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You Know You’re From...Stevens Point- John Johnson’s birdhouses

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 9:15 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - “There you go. Thank you, dear,” as money exchanges hands.

The deals go down Sunday mornings.

“I got yours over here on the side,” he told another person.

The people on the street look to John Johnson.

“Thank you,” Johnson said.

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Flipping bird houses.

“Hanging in the tree right over here. That was one of the first ones that I made,” Johnson pointed.

Johnson is a 4th generation carpenter.

“I think I’ve got sawdust in my veins,” he said with a smile.

His great grandfather built wooden ships in Manitowoc. Dad and granddad built houses. That’s what John did, owning and operating Johnson Builders for 28 years, until 2004.

"It was time. The body was breaking down. I just knew it, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep it up until I was 65.”

Since then he’s been working with North Central Real Estate. But when the country slowed down in March, he began spending more time in his workshop.

“My wife says, you’ve got to make new birdhouses for the back of the deck,” pointing out the old ones were rotted out.

Using his dad’s pattern, he made 15. Two for the back deck.

“I made 13 because of the original 13 colonies. Painted them red, white and blue and put flags on them. And gave those away.”

Demand skyrocketed. Each car can have one free unpainted birdhouse. Each additional is 5-dollars. Painted ones with a theme sells for 10. The pride he feels, priceless.

“My feeling was, lets do something together as a country. Political parties don’t matter," he claimed. "Let’s do something to pull everything together. Here’s birdhouses. Maybe I was reading too much into it.”

Bringing Portage County together, one birdhouse at a time.

John’s favorite birdhouse to make is “Frozen,” the Disney movie. He paints it and his daughter prints off the graphics for him. A proud member of the Elks Club, they’ll be hosting a showing of “Frozen” at the end of the month. And John will give away three “Frozen” birdhouses to children who attend.

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