Canfield father-daughter take a tip from Tarzan

Staff photo / Ashley Fox Mara and Bob Kohut of Canfield make sure their hut is secure for blustery weather on New Year’s Eve. They began constructing in late spring. The father-daughter duo decided to make the hut in their backyard using sticks from their property.

CANFIELD — As the snow began to blow around them, Mara Kohut and her father Bob looked over their masterpiece, making sure it was secure.

“It was an adventure” building the dome hut, Bob recalled.

Mara initially got the idea to build a hut after she came across photos online. Her interest was piqued when she listened to the original Tarzan audiobook.

“They were talking about similar structures” in the book, Mara said, so she got to work in late spring 2019.

Together the Kohuts have watched tutorials online and used their imagination to get the hut built.

She got about 15 inches of a foundation built on one side of the hut. Once Mara, 22, went back to college in the fall, Bob decided to continue building the structure.

Gathering sticks from their property, Mara and Bob said it wasn’t easy finding what they needed.

“It was really difficult to find a stick longer than 3 feet that was still straight,” Bob said.

The hut stands at about 9 feet tall and sprawls 11 feet wide.

Once it came time to do the roof, Bob said his brother, Dave, brought over some grapevine.

It was then that Bob was relieved that Mara decided on a square-shaped structure rather than a round base like a teepee.

“To weave them in there was pretty hard. You had to use brute strength,” Bob said.

The Kohuts decided to plant ivy along one side of the hut, which will eventually creep up to the top.

The hut has given some inspiration to Mara, a 2016 Ursuline High School graduate.

A senior at West Virginia University in Morgantown, Mara decided to take a Native American class after the administration offered students a substitute when an another elective was cancelled.

Mara will graduate in the spring with a degree in sport and exercise psychology with health promotion.

Bob has enjoyed the learning process that goes along with construction, as he is a retired English teacher in the Lowellville Local School district.

While they were building the hut, they put in eight-hour days, with Bob sometimes putting in more time once Mara went back to school.

For winter, Mara said her father has big plans for the hut.

“He wants to make an igloo,” she said, laughing.