About Knobb Hill

Seth Kelley was born in Caribou Maine. Inspired by his great grandfather, a barn builder in Northern Maine, Seth began to participate in local barn and house raisings. In the summer of 1997 Seth enrolled in the Heartwood School for the homebuilding crafts in the Berkshire Mountains. From there, Seth worked for Connolly and Company on the coast of Maine for about a year building production timber frames.

Working for Connolly was a good place to learn and pick up some vital skills, still useful today.  Quickly becoming bored with producing modern frames ‘they all seemed to be the same frame with a different name.’ Seth began to knock on farmer’s doors and ask if he could document and photograph the interiors of their barns. This was where Seth really became fascinated with old joinery. He wanted know how to hew out beams from a log and lay out joinery on hewn timbers.  In search for this increasingly esoteric knowledge, Seth made the move to work with traditional joiner, Dave Bowman, in Massachusetts.

Bowman worked exclusively with hand tools and followed the old traditions from the felling of the tree to the raising of the frame. Seth immersed himself in the study of early barn builders. A little over ten years ago, Seth brought his family to Vermont and decided to call it home. For the past 13 years, Seth has used his skill and experience to preserve our barns, covered bridges and steeples.

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