Chesterton Tribune

Bailly Homestead house to return to 1910 appearance

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On Monday, August 5, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will begin a painting project that will return the Bailly Homestead main house, a National Historic Landmark, to its 1910 appearance.

The national lakeshore will be painting the building with colors typical of the late Victorian era. The building may not be open for Sunday Open House during the period the house is being painted. However, regularly scheduled programs will continue on the grounds of the Bailly Homestead with A“maize”ing Corn presented by Volunteer Eileen Stewart on Aug. 11 and Pathmakers: Lifeways of Joseph Bailly’s Native American Visitors presented by volunteer re-enactors on Aug. 18.

Located within the national lakeshore along the north bank of the Little Calumet River, Bailly Homestead reflects the rapid growth and change in Porter County in the nineteenth century. Fur trader Joseph Bailly’s first home in the area was a simple log cabin built in 1822. He began the existing two-and-a half story main house in 1834, a year before he died. The Bailly family lived in the house until 1917.

“The national lakeshore is responsible for preserving the site,” national lakeshore historical architect Judith Collins explained the reason for the paint project. “This preservation work is being done only after extensive paint analysis. We have detailed documentation supporting the choices made to return the Bailly house to the final years when the Bailly family lived in the house.”

The paint investigation was conducted by removing samples from different painted surfaces for on and off site microscopic inspections. Brent Humecki, a preservation specialist based in Crete, Ill., then established a chronology of the different paint layers.

Humecki determined that the Bailly main house paint colors around 1910 consisted of tans and reddish brown hues popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thus, the shingle siding at the top of the house will be painted Pompeii Clay (a light terra cotta), clapboard siding and porch balusters will be Desert Castle (tan) and window cornices, frames and sash, porch rails and crown moldings will be Cinnabar (a reddish brown).

For questions on the Bailly Homestead, contact Park Historian, Janice Slupski at 926-7561, ext. 342.


Posted 8/2/2002