Hamilton Willard Shafer Farmhouse Restoration and Civil War Attraction Development Project

The Burkittsville Preservation Association (BPA) is restoring the Hamilton Willard Shafer Farm to become a premium historical attraction for the region. Once restored to period specifications, the circa-1820 farmhouse and postbellum addition will house a museum dedicated to the Burkittsville area’s history during the Civil War. In addition to heritage tourism, BPA envisions the Shafer Farm used as a meeting space, a venue for small events, and a cultural and educational resource for the surrounding communities.

The bank barn, meat house, and well house will all be part of the historical recreation.

On September 14, 1862, Major General William B. Franklin used the farmhouse as Union headquarters during the Battle of Crampton’s Gap.  Thousands of soldiers of the Sixth Army Corps used the surrounding fields for camping and staging.

Just as restoration work was beginning, a violent storm swept through Burkittsville on Wednesday, August 26, 2021, and caused the partial collapse of the east face of the barn. This created an emergency need to protect the barn from further collapse and repair the damage, all unexpected work beyond our budget to renovate. We are urgently seeking tax-deductible donations to save and restore the barn. To donate, please visit our GoFundMe site.

BPA has embarked on a massive architectural renovation project of the farmhouse, barn, and outbuildings that have been vacant for nearly 20 years and have suffered as a result of deferred maintenance. Preservation Maryland is providing technical assistance to BPA to stabilize the structure, develop a long-term sustainable use and care strategy for the property, and assist with grant writing, fundraising, and public awareness.

Preservation Maryland associate, Michelle Eshelman, measured and rendered a 3D architectural model of the Shafer farmhouse using SketchUp. Find out more at: sixtofix.org.