My worrying proved to be unnecessary; but it wasn’t unfounded.
Earthquakes are still a concern in Hillsdale Co., MI, especially with all the fracking going on here, but I screwed a lot of wall ties into wall studs to stones. Tornadoes Scare Me, the song title of a musician friend. Yea, verily, what we build today could all be gone tomorrow.
The mantle and top piece of this fireplace are beams from an old barn, set in with their mortices showing. Mortices are chiseled openings into which the ends—the tenons—of other beams were received.