Park Service to restore Antietam houses, barn

February 09, 2000

Mumma houseBy ANDREW SCHOTZ / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

SHARPSBURG - About $2.9 million is to be spent this fiscal year on two restoration projects at Antietam National Battlefield, Superintendent John Howard said Wednesday.

The Otto House and the Mumma House and barn will be restored using money from a federal construction fund for parks projects.

The two-story Otto House was used as a hospital during and after the Battle of Antietam in 1862.

The two-story Mumma House and barn were farm property.

The battlefield also will have $2 million from a federal conservation fund to buy land within its borders. No land has been identified for purchase yet, Howard said.


Howard said about 2,400 acres at the battlefield are either owned by the National Park Service or protected through a scenic easement, but 600 acres within the battlefield region are not federally owned or protected.

A total of $7 million will be available for the battlefield to spend in fiscal year 2000, which began in October.

The battlefield's budget this fiscal year is $1.96 million. The balance of the available money, about $130,000, will come from fee revenue.

Work on the restoration projects will begin in May or June and probably will be completed in November or December, Howard said.

Asbestos siding installed in the 1950s will be removed from the Otto House and the original siding will be repaired. The porches, shutters and windows will be returned to their 1862 appearance.

The Mumma barn will be restored so it can again be used for agricultural storage. Beams will be fixed and a new roof installed.

Exterior work on the Mumma House was done several years ago, Howard said.

A brick wall facing south is the only major part of the house that is original, Howard said. The rest was rebuilt in 1863 and 1864.

The Mumma House will become an education center with classrooms, he said.

This year's restoration work is the second phase of a larger project.

In the last fiscal year, exterior work was finished on the Sherrick House, a brick two-story house that was also used as a hospital. Interior work is expected to be done this year.

The $1.96 million annual budget is broken down as:

  • $1,080,000 to preserve historic, cultural and natural resources.
  • $516,000 for the visitors' center, interpretive and educational programs and special events.
  • $215,000 for general maintenance on the battlefield buildings, motor vehicles and other equipment
  • $151,000 for general administration and management.

This is the third year the battlefield has been allowed to keep 80 percent of the money it takes in from admissions of $2 per adult and $4 per family.

"The dollar amounts are not exciting, but the fee program has been a success," Howard said.

The $130,000 in fee revenue will be used as follows:

  • $18,000 to restore the historic road trace along Antietam Creek at Burnside Bridge and improvements to the handicapped parking area.
  • $82,000 for seasonal rangers at the visitors center.
  • $26,000 to make the restrooms handicapped accessible.
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