Gaines Oliphant House

Milam Vicinity
National Register of Historic Places

Key Issues

• Confirm the construction date of the structure and determine the original Owner/builder using dendrochronology

• Investigate the extant physical evidence to locate elements of the original appearance; document previous changes and repairs

• Define causes of deterioration, needed stabilization and maintenance

• Determine site planning needs: how to accommodate parking and a new visitor’s center on a limited site while minimizing impact on the historic building

• Develop a program of use and a phased construction/development program to suit the Owner’s fund-raising capabilities

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This log structure adjacent to the Sabine River Ferry played an important role in early Texas history. For the owners, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, we prepared a master plan and measured drawings funded with a Preservation Trust Fund Grant from the Texas Historical Commission. Design and construction documents were developed with recommendations for physical stabilization; additional research; fund raising; bidding and construction; and future projects, including a visitors’ center and acquisition of additional property to create a buffer from adjacent development.

Two options were presented for restoration of the log house, as well as schematic elevations of the proposed visitor’s center. An appendix to the master plan contains an inventory and copies of all materials collected during the research phase, providing a convenient reference for future research.