Work at Sinking Spring complete

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Flagstones replaced at historic site

By Linda Ireland

Work was completed Tuesday on the steps leading to the historic Sinking Springs at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville.
A crew from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, Maryland, restored flagstones over a six-week period. Each stone was documented and mapped so it could be replaced in the same spot. The area was closed to the public during some of the construction.
In some cases, replacement stones were needed as the originals were “beyond their serviceable life,” according to a weekly field report. The upper 50-feet of the retaining walls surrounding the spring were dismantled and rebuilt also. The stone benches at the bottom of the steps were stabilized by being mortared into the stonework.
The new stones match the appearance of the original work.
“They are trying to do things in the correct way (to preserve the historic appearance), said Acting Superintendent Gail Bishop.
The original steps were cut from limestone at a Bedford, Ind. quarry and built by the U.S. War Department in 1929, Bishop said.
Final touches include repairing or replacing the metal railing around the Sinking Spring. The upper rail was bent when struck by a falling tree.
While the workers were onsite, they repaired the stone stairs connecting the parking area with the Memorial Plaza and repointed and cleaned the Boundary Oak plaza wall and installed new railing.
For more information about Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park call 270-358-3137 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/abli.