Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Farm Buildings Repaired With GAOA Funding

Worker in safety gear putting new roof on log barn/NPS, Rhonda Schier

The Living Historical Farm at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana is about to undergo a transformative rehabilitation project thanks to funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration Fund. 

The improvements will focus on the carpentry shop and log barn. These structures were built in the late 1960s with historic material as replicas of farm buildings that existed on the frontier of 1820s Indiana. Serving as vital venues for showcasing pioneer farming, these buildings play a crucial role in allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the place where Abraham grew from a young boy into a young man, according to the National Park Service.

The work is being performed by a GAOA funded Maintenance Action Team (MAT) of skilled craftspeople from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC). HPTC recruits, trains, and employs people in traditional historic restoration and preservation techniques and trades. 

The workers will refurbish the roof structure including rafters, purlins, and ridge poles made of locally harvested oak, tulip poplar and black locust. They will remove and replace approximately 2,000 square feet of shingling and incorporate modern improvements including locally harvested poplar, maple decking and underlayment to limit water penetration. Improvements are installed so as not to be seen from the exterior of the structures ensuring the original characteristics of the buildings remain intact.

The white oak shingles installed on the carpenter shop are cut and split from southern Indiana forests. Shingle installation will follow the traditional practice of fitting shingles to the roof in a random pattern as the frontier builder would have done. These improvements aim to not only protect the structures more fully but also to extend their lifespan, ensuring they remain popular exhibits for years to come.

“We are thrilled to have the MAT team at Lincoln Boyhood, having seen their exceptional work on a previous project here when they restored the sculptured panels at the Memorial Visitor Center and repaired the historic terrace,” said Superintendent Rhonda Schier. “We are happy to have them on our team anytime as we collaborate with them and learn from them.”

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