Sandburg barn under repair


Preservation efforts are underway by the National Park Service at the Carl Sandburg barn complex.

From February through May 2017 major preservation work will be underway at the Sandburg barn complex. The main goat barn, horse barn and isolation quarters will be the focus of this work as detailed below. During the preservation work, visitors will be directed into the pastures to visit the goats who will be housed in a temporary barn. The barnyard will become a staging area for lumber and equipment. The work will be conducted by HPTC (Historic Preservation Training Center) a traveling preservation crew of the National Park Service.

Main Goat Barn

The goat barn was built in the early 1900’s by Captain Smyth (the owner of Connemara at the time). Smyth used the barn to house his Guernsey cows, a few steer and oxen. When the Sandburg’s purchased Connemara in 1945, Mrs. Sandburg hired a local carpenter to help modify the barn for goats, and it has housed her goats ever since.

While the overall condition of the barn today is pretty good, there are some items that need addressed for it to remain in good condition. The following work will help to preserve the barn for the next 100 years.

The barn will be raised to replace the entire wood sill. The sill will also be reestablished in a few places where it was cut for doors after original construction. This new sill will not impact visitor or goat use of the barn.

Some additional cross-bracing along interior walls will be added and some new bracing in the attic portion of the barn will be added.

Studs and sheathing will be repaired or replaced where it has rotted from a roof leak or damaged due to time, goats and bugs.

Horse Barn (smaller red barn on the east side of the main goat barn)

Sills will be replaced and/or repaired in the horse barn. Additionally, walls will be shored up and new bracing added to repair some significant deterioration of existing framing.

Isolation Quarters (small red shed on the east side of the white barn garage)

Sills and siding will be repaired.

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