The Brodhead Homestead: siding restoration and painting proposal document


William Leonard

CC Judsonkratzer@NPS,gov

Delaware Water Gap



Dear sir,

last year, I conversed via email with one of your coordinators concerning the painting of the Brodhead Homestead. Please forgive me, I lackadaisically deleted all my emails  , hence, I do not have anything from the subordinates that you directed me to. Sorry. We did have some dialogue however. At this juncture I am aware that I must have a lead blood test done along with a lead abatement class. In addition, your volunteer coordinator,  wanted every single anticipated and requested volunteer action to be documented and submitted as a proposal. Per our previous discussions, the lead abatement class can be scheduled when I commit to a volunteer date. As far as the lead blood test, I will get that when I see how proactive your organization is as it relates to my proposal submission.

We will need the following if we are to be able to conduct any sort of restoration project:

  1. I have either a 2007 Dodge Sprinter van or a 5th wheel to use as billeting while volunteering at the Brodhead Homestead. I will not pay for a hotel or RV spot while I am volunteering for 30 days so I am requesting a free RV spot or permission to park at the Brodhead Homestead during the rehabilitation process. Before we move forward, I will need this permission.
  2. We will need scaffolding that will reach as high as  high as 30 feet. Other options are surplus Air Force maintenance stands or a rented bucket lift. This will allow scraping, priming and painting up to the roof line. The best option is a hydraulically operated maintenance stand with safety railing. This type of stand can be pushed around easily. If you do not have one, I suggest allocating budget and purchase one. It would be a hell of a lot easier than re-positioning scaffolding .
  3. As a former aviator in the Air Force, I was trained in NBC  nuclear biological and chemical safety. We used face masks and several different styles of air breathing safety equipment. I understand fully how to fit and test a dust mask with HEPA filters. I will provide my own dust masks and protective clothing. Please provide exact guidelines on the protective clothing you require.
  4.  I need a copy of the NPS guidelines on historical structure siding rehabilitation methods as a reference.  In addition, I will require exact verbage from your maintenance coordinator on how he wants the siding scraped, sanded, prepped , primed and painted. Please have him produce a simple  and straight forward process document. I will adhere and work to this document exclusively. Do not expect me to read a 500 page document on how to scrape wood siding. You will have to direct a  subordinate to create, articulate and manage the process. This avoids duplication of effort and can be used for other projects when volunteers are involved. The military calls it a technical order.
  5. I will need a lead abatement class in early April after you have approved this submission and when I provide a blood test.
  6. I will need a list of approved primer, paint and caulking and permission to buy these products as needed  myself. I would like to maintain control of the $1000 I will donate to the rehabilitation project.
  7. Please provide a liaison that has the authority to approve small plan deviations, as well as, small required repairs on the spot. Requiring a slow burdensome board’s permission to do small repairs is ludicrous.


I have already detailed my experience with painting.  At this juncture I am looking for guidance and task oriented management from the folks at the Delaware Water gap. To date, your subordinates have been very helpful, polite and professional. lets work together and get some things done.

I could not follow through with painting last spring because we were remodeling a house and selling it during a  hot market. We sold our house, and now we have time to help out.

That’s if you still need free experienced labor that will require zero instruction or interaction after a small efficient briefing. If you feel I am unworthy, or too obtuse, just tell me and I will move on. I will simply blame the condition of the property on unwarranted and reactionary bureaucracy and my conscience will be clear. As it is, the condition of this historical property is shameful.

In closing, please submit this to your board or the task force that approves volunteer behavior. I promise that I will do what I can to help and limit any outside discourse that would cast a negative light on the wretched condition of the property. Because of the massive number of properties that you have to manage, you might want to create a simple checklist system to facilitate the process. My intent is to only paint this property for now. The reality is that even a crappy paint job will stop the deterioration of the siding for a decade. The house looks like it has not been painted for 50 years.

I have relatives in Ohio and New Hampshire that I want to visit. I also want to do a motorcycle tour of Northern Virginia and the battle fields in South East Pennsylvania. Keeping a fifth wheel at the Brodhead Homestead will make things a whole lot easier and I could work at my own pace.

Please respond to this communication and advise me on the anticipated time it will take for approval. You can send a volunteer application also.  I can volunteer  for one month starting April 1st to April 15th  2016.


sold house

Stephan Brodhead

253 205 5995

here are a few examples of some painting projects

Scroll to bottom for history of the Brodhead HomesteadIMAG0336







Historic significance of Brodhead Homestead

A Brief history of the Brodhead Family as I see it (The Brodhead Homestead)

The Brodhead Homestead deserves to be rehabilitated and then maintained as a historic symbol of the American dream.  The reasons are not from a single act of heroism or politics.  For over 350 years, Brodheads have been fighting for this country. It started in August of 1664 when our progenitor  Captain Daniel Brodhead  from Yorkshire, England ,disembarked Man-O-wars along with 400 British Dragoons. He would be second in command of the Nichols Expedition, and force the surrender of New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam would be renamed New York, and English speaking rule established.

