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

The upcoming improvements will focus on the carpentry shop and log barn. These structures were built in the late 1960s with historic materials as replicas of farm buildings that existed on the frontier of 1820’s 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.

The work is being performed by a GAOA-funded Maintenance Action Team of skilled craftspeople from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center. 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. These improvements aim to protect the structures more fully and extend their lifespan, ensuring they remain popular exhibits for years to come.

The grounds of Lincoln Boyhood are open from dawn to dusk. Staff are available during the summer months and for visiting school groups as scheduled to provide historical information and demonstrations. For current hours and program availability visit the park’s website nps.gov/libo/index.htm.

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