The stockade has been replaced twice in the last 20 years, Huffman noted. During this renovation, most of the logs on the west side of the fort had to be replaced, due to rotting and ground water.
"We replaced the stockade with cedar logs," she said. "All of the stringers that attach the logs in the stockade were replaced."
The structural condition of the logs was also investigated. About 25 percent of the logs were rotted and structurally unstable, Huffman noted.
"All deteriorated logs beyond repair and collapsing under the weight of the logs above were removed and replaced with new logs to match the existing," she explained. "All of the existing logs' bark was removed and cleaned by corn-cob blasting. They used ground-up corn cobs through a pressure hose. This procedure was safer on the logs versus the pressure washer with water."
Corn cob blasting leaves the logs dry and ready for the next stage, and prevents water damage both inside and outside the structure like other methods. Once the bark was removed and the rotten logs replaced, the wood was sprayed with a bug repellant, sealant and stain mixed together.
"I was very surprised by the small percentage of rotten logs at the fort after all those years," Huffman noted.
Chinking techniques varied from structure to structure, and most of it was in poor condition.
The chinking on the public restrooms was a synthetic product that was completely failing. Portland cement was used as chinking material on the renovated fort, Huffman said.
The majority of the roofs were leaking. The old roofs were removed down to the purlins and replaced with "Western Red Cedar Shakes" that were hand-made to be historically accurate. The roofs were replaced to resemble the way they would have been in 1774, when the original fort was built.
ADA accessible parking now is provided at the existing employee parking area adjacent to the side of the fort.
Other fort projects
The Shelter House and Lincoln Marriage Temple recently were painted, Huffman said. All of the wood exteriors on the Black Box Theater and Box Office were cleaned, repaired, stained and sealed.
Thirty-five feet of the rock fence was repaired.
Huffman said she's pleased with the final product.
"The Fort is 78 years old," she noted. "Hopefully, with this renovation, it will last another 78 years.
"The park is beautiful and we want to share it with everyone for years to come."