Update from the Preservation Department


Hello, all! It’s time again for an update from your friendly Preservation Department. With the Southwest Outbuilding and Northwest Stairs opened to the public, we’re moving on to our summer projects. The big project of the summer is the restoration of the two slave quarters that will be reinterpreted and used for educational space. We also have some preventative maintenance projects that we need to address in the coming monthes. The good news is that my two summer interns have arrived and are at work now. It will be nice to have some help for the next couple of months! As work really gets going this summer, I will be back with a detailed update on the Slave Quarters Restoration and the work of the interns.

In the meantime, I did want to share a recent trip I took to Vermont for a Timber Framing workshop held at Shelburne Farms, a few miles south of Burlington. The workshop was held by thePreservation Trades Network and the Timber Framers Guild at the Shelburne Farm’s Breeding Barn. The workshop focused on restoration and in-situ repairs of timber framed structures.
The participants of the workshop were able to learn various techniques by repairing the 1891 Victorian Breeding Barn. Most participants split into groups and worked on repairing large support posts. This was accomplished by using lap joints to install new timbers at the bottom of the posts. I was part of a group that replaced a section of rotten gert between the first floor and the hay loft and six rotten floor joists of the hay loft. Of course this was the messiest job of the week, but I enjoyed it. All in all, the workshop was a great experience–I was able to learn some techniques that I will be able to use here at Stratford Hall, I met some great people, and I helped out another historic site. All the instructors for the workshop were incredibly helpful and passed along a lot of great information to us.