Wells P. Bailey House, Lyndon, Kansas

...Prior to the move to the park, the lath and plaster interior was removed to make the logs visible on the inside...

Restoration

A few years after being moved to town, the Bailey House fell into a state of disrepair. It was deemed an unsafe structure and therefore in danger of being destroyed. Prior to the move to the park, the lath and plaster interior was removed to make the logs visible on the inside. After the move to the park, the clapboard was removed from the exterior. The house was also placed on a foundation which later proved to be inadequate. In addition, the historic daubing was patched with inappropriate cement, and no gutters were installed on the eaves. Due to these and other errors, the house began to deteriorate mainly from water and pest damage. 

After the Bailey House was placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places in 2009, the City of Lyndon submitted a Heritage Trust Fund grant to the Kansas Historical Society, in 2010. The Heritage Trust Fund is a state program that provides matching funds for the preservation of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Register of Historic Kansas Places.

Upon receipt of the Heritage Trust Fund grant, the architectural firm of Susan Richards Johnson & Associates and the construction firm of Pishny Restoration Services were hired to restore the Bailey House during the first phase, beginning in 2011, and completed in 2012. Extensive work was done on the foundation and crawl space, and a drain was placed around the perimeter. An adequate sill plate was also installed on the foundation and anchored to new bottom logs all around. A number of other rotted logs were replaced with newly hewn logs, and chinking and daubing on the lower half of the house was repaired or replaced inside and out. In addition, both doorjambs were replaced and some of the windows sills were restored. The flooring on the bottom story was removed and replaced with reclaimed flooring from another historic structure.

During restoration, preservation professionals found architectural clues which suggest that Wells P. Bailey may have built his hewn log house from materials that had originally been used in the government-built Sac & Fox houses. A dendrochronology study may be the only way to determine if that suggestion is correct. Dendrochronology is a scientific method of dating wood based on growth or tree rings. Dendrochronology can date the time at which tree rings were formed, in many types of wood, to the exact calendar year.

"Before and After" examples of restoration—

West entrance
Above: West Entrance

Compare, East entrance
Above: East Entrance
West siide, before restoration West side, after restoration East side, before restoration East side, after restoration

The second phase of restoration was accomplished through another Heritage Trust Fund grant in 2016. During this phase, more windows were repaired, and both interior and exterior chinking and daubing of areas not included in Phase 1 was accomplished. In addition, deteriorated wood in both gable areas were replaced or repaired, and a new cedar shingle roof was installed. In the time between the two grant projects, half-round guttering and down spouts were installed on the house.

With these two restoration projects, the Bailey House was saved, however, regular annual inspection and maintenance is required for the continued preservation of the historic log house. Traditional chinking and daubing needs annual spot repair to areas that become damaged or cracked from environmental or weather-related issues such as freeze-thaw action, structural settlement, or expansion. And, as with any house, the roof, guttering, and windows require inspection and any needed repairs. 

Interpretation—
Members of the Historic Preservation Partnership of Lyndon have developed interpretive displays which detail the history of the house including its relationship to area history and the origins of the house, as well acquisition and moving of the log house to the Lyndon City Park. These displays can be viewed at times when the house is open to the public.” 

________

Visit the Restoration photo album to see many more photos of the restoration process.

 

...A number of other rotted logs were replaced with newly hewn logs, and chinking and daubing on the lower half of the house was repaired or replaced inside and out...

The Wells P. Bailey House symbolizes a transition of two cultures. It stands today as a reminder of both our Native American and pioneer heritage. For more information contact us at wpbaileyhouse@gmail.com