"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

John Brown Farm Update

LAKE PLACID — The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be undertaking critical repairs at John Brown Farm State Historic Site this winter.

The project will include new siding, window restoration and other minor repairs at the John Brown farmhouse.

The farmhouse was John Brown's home at the time of his renowned raid on Harper's Ferry and is immediately adjacent to his grave site. The farmhouse and grave site are open for tours each year from May through October, and the historic site is a popular heritage tourist attraction.

John Brown Farm State Historic Site celebrated the 150th anniversary of John Brown's funeral and burial with a series of commemorative events in December 2009.

An effort is now under way to ensure the preservation of the historic farmhouse for future generations.

The exterior siding of the house has deteriorated to the point that air and water infiltration threaten to damage the house. The old siding has warped and cracked, window frames are cracked and caulking is missing, and other exterior elements need repair.

Over the winter, the windows of the farmhouse will be removed and restored by restoration carpenters at State Park's regional maintenance shop in Saratoga.

New eastern white cedar siding, cut by Fort Edward Supply Inc. to replicate the profile of historic period cladding, will be milled, prepped and treated before installation.

In the spring, the entire farmhouse will be re-sided, the newly restored windows will be installed, and other necessary repairs completed. The exterior rehabilitation will ensure the preservation of the 154-year-old farmhouse.

None of the current siding on the building is original or historic, having been replaced a number of times over the life of the house, most recently in the 1970s.

The window restoration work, new cedar siding and other repairs to the house are being conducted under the guidance of historic-preservation specialists from the State Historic Preservation Office. All work is being completed in accordance with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, as required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The John Brown Farm State Historic Site is located two miles east of the Village of Lake Placid, a half mile north of Route 73 at the end of John Brown Road.

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