Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Maintaining History

Stone Pointing with Masons
   During week six, I was with the historic preservation branch of maintenance. I spent the first portion under two masons and learned about some of the work they have been doing on a historic barn foundation. Antietam Battlefield prides itself on being one of the best preserved battlefields, and this certainly was a project contributing to that. During the time of battle, only the barn foundation was in existence. Due to that detail the project being worked on was to only restore the foundation and leave it as that. After the first day spent organizing, I was able to experience some mortar mixing and stone pointing. I had some prior experience, because in class we designed and mixed cement for an ultimate loading. However, I have never pointed stone nor been exposed to the practical techniques exhibited by masons.
Antietam Observation Tower
   As I spent more time with my site supervisors, we got to talking and decided on working out a little trade. The masons were both avid hunters and I am somewhat of a foodie. I gave them both a recipe for a good pasta dish and in exchange they gave me some great deer jerky and freshly caught trout to fry up…I think I made out on the deal.

   The other feat accomplished this past week, was cleaning and reinstalling bird determent in the observation tower. We kept the tower open during the process, because of that our group fell under visitor’s scrutiny. Criticism was given for disregarding the bird’s feelings in the process of installing anti-nesting devices. The fact of the matter is, it is much easier to install the determent than to have an employee’s time wasted in constant cleaning of the tower. I suppose that most visitor’s perspectives are tied to a one time visit. Without consistent exposure to the mechanics of the battlefield, it’s difficult realizing helpful solutions to the unit's maintenance. I imagine I will have many more of those types of interactions to look forward to.
Bird Determent

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