Elmquist, Brian, and Randy) (Click / Drag to view Pews photos below)

Since that earlier snow we had good weather and mild temperatures for November, and hoped we could get through the flooring project with just a few small heaters. Birds Eye flooring installed new floor boards on Nov. 7th. Then began the floor sanding on Tuesday Nov. 9th, and were able to stain the floor on Saturday, Nov. 14th.  Then applied the first Poly coat on Sunday, Nov. 15th, and with fair weather I thought we were looking good. Then on Monday afternoon when they came to apply the second coat of Poly the floor was still very tacky and not dry. They could not proceed, and said we would need to increase the heating for the curing needed.

I knew a good heat system was required for the carpet installation as they wanted the building at 70-80 degrees, but I hoped to do a short rental for the carpet install on Tuesday Nov. 24th. We had considered options but had not decided on what heating source to us. Now to keep the project on schedule and move forward we immediately rented a large diesel indirect heater from Sunbelt Rentals in Boulder for a weekly rental to handle the poly coating activity and carpet installation projects. Brian was able to pick up the heater just before closing, and we had it operational by 6:30pm that Monday, Nov. 16th. Birds Eye was then able to put down the second Poly coating on Tuesday, Nov 17th, and a third Poly coating on Wednesday, Nov. 18th which was our targeted floor completion date. Without renting the large heater it could not have happened on schedule. We continued to heat to cure the poly coating, and scheduled Friday to move the pews inside and fasten them to the floor. (Click / Drag to view photos below)

Volunteers helped clean of the walls, windows, base boards, and communion railing late afternoon, on Thursday Nov. 19th before having the pews installed. (Thanks Peggy Shupe, Betsy Winn, Vicki Hergott, Brian, and Randy)

On Friday morning Nov. 20th, volunteers helped move the pews from the outside storage to inside the church. We positioned each back to the same position they were previously. Those who could stay longer assisted with the anchoring them in position with brackets and screws. (Thanks to Gregg Ferrill, Dave Boddiger, Kevin Bennett, Artie Elmquist, Rusty Brockmann, Brian, and Randy)

Carpet Masters called on to request doing the carpet installation on Monday, Nov. 23rd instead of Tuesday. We were ready and agreed to do the earlier date since it was going to be cold and wet on Monday night and Tuesday. Everything with the carpet installation when well since we had the building heated overnight, and heater running to achieve 80 degrees during the installation.  (Click / Drag to view Photos complete with Carpet Installed)

While all this activity was happening, Peggy was busy showing interested couples the church for weddings and added a couple small weddings. While the flooring company worked on the floors, Randy and Brian replaced the main bridge with new boards. The old boards had served approx. 15 years and were badly warped and aged.

The committee is pleased with the work completed, and appreciated the quality and flexibility of the work done by the contractors we selected. (Cornerstone Painting, Birds Eye Flooring, Carpet Masters of Longmont)

While we are not able to host the annual Candlelight services this year with First Lutheran that would have been Dec. 12-13th because of Covid-19 restrictions, we look forward to 2021. We look forward to fellowship with you at the First Lutheran annual mid-summer picnic on the 4th weekend of June, and Candlelight services in December 2021.

Gods Peace,

Herb Hergott
Ryssby Committee Chairman

3 thoughts on “December 2020 Ryssby Update”

  1. Enjoyed reading about the process of restoring a beautiful historic church. Looking forward to bringing my family to visit in June.

  2. This was a herculean effort on the part of Herb, Randy, Brian, Artie and other volunteers as I had a wedding scheduled for 11/28/20. They literally had a hard deadline and it was ready just in time and was beautiful. Pretty impressive!

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