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Preservation school starts this month

The Battery Moore plotting room at Fort Casey State Park will be the focus of the 2014 Ebey’s Reserve Preservation Field School. Volunteers will spend four weeks reroofing the wood-frame and stucco building, which was built in 1915. - Megan Hansen photo
The Battery Moore plotting room at Fort Casey State Park will be the focus of the 2014 Ebey’s Reserve Preservation Field School. Volunteers will spend four weeks reroofing the wood-frame and stucco building, which was built in 1915.
— image credit: Megan Hansen photo

Volunteers will once again get hands-on experience in historic preservation as the Ebey’s Reserve Preservation Field School project gets underway later this month.

The school will spend four weeks working on the Battery Moore plotting room at Fort Casey State Park.

Program coordinator Sarah Steen said several structures were considered this year.

“One of the allures of this is that it’s a public structure,” she said. “The parks service has a lot of historic buildings and need a lot of help.”

Last year, the field school did preservation work on Coupeville Wharf and it was a highly visible project.

Previous projects included stabilizing a carriage house on the Engle Farm and the Alexander Block House.

The plotting room is a wood-frame and stucco “sewell” type of building common in coastal artillery fortifications prior to World War I.

The plotting room, which is tucked between Battery Moore and its commander’s tower, was built in 1915 when the battery commanders’ stations were repositioned directly behind each battery to bring them closer to the guns they supervised, according to park officials.

These small rooms contained the staff, plotting boards and equipment needed to accurately aim the battery’s 10-inch disappearing gun at its target. Once common throughout the Puget Sound, the plotting room is one of only two of its type remaining.

The school will be instructed by Steen and other National Park Service staff who have preservation experience.

Some of the work that will be completed on the plotting room includes structure work, installing a new roof and reconstructing windows.

Volunteers will learn how to glaze windows, which Steen said is a very valuable trade to learn if you own a historic home.

“If you have a historic home, knowing how to reglaze windows can save you a lot of money,” she said.

The field school started in 2008 to provide technical support to owners of the reserve’s historic buildings, give community members an opportunity to help preserve nationally significant buildings for future generations and to offer a chance to learn hands-on preservation work.

It is a collaborative effort of the Trust Board, National Park Service, Coupeville Lions Club and community volunteers.

The 2014 field school will be held starting Monday, July 21 through Thursday, August 14.

It will run for four weeks, Monday through Thursday. There will be two shifts each day, 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m.

Steen said volunteers don’t have to attend sessions every day and can sign up even throughout the duration of the school.

Brown Bag Lunch Lectures will be open to both volunteers and the public at noon on Tuesdays during the session. Speakers will talk about Fort Casey social and military history, the restoration of Battery Worth and the story behind how one of the 10-inch disappearing guns got to Fort Casey from Battery Wint in the Philippines.

A pre-field school safety orientation meeting will be held 4 p.m. Thursday, July 17 at Fort Casey.

Twenty people have already signed up for the field school through the parks service and volunteers are signing up through the Lions Club as well.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Steen said. “It’s really accessible. I hope we get people stopping by.”

Sign-up is now open for all shifts of the field school.

For more information, contact Sarah Steen at 360-678-6084 or at sarah_steen@partner.nps.gov

 

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