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Ebey’s Landing Ferry House gets a new porch

In May hundreds of people swarmed around the Ebey’s Landing Ferry House to rally support for a campaign to benefit the historic building.

Those efforts paid off recently when Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve officials learned they received a $65,000 award through the Partnership in Preservation.

“It’s good so see all of that effort pay off,” Reserve Manager Mark Preiss said.

The Partnership for Preservation recently concluded an online voting effort where 25 historic preservation projects scattered throughout the Puget Sound region vied for a piece of $1 million worth of funding. In all 11 projects received funding.

The Ferry House ultimately placed eighth in the voting. Preiss said that less than a percentage point separated fifth through eighth place.

The Schooner Adventuress, moored in Port Townsend, earned first place honors.

The Ferry House was built in 1860 and served as a wayside stop for folks traveling to Whidbey Island and stopping at Ebey’s Landing. The building has never had such amenities as electricity and plumbing.

Preiss said the money will help pay for construction of a new porch and pay for further work to better stabilize the building. The award doesn’t cover the total cost of the project. The National Park Service is chipping in an additional $75,000.

The upgrades won’t take place until 2011. That’s when volunteers participating in the Reserve’s Field School will start the Ferry House project. The field school is starting its third year later this month and gives residents a hands-on experience in historic restoration. They will finish installing a new roof on the Boyer Barn located off Fort Casey Road. The volunteers start work in late July.

Last year, volunteers donated about 1,000 hours on the Boyer Barn. Two years ago, field school participants placed a new roof atop the Alexander Blockhouse.

Preiss said the field school has been crucial in engaging residents to be good stewards of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

In addition to the Ferry House, he said staff is looking for an additional project for the 2011 field school.

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