At Gettysburg National Military Park, we take care of 135 historic buildings and 1,205 other structures. In today’s blog we’ll look at some of the outstanding work performed this summer by Dan Mazzotti and the park’s structures preservation branch.
It isn’t an easy task to ensure that these special places are preserved for future generations. Behind the scenes here at Gettysburg these unsung heroes in our maintenance division get the job done. Here is a look at recent projects:
National Cemetery Benches – These benches consist primarily of a metal (steel) frame and wooden backs and seats. They were in a deteriorated condition and the decision was made to send these out for sand blasting and powder coating with an exterior enamel finish matching the original color. The wood was replaced and then treated with an exterior oil finish. These 26 benches now proudly sit in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.
Sherfy Barn – Work included scraping and sanding the entire barn, making major repairs to siding and decorative wooden battens, and building and restoring all wooden louvered window vents, changing the original fabric on these vents from soft pine to a more durable exterior mahogany. We restored old barn doors and built new doors when deterioration was beyond repair. We also replaced all rotted components (siding, fascia, rake boards, etc.) and installed new gutters.
Snyder Farmhouse – Work included scraping and sanding the entire farmhouse. We also repaired/rebuilt window frames and sash, built and installed new exterior doors, frames and thresholds, replaced rotted elements of the board and batten siding and installed a new cedar shingle roof.
Hummelbaugh House – We are continuing the process of the interior and exterior work at this historic farmhouse. Interior work has included stabilizing the structural integrity of the building which included replacing cracked and deteriorated floor and ceiling joist, and the repair of deteriorated foundation sills. We then installed a new plaster ceiling which had failed in the main living room, updated all electrical and plumbing components, sanded and refinished all wood floors, and installed a new kitchen floor. Exterior work will consist of installing a new concrete walkway around a portion of the house, removal and replacement of deteriorated siding and window casings, extensive rehab of window sash and a complete exterior painting. We also removed hazardous trees around the farmhouse.
Reever Farmhouse – We continue the process of completing the interior and exterior work needed on this 1870’s farmhouse. Work on the interior will include a complete painting, the refinishing of the hardwood floors, the installation of new electric heating elements, and a remodeling of the kitchen including cabinets, floor and pantry. Exterior work will include the installation of a new cedar shingle roof, extensive work on window sash, sills and casing, replacement of severely deteriorated siding, rebuilding deteriorated exterior doors, installation of new gutters and downspouts and an exterior painting.
Weikert Farmhouse Roof – We have completed the work of installing a new cedar shingle roof on the farmhouse and summer kitchen, as well as re-attaching the front porch to this stone structure, which had pulled away considerably over the years. We have also repaired deteriorated elements of window sash, window sills and gable end siding on this historic stone structure.
Park wide Culverts – The process of repairing/rebuilding these stone and concrete culverts throughout the park has begun. These culverts have been damaged by buses, tractors and automobiles over the decades. There are over 200 in need of repair in the park. Some are in need of minor repairs, but most need complete rebuilding.
Trostle Barn – Work on the interior of this barn included the installation of a new white oak floor. The dimensions of the oak boards were approximately 1” thick with random widths and lengths. We also replaced a rotted sill log along the bank side of this barn and repaired the top portion of the stone foundation wall that carried this sill log.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the work that goes on, day in and day out,”behind the scenes” at Gettysburg National Military Park. We are fortunate to have some of the best preservation experts in the National Park Service on our park staff, from woodcrafters and carpenters, to masons, plasterers, electricians, plumbers and more!
Thanks to Dan Mazzotti for providing the photos and the information in this blog.
Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, 9/15/15