Teaching People to Build Since 1974

1974 Pat and Patsy Hennin move to Bath, Me. with their two young sons Raoul and Gaius to start Shelter Institute. First Classes offered in 2nd floor space; rent $50.00/month utilities included.

1975 New York Times feature story brings students from around the world.

1976 Yankee Magazine reminds readers of Shelter Institute's exciting program.

1978 Popular Science writes of Shelter Institute's classes in energy efficiency

1979 Move to new location: turn of the century brick building in downtown Bath with multiple classrooms, workshops, cabinetry shop and store space. Opened Woodbutcher Tools - fine woodworking tool shop. Arrival of a daughter - Blueberry Hennin

1979 Time Magazine writes " graduates leave knowing how to do something that most Americans only dream about doing: build a house."

1980 Hennin family sells their small post and beam frame homestead and begin building their super insulated dream house.

1980 Hennin Post and Beam begins production of reasonably priced efficient timber frame houses engineered for super-insulation and passive solar design.

1981 Hennins sell dream house and move to 1860 Farm, expand courses to include renovations and restoration.

1982 Pat gets his pilot's license and flies near and far to do house inspections

1986 AP article appears in every hometown newspaper throughout the year. Hennins buy their first crane and truck for timber frames. Frames are now being delivered and constructed all over New England and beyond.

1988 Hennin's buy 68 acre wooded waterfont property For a new Shelter Institute campus.

1990 Hennin's first son Raoul graduates as a physics major from Harvard University and returns to work with family

1991 Raoul pioneers Cad+ design for timber frames and adds stresskin pre-cut panels

1992 Gaius graduates from Tufts University as civil engineer and joins the family business

1993 Hennins begin development for new 68-acre wooded campus in Woolwich on the water and on US Rte. 1 just north of Bath by pouring 60X80 foot slab with infloor heating.

1993 "Made in Maine" TV feature. Gaius creates hip roofed western red cedar post and beam frame sent to Caribbean island of Saba, complete with a hot tub.

1994 20th anniversary celebration and reunion. Festivities included a dinner with renowned educator and speaker John Gatto who calls Shelter Insitute the golden standard for education teaching people to use their minds and their hands. Downeast Magazine attends and writes feature story: Affordable Dream Houses. Raoul and Vicki marry and build their own house.

1995 Good Morning America story on Shelter Institute. Gaius and Amy marry and build their own house. 100th post and beam frame is produced.

1996 Raoul tries his own business. Blueberry starts at Dickinson College in Pa. Patsy opens century 21 Real Estate Office at Shelter Institute.

1997 Gaius and Amy's first son Clayton Douglas born making Patsy and Pat grandparents!!!!

1998 Enclosure of our first new-campus building- our timberframing workshop

1998 New mac 10-wheeler and super remote crane for timberframing

1999-Shelter Institute celebrates its 25th birthday party with Groundbreaking for new timberframe facility on 68 acre campus on US Rte 1 in Woolwich

Raoul moves to LLBean in the e-commerce division

Jan 2000 Millenium Move to Woolwich facility--new timberframe shop, classroom, workshops-

02/02/2000 Nicholas Patrice Hennin-- Gaius and Amy's second son arrived.

09/2000 Blueberry graduated from Dickinson College joins the job market and is hired by HANDY magazine in Minneapolis Minnesota as Associate Editor. What a great combination of her growing up skills and her love of photography and writing.

2000 HGTV story on new facility and post and beam class aired .

2001 Patsy starts MIDCOAST REALTY at Shelter Institute.

November 2001 Hennin Post & Beam builds it's 350th frame.

2002 Raoul designs and builds our new website.

Winter 2002 Maine Boats and Harbors article " Not Your-Run-of-the-Mill Retirement Home-building your home the Shelter Institute Way".

Summer 2002 Raoul rejoins Shelter Institute full time to help with business development, teaching, and maintaining the web site.

October 2002 Blueberry returns from Minneapolis' Handy Magazine to join the family business - taking charge of the retail store!

October, 2002 - Gaius sits for Professional Engineer Exam...and passes with high marks to become certified P.E.

