Project was a labor of love

Thursday, September 4, 2008
Brant Vaught and Bob Cantwell work on constructing a wooden pergola on the back of the historic Bayless House in Cassville. The project represents the last step Brant, a member of Cassville Boy Scout Troop 76, must complete to become an Eagle Scout. Democrat Photo

A recently completed Eagle Scout project has benefited the Bayless House restoration effort in Cassville. Through the hard work of Brant Vaught, a beautifully constructed pergola and patio were added to the back of the historic home that will eventually become the headquarters for the Barry County Genealogical and Historical Society.

Vaught, who is the son of Dave Vaught and the late Tricia Vaught, of Cassville, has been working on his Eagle Scout project since January.

The design for the wooden pergola was chosen by Brant and his mom. Brant said he wanted to do a simpler project, but at his mother's insistence, he decided to take on a larger-scale project.

Brant Vaught is pictured standing on the concrete patio he created and painted with a black and white checkerboard pattern. According to Brant, he received help on his Eagle Scout project from a number of community members, including Cantwell, Security Bank, LeCompte's Lumber, the Barry County Genealogical and Historical Society, David Craig, Corky Stehlik, Ed Davis, Kevin Cantwell and members of his family. Democrat Photo

"It's been an interesting deal, but I'm glad we did it," Brant said.

During the eight months it took to complete the project, Brant faced a number of very difficult challenges and obstacles, including the sudden and unexpected death of his mom, Tricia, on April 3 of this year.

Brant said he thought about his mom a lot while he worked to complete the project.

"It's been good for me," said Brant. "My mom's probably laughing at me because I've been so frustrated."

Brant received assistance with his project from several members of the Cassville community. Security Bank, LeCompte's Lumber and the Barry County Genealogical and Historical Society donated money toward the purchase of lumber, David Craig donated time and equipment to tear out the old patio, Bob Cantwell helped oversee the construction process and Corky Stehlik provided concrete for the new patio.

Brant also had quite a few family members who chipped in to help as well, including his dad, Dave, his grandfather, Max Stumpff, his younger brother, Brayden, and his cousin, Sandy Writer.

In all, Brant estimates he personally has invested well over 200 hours in the project, which will officially be completed when he gets the pergola painted white.

"This has been a pretty big thing to do," said Brant. "I learned that more planning is needed when taking on a project like this. But it really is an amazing sense of accomplishment."

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