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Historic Piper Farmhouse at Antietam National Battlefield receives $426,000 in GAOA funding for preservation work

Two-story home with a covered front porch.
Upgrades to the historic Piper House include replacing a deteriorated siding and windowsills.

NPS

Carpenters from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Training Center are saving a piece of history by rehabilitating the exterior of the historic Piper House in Antietam National Battlefield. In 1863, the house and surrounding 184-acre farm played a significant role in the bloodiest one-day battle of the Civil War. Although Henry Piper sided with the Union, Confederate Generals James Longstreet and Daniel H. Hill commandeered his house to serve as their headquarters. Staff officers, orderlies, soldiers and horses soon descended on the house and farm as the army prepared for battle. Now part of the national park, the property is an important part of the historic landscape. The NPS works to preserve the house and its remaining outbuildings in order to provide visitors with a glimpse into the past.

Project at a Glance

Antietam National Battlefield received approximately $426,000 from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) for preservation and rehabilitation work on the historic Piper Farm House.

Project Purpose and Goals

The carpentry team is:

  • Repairing and repainting west and north porches.

  • Repointing 30% of west elevation porch stone pier mortar joints.

  • Improving and replacing rafters in porch roofs as needed.

  • Replacing porch roofs with 26-gauge galvalume standing seam metal.

  • Removing sashes in sixteen window openings and four louvres for repairs and abatement.

  • Abating and repairing all wooden windowsills, jambs, louvre openings.

  • Installing temporary plywood covering in twenty window openings.

  • Replacing windowpane glass as necessary.

  • Reglazing, priming, and repainting fourteen upper and lower sashes.

  • Repairing and repainting seven wooden doors.

  • Scraping, sanding, and painting five exterior doors and jambs and existing historic wood siding.

  • Removing and replacing deteriorated lap siding. New siding will match the historic profile.

  • Replacing existing gutter and downspout system with a high-performance gutter system that will improve water management without detracting from the historic appearance.

What are the benefits

The Piper Farm transports visitors more than 150 years into the past to help them envision the landscape that existed when the armies converged among the farm fields at Antietam. This project will preserve and restore a structure that played an important role in the battle.

For more information about the Piper Farm, please visit the Park’s webpage.

North Gable Repair

Peak of the end of the roof exposed. The large gable board is dark brown and has a number of places where holes exist and wood is rotten. Peak of the end of the roof exposed. The large gable board is dark brown and has a number of places where holes exist and wood is rotten.

Left image
The deteriorated north gable of the home needed to be replaced.
Credit: NPS

Right image
The carpenters replaced the rotten boards with a 1x12 foot rake boards.
Credit: NPS

Wooden window frame. The lower section of the window, where the sill ought to be, is covered with weather-proof construction sheeting.
A number of the wooden window sills on the house were damaged and deteriorated. The carpenters removed the rotten sills and covered the exposed portion of the home with weather proof material.

NPS

Rotted Windowsill Replacement

The peeling paint on the windowsill is light blue in color. Where the windowsill matched the wall of the home, there is extensive damage, holes, cracks, and rotted wood. The peeling paint on the windowsill is light blue in color. Where the windowsill matched the wall of the home, there is extensive damage, holes, cracks, and rotted wood.

Left image
This wooden windowsill has been removed due to extensive deterioration and rot.
Credit: NPS

Right image
The carpenters fashioned a replacement windowsill to match the original profile and style, and painted it to match the rest of the window frame.
Credit: NPS

Antietam National Battlefield

Last updated: January 28, 2022