The Manassas Battlefield Trust is undertaking our largest project to date and we need your help!
Manassas National Battlefield Park has recently acquired the M.J. Dogan House, located near the Lucinda Dogan house in the historic village of Groveton. This project represents the last opportunity to save an historic structure on the battlefield, one that tells the story of the devestation and perseverance of local citizens caught in the crossfire of battle. We need your help to raise the funds necessary for the National Park Service to stabilize, study, and restore the exterior of the house, thus preserving an important visual memory of Groveton, the small community that was central to the Second Battle of Manassas.
The Mary Jane Dogan House (or. M.J. Dogan House) is one of only two surviving structures of the 19th century village of Groveton and is located in a highly visible location of the park. During recent investigation, the year “1879,” was found, inscribed by the builder. This puts the construction date after the Civil War, but carbon dating tells us that wood used in the house was harvested in the winter of 1824/5. Coupled with presumed battle damage on some of the beams, experts believe the home was constructed with materials from an earlier structure, perhaps on the same location.
The house is significant for its associations with the community of Groveton and its primary residents, the Dogan family of Peach Grove, the pre-Civil War estate on which the village and the M.J. Dogan House are located. The house was built for Mary Jane Dogan, who operated a store from the site. Mary Jane, with other female family members and neighbors, was integral in establishing the Groveton Confederate Cemetery nearby.
Mary Jane lived next door to her stepmother, Lucinda Dogan, who became known locally as the “Belle of the Battlefield” for her colorful stories of her wartime experience. Lucinda’s small small white house (composed of what were once outbuilding on her large estate before the main house fell victim to fire) is also owned by the park. She and her children supposedly carried water to wounded soldiers in the make-shift hospital around their home after Second Manassas. Her son, William Dogan, inherited the M.J. Dogan house upon his half-sister’s death.
Upon acquisition, the house was in deteriorating condition with failing a roof and unsecured windows and doors, and a partial collapse of the stone foundation. The project will occur in phases as money is raised:
1) Phase