Over 100 years later, Brodheads would turn against the tyranny of British rule. Daniel Brodhead from Pennsylvania would be one of the first delegates to the First Continental Congress (Provincial)  in 1775 and pledge his support of  New England against British acts of tyranny. This was the result of  Paul Revere’s ride to Pennsylvania.  When the American Revolution broke out, Luke Brodhead would be part of the 1st American rifle regiment and among the “Guns of Ticonderoga at Dorchester heights at the Siege Of Boston. At the Battle of Long island, Daniel Brodhead would defend Washington’s retreat across the East river. He and George Washington were on the last boats to leave Long Island. On the Manhattan side, Brodhead under the command of Thomas Miflin would tend the encampment fires as George Washington’s troops fled to Fort Washington. Daniel Brodhead would be among the 2500 rag tag soldiers that escaped across the Delaware  River into Pennsylvania. Thomas Paine coined this time as ” The Time that tried men’s souls!”

Luke Brodhead would musketed at the Battle of Long island and spend time on a British prison ship. Daniel’s son would also be wounded and spend time on a British prison ship before being exchanged. Luke would go on to be General Marcus De Lafayette’s Aid De Camp. at Valley Forge along with fighting several more battles.

Daniel Brodhead would become the commander of the 8th Pennsylvania regiment. Brodheads would fight along side George Washington  at several battles such as:  Defense of Philadelphia. Princeton, Bound Brook,  Brandy wine, German Town, and the Paoli Massacre just to name a few. He would winter at Valley Forge and then become the commander of the Western Department headquartered at Fort Pitt. Eventually he would become one of Washington’s Generals and help found the Society of Cincinnati.

The Brodhead name is woven into the proud legacy of the Keystone state. We are inseparable.

After the American Revolution, Brodheads were not finished notching out their place in Pennsylvania history.  Brodheads  would team up with Augustus Wolle , buy property, and create the Saucona iron works. This property would become Bethlehem steel.

Then there is the efforts of Congressman  Richard H. Brodhead of the Pennsylvania 10th district. He would go on to hold a Senate Seat as well. During his service a Congressman and Senator, he would support legislation that funded the troops during the Mexican American war. The list of his achievements and bills in the House and Senate is staggering compared to the politicians of today. Everything he did was for Pennsylvania. His efforts helped secure our manifest destiny and then create avenues for the rise of Pennsylvania steel. His name is on the Oregon territory, the Washington territory, the Utah territory, The Gadsden purchase, and Iowa statehood. Just to name a few. He debated the Kansas Nebraska act,slavery in the territories,  and the Wilmot proviso.  In addition, to territories, his name is on bills that funded the John C. Fremont expeditions,  created countless military roads, postal infrastructure and government buildings across the country. His name is on the bills that created the West Wing, The East Wing, The Capitol building Dome and the Congressional Library. His biggest achievement, however , was, a bill that funded the topography surveys for the first Transcontinental railroad. This achievement would put Pennsylvania steel production in overdrive and allow Bethlehem to support the growth of America. These acts would enable the massive economic success of Pennsylvania steel for close to 120 years.

Brodheads fought for English speaking rule. They fought for Independence.  We fought in Mexico. We fought for Emancipation. We fought for manifest destiny. Above all, we fought for the great Keystone state. Our efforts are part of Pennsylvania’s history. Had it not been for Pennsylvania, we would not have endured.

.  The Brodhead Homstead is a part of Pennsylvania history that must be preserved. Allowing it to go to ruin is  shameful and basically craps on Pennsylvania history. It insults the Founding Fathers. I mean, Brodheads rose up against tyranny before George Washington and the rest of the slave owning Virginians even got out of bed. We were the first of the Fighting Founders and put our lives on the line for liberty.  The Brodhead Homestead should be maintained like Mount Vernon or Montecello. After all, it was a Brodhead that defended Washington and secured the Jefferson manuscripts for the ages.

All one has to do to see the efforts of the Brodhead family is to go to the Congressional Globe website and search the Brodhead name. You will find litteraly thousands of bills that were voted on by Richard H. Brodhead. I believe he lived in this house and was one of Pennsylvania’s greatest  statesmen.


The house deserves a decent paint job….


In summation: During the American Revolution, Brodheads dealt with oppression and British bureaucracy  with the thrust of Pennsylvania steel through the torso or a musket ball to the forehead.We were among the 2500 Patriots that marched  barefoot and left a blood trail in the defense of Pennsylvania, liberty and independence. I find it quit a catch 22 to have to fight for the right to maintain a property of such great historic significance. A property that was  taken by imminent domain and then abandoned by a  federal Bureaucracy. Today, however, we can work together and restore this wonderful home. This symbol of Pennsylvania’s heritage and the American dream.

So, in closing, let us all work together and put a damn paint job on the house. For the love of Pete!!! Oh my word…..I will donate $1000 and commit to April. Anyone else that wants to contribute can do so. I believe, however, any donations should go to buying paint directly.

Another scenario is asking the NPS to lease the property back to us for a term of 5 years while we work on it. We would provide assurances that we would adhere to all environmental rules and regulations and work on it ourselves. The lease would be a $1 a year. Let us come up with a proposal after we have put a very nice white paint job on this historic srtucture. .

Search Brodhead legislative achievement here at the Congressional globe.

Writers bio




house 6

jeffersons writings233724-page1[1]15360000 bounty landscapitol extensiontranscontinental rairoad

About the author

Leave a Reply