Heritage Fund Highlight: Tobacco Barn Restoration at the National Colonial Farm

By Jessica Feldt

The National Colonial Farm in Southern Maryland is a living history museum that interpret Colonial-era farm life including a tobacco barn dating from the 18th century. The Accokeek Foundation utilized a Heritage Fund grant to repair and maintain the barn as an important part of their interpretation and preservation mission.

In early 2016, the Accokeek Foundation was awarded $5,000 from the Heritage Fund in support of their barn restoration project. Missing and deteriorated parts of the clapboard siding were replaced and the entire structure was treated with a historic treatment known as Witches Brew. This tried-and-true recipe of pine tar, turpentine, and linseed oil is a historic method of weatherproofing.

After these repairs, the barn has reopened as part of the National Colonial Farm and is the location of many public demonstrations of drying and preserving tobacco and other colonial tasks. The Accokeek Foundation has been operated the Colonial Farm since 1958 and is a recognized leader in the field of historic plant preservation including Orinoco tobacco that is still grown there.

The Heritage Fund is a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust to provide direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources and promotes innovative demonstration projects that can be successfully replicated to meet Maryland’s historic preservation needs. The Heritage Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland. Historic sites, buildings, districts, objects, and archaeological resources are all eligible for funding.

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Jessica Feldt · Preservation Initiatives Manager

Jessica Feldt manages our proactive preservation and grant-giving programs and is here to help you move your project on the path towards preservation.

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