Barn Preservation Work

Goats peeking out of barn door
Goats Looking out from the Barn
During 2017 major preservation work occured at the Sandburg barn complex. The main goat barn, horse barn and isolation quarters were the focus of this work as detailed below. The work was 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 were some items that needed to be addressed for it to remain in good condition. The following work will help to preserve the barn for the next 100 years.

  • The barn was 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 were added and some new bracing in the attic portion of the barn was added.
  • Studs and sheathing was repaired or replaced where it had 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 were replaced and/or repaired in the horse barn. Additionally, walls were shorn 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 was repaired.
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Last updated: July 5, 2018

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81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731

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