The grandchildren of longtime, well-known 76-year-old builder Woody Yeatman are taking a page from Yeatman’s construction book and are nearly finished in building a custom-made tree fort. But this is not their grandfather’s tree fort.
The parents of Connor France, Nathan and Beth, drove a golf cart along a path into the woods to meet the youngsters who designed and constructed the fort.
Connor France is the cousin of brothers Hunter and Evan, whose parents, Mathew and Brandi, have Woody’s penchant for building in their bloodline.
Aside from a tree fort built with scrap from Woody’s discarded building supplies, the youngsters are equally industrious at several endeavors.
The guys took a machete and stripped the woods bare to the ground to make a long road that circles around adjoining properties and cleared the area for the tree fort. The hard work involved is not new to this group as they arise at 5:30 a.m. to fill about 1,000 oyster bags and don’t stop until 1:30 p.m. or later in the day.
All three are also Honor Roll students at their respective schools. Twelve-year-old Hunter attends Richmond County Intermediate School, 10-year-old Evan goes to Richmond County Elementary School and 15-year-old Connor is a student at Rappahannock High School.
The fort or club house itself is supported by beams nailed from the tree to the floor supports and the wall wood is lapped over as a regular house would be. The roof is an A-frame, also as a regular house, complete with windows.
According to the guys, they were bored one day and collectively decided, “Hey, let’s build a clubhouse,” Evan said.
“I know a lot of this stuff,” as Hunter and Connor chimed in, “We do, too!”