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Amish Volunteers Return to Assist with Cabin Preservation at Catoctin Mountain Park

Richard D. L. Fulton

(2/26) The productive experiences of the Indiana Amish Anabaptist Service Program in March, 2013 have prompted them to schedule a return visit to Catoctin Mountain Park in the month of March. As conscientious objectors, the Amish choose to express their patriotism through public, rather than military service. Catoctin Mountain Parkís rural setting, its convenience to many of the nationís significant historic landmarks, coupled with the immediate need to stabilize and restore historic log cabins provides a mutually beneficial situation for the National Park Service and the Amish community.

A team of eight young Amish men led by an experienced craftsman will spend one month restoring rustic cabins built during Franklin Rooseveltís New Deal program in 1937. Working under the direction of Catoctin Mountain Parkís historic preservation carpenters Mark Hauver and Roger Pickett, the Amish group, will reduce designated cabins to original components then restore, replace or, re-create structural elements using historically accurate techniques and materials.

The group will travel by train from Napanee, Indiana and spend most of March at the park. The work crew is accompanied by house parents who manage activities outside the work day. An additional 20 Nappanee Community members will travel from Indiana to Thurmont to check the groupís progress. The community members will stay in local motels and tour local attractions for one weekend during the project. The Catoctin Project is part of a larger program that encourages Amish men ages 19-25 to engage in community service. This service does not come without sacrifice as the participants must leave gainful employment and pay their personal expenses for the month long project.

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