Preservation Trainee, National Park Service, Williamsport Preservation Training Center, Williamsport, Maryland.  8/84-8/86.

This position as the first woman admitted to the Williamsport Preservation Training Center program, was a two-year apprenticeship in the preservation trades.  The goal of the program was develop craft skills in masonry, joinery, and carpentry, using both contemporary and traditional methods of completing project work.  Training in the setup, use, and maintenance of traditional and modern tools included:

  • Handsaws – rip, crosscut, tenon, coping and miter.
  • Planes – bench, finishing, rabbeting, moulding, bullnose, block, and spokeshaves
  • Edge – chisels, slicks, drawknives, gouges, axes, adzes
  • Measuring and marking tools – mortise/marking gauges, miter squares, sliding bevel squares, trysquares, rafter squares, scribes, and levels.
  • Masonry tools – trowels, pointing tools, rakers, runners, jointers, line blocks
  • Saws – circular, radial, table, band, scroll, cutoff, and chain
  • Drills – drill motors and drill presses
  • Routers, shapers, planers, jointers, mortisers, grinding wheels, and sanders
  • Gasoline powered mortar mixers and generators.

Training took place through work as a member of a day labor crew or as project leader on the following projects:

  • Reconstruction of double-hung, six-over-six, wood sash windows and six panel doors for the c.1820 Commandant’s House at Fort Washington National Historic Site, Oxen Hill, MD.
  • General restoration work on a number of historic structures (18th-20th century) at Valley Forge National Historical Park including: structural framing; installation of wood shingle roofs; fabrication and installation of windows and doors, stone masonry construction; pointing, parging, and repair of stone walls; and installation of subsurface drainage systems.
  • Installation of a wood shingle roof at the Pry House, Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, MD.
  • Reconstruction of a 100 foot span, Smith patent truss, timber frame covered bridge at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, Akron, OH.
  • Completion of a 10-15 year stabilization project on eleven severely deteriorated 19th century vernacular structures at Everett Village, Cuyahoga Valley NRA including; installation of sheet metal roofing; building ventilation measures; structural shoring, underpinning, and foundation repairs.

Other project related training included:

  • Occupational hazard assessment and development of personal and workplace safety programs.
  • Structural monitoring and assessment techniques.
  • Use of structural and non-structural epoxies, consolidants, and patching mortars.

Professional work during this period included:

  • Completion of a preservation plan and analysis of treatment alternatives for the Patowmack Canal at Great Falls, VA.
  • Limited destructive investigation and completion of a Historic Structure Report addendum for the north wing of the Arlington House, Robert E. Lee Memorial.