Bert Hensley House

Bert Hensley family, Morgan, Park, Finley, Jack, Grant, Betsann 380
This early 20th century photo of the Bert Hensley family includes Bert and his wife Lindy with their children Morgan, Park, Finley, Jack, Grant, and Betsann.

NPS Photo

Restoration and Preservation
Bert Hensley and his family lived in one of the many buildings which were later restored as the settlement became part of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The buildings at Hensley Settlement fell into disrepair after the park acquired the land in the 1950s, and it wasn't until the 1960s that work began on restoring the old cabins. Great attention was paid to historic details in order to adequately restore the buildings. Utilizing many of the original techniques and appropriate materials, work crews painstakingly restored the buildings and preserved their stories.

Today, National Park Service staff work to keep the buildings preserved. This restoration and preservation keeps the stories of the settlement and its families alive.

job corps photo
Members of the Job Corps pose at the Bert Hensley cabin with former Hensley resident Jess Gibbons in August, 1966.

NPS photo

In 1964, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was chosen as one of the sites for a Job Corps Conservation Center as outlined in President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. The center operated here from 1965 until 1969 and one of their primary goals was the rehabilitation of Hensley Settlement. The youth worked closely with former Hensley resident Jess Gibbons for four years, but by the time the center was disbanded only two structures were completely restored, so the job fell to park staff to restore the rest over the next few years.

NPS restoration
Keeping the 20+ historic buildings at Hensley in good repair is a never-ending process.  Here, members of the park staff learn from experts from the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center while working at the Lige Gibbons cabin in 2014.

NPS photo

Life is calmer at Hensley Settlement today, with daily guided tours during the warmer months and occasional events. Keeping the structures in good repair is one of the missions of the park facility management team, who are always brushing up on their skills to do the work in as authentic a manner as possible.


Last updated: June 17, 2015

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro , KY 40965


606 248-2817

Contact Us

Stay Connected