November 2002 Patsy diagnosed with breast cancer stage three; undergoes full mastectomy and begins chemotherapy treatment to be followed by radiation in the summer.

January1, 2003: New Year's Baby, Oscar Prescott Hennin, joins Raoul and Vicki's household.

May 21, 2003 Tanner MacDonald Hennin is born, third son to Gaius and Amy.

2003 Blueberry marries College sweetheart Kyle Beeton at the Hennin Farm

January 1, 2004 Shelter Institute turns 30.

February13, 2004 Iris Patricia Hennin born to Raoul and Vicki - first grand-daughter to Pat and Patsy.

July 4, 2004 Shelter Institute takes delivery (6 months late) of assembled boom truck. The new Volvo is lighter, stronger, and more comfortable than the old Mack. Just in time for the July4 parade in Bath, Maine!

November 2004 Blueberry earns her Real Estate Sales Agent Licence

November 2004 Shelter Crew completes expansion of Shelter Shop Timber Framing Facility, adding 3,200 more s.f. to the shop.

December 2004 - Hennins celebrate Shelter Institute's 30th birthday with over 100 guests at the retail store Christmas party.

February 2005 Hennin Post and Beam ships it's fourth house in a box to the Caribbean; Pat and Patsy's retirement home. 30 x 40 western red cedar timber frame cape with saltbox. Gaius and Pat and Clayton and Patsy raise it in 7-days.

May 2005 First Small Housebuilding Class held. Number of Students:12 Duration 5 Days

June 2005 First Concrete Counter Tops Class held. Number of students:6 Duration 3 days.

May 25, 2006 Olive Mae Beeton Joins Kyle and Blueberry's household -- Pat and Patsy's second grand-daughter

November 3, 2006 After a three year battle with metastic breast cancer, Patsy dies in her sleep.

December 2006 Blueberry earns her Associate Broker's License

July 2007 Crew builds two open shed additions to house the ever-growing Hennin Post and Beam inventory and equipment

August 28, 2007 Patricia Kane Hennin Pure Cancer Research Foundation is established and our first annual fund rasier is held. We raised $64,000!

October 2007 October Two Week Design Build Class gets out on site and helps to pour a foundation and raise a 24x36 timber frame barn.

  • Pete Neidhardt
    After taking their Design & Build course, I had the confidence to build this timber frame house, from a version of their stock plans. And you will too.
    Pete Neidhardt
  • Chasen Gillies
    We drove thirteen hours through a blizzard to take the timber framing course and it was worth it. You can tell this family has been teaching people since the 70's. 70's?! These guys are great. I hope to be back to learn but just saying "HI" would be a win. They've probably mapped out every minute of the week for the students but it still feels relaxed. Best of all, I can say with confidence, I can build a house. A timber structure. And I will
    Chasen Gillies
  • Matt Anglin
    Excellent course on house building. Teaches about every aspect of house including good design principles.
    Matt Anglin
  • Laurie Palagyi
    Shelter is a phenomenal resource of skill, intelligence, and good people. I took the two week design/build course and it was wonderful. I left with the confidence to assess my own home and any future home that I may build or purchase. Shelter is the real deal.
    Laurie Palagyi
  • David H T Kane
    Instructors make sure their lectures are clear and understandable to the students. Great follow through.
    David H T Kane
  • Deborah Caldwell
    Nothing can beat the hands-on experience that my daughter and I enjoyed for three weeks at the shelter institute. I have kept in touch ever since. I am disappointed that I cannot leave a comment on Pats chainsaw videos. The system does not seem to acknowledge our presence.
    Deborah Caldwell
  • Enzo Talladira
    As a second generation carpenter/joiner Shelter Institute's online course is a must for all who are interested in Timber Framing and the enjoyment of life.

    I have found the team to be responsive, caring and helpful. A pleasure to deal with.
    Enzo Talladira
  • Kristina Rae Bolduc
    So far our online courses are phenomenal!!! We love Pat, Gaius, and Blueberry! Gabe is pretty awesome too!!
    Kristina Rae Bolduc

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