Thanks to a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, preliminary work began on the restoration of the Dennis Farmhouse during the Summer 2021. This is the first step toward rebuilding and transforming the Farmhouse to a museum.
The grant was designated specifically for repairing and repointing the damaged sections of the 200-year-old Farmhouse’s original stonewall basement.
This work entailed the following:
* Repaired the retaining walls on either side of the ground floor entrance to the basement and widened the doorway entrance.
* Constructed and applied additional bracing to the walls.
* Removed debris that had fallen and accumulated between the chimney and the wood-frame south gable wall and was pushing chimney from the wall.
* Reunited the south gable wall and the chimney, and then braced them in order to stabilize them.
* Treated all the wood framing and structure to prevent insect damage.
* Removed salvaged material from the basement and stored it in a weather-tight container.
Although completion of the project was scheduled to take place before the end of 2021, cold weather in the Fall forced the stonemason to wait until Spring or Summer 2022 before applying the final mortar. The unusually cool temperatures in Spring 2022 further postponed the project, but work is currently underway and should be completed in June.
Phil Yocum of Bernardon Architects is architect for the project, Jason Cook is stonemason, Fred Baumert of Keast & Hood is the structural engineer, and Charles McNamara is the timber-frame building consultant. Darryl Gore, DFCLT Vice President of Development, is project manager.
View the Dennis Farmhouse Museum plans here.
To contribute to the Farmhouse Restoration and Rebuild Project, please go to thedennisfarm.org/donate.