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January 1, 2013

Grant to renovate Battlefield Park’s Pleasant View home

RICHMOND — A $400,000 federal grant through the state Transportation Cabinet will help preserve history at the Battle of Richmond site. The grant, intended to enhance tourism, will fund renovation to the Pleasant View home’s interior.

The grant was awarded in 2009, said Phillip Seyfrit, Madison County Historic Properties director. Because of federal budget and revenue issues, however, the money is only now becoming available.

The historic home will get new electrical wiring and plumbing as well as a new heating-and-cooling system. Cosmetic work will be done on the interior, and it will be made more accessible to the handicapped.

“We have searched for contractors that have more knowledge of (historic homes),” Seyfrit said.

The county is using an architect whose speciality is historic buildings, he said.

Pleasant View overlooks US 421, now known as Battlefield Memorial Highway. The home was built around 1825 by Joseph Barnett, a Madison County magistrate who owned large amounts of land.

The home originally consisted of six rooms in two stories with pine flooring. The structure faced south with three slave quarters lining the western side of the drive, connected to the house by brick pathways.

Pleasant View’s kitchen was detached, as was common for the era, but future additions joined the kitchen to the rest of the home. Other outbuildings include a smokehouse, ice house, privies and barns.

The smokehouse and ice house are going to be renovated in the future, but no funding for that was available in the current project.

A previous grant is being used to restore a slave dwelling, the only one of three that originally were part of the property.

Plans also are being made to extend the walking trail at Battlefield Park, which is close to Pleasant View, according to Seyfrit.

“Part of the grant money also will pay for more interpretive signs along the Battlefield corridor,” he said. “We decide where there are holes in the story and we try to plug in the information.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com at 624-6608.

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