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.