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Lewistown Field Office
Release Date: 04/13/12
Contacts: Zane Fulbright 406-538-1923    

BLM Begins Restoring Historic Homestead Site

The Bureau of Land Management has begun restoring the historic Wartzenluft Barn, located on the Musselshell Trail in northeastern Fergus County. 

The barn, which is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, has been in need of restoration for over 20 years and this year the funding and expertise became available to complete the work. The Forest Service’s Historic Preservation Team will lead the preservation effort.

This hewn log barn was constructed before 1920 on the Edwin Wartzenluft Homestead. Today, the surviving buildings on site include the barn and a 1 ½-story hewn log house. The property came back into public ownership in 1982 as part of a land exchange. 

The restoration effort is being completed in conjunction with the BLM’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the 1862 Homestead Act. 

Work to disassemble the barn and assess the condition of the logs was completed the week of April 9-14. Beginning June 25, the BLM will begin reconstructing the barn, salvaging original logs whenever possible and replacing rotten ones with new logs hewn to match the original logs. 

Work is expected to continue through July. For more information on this project or any of the BLM’s homestead commemoration efforts please contact BLM archaeologist Zane Fulbright at (406) 538-1923.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Lewistown Field Office   920 NE Main Street      Lewistown, MT 59457  

Last updated: 06-28-2012