NEW ULM - Thanks to some ingenuity from a pair of rural Nicollet County natives, about 40 cedar trees are becoming a playhouse for three New Ulm children.
Russ Lindsay, a wood craftsman and a retired United Methodist pastor now living in Arizona, is building the playhouse at Puhlmann Lumber & Design with cedar trees harvested from a Minnesota River Valley bluff in Nicollet County.
The trees were felled and chinked last week. Lindsay's brother Loren then trimmed the cedar logs in his sawmill before they were brought to Puhlmann Lumber.
(Right) From left, Hunter Kral, Bette Puhmann, Marlena Kral and Tegan Kral stand next to their new playhouse being built from cedar
trees harvested in Nicollet County.
The playhouse, which resembles a miniature log cabin, has an 8x8-foot base. The construction project will take a week to complete. The playhouse will be moved to a farm site.
Hunter, Marlena and Tegan are the grandchildren of Bette and John Puhlmann, owners of Puhlmann Lumber. Their parents are Kayla Puhlmann and Leon Kral.
Lindsay "adopted" the Puhlmann kids as his grandchildren, according to Bette Puhlmann. They affetionately call him "Papa Russ," and call his wife "GG" - short for grandma.
Russ Lindsay became friends with the Puhlmanns through his wife Marilyn "Skip" Phillipson Nielsen. The couple lives in Arizona and travels to Minnesota in the summer.
Lindsay and Nielsen were good friends in high school. They went their separate ways before becoming reacquainted as widowers at a high school reunion in 2005. They married several years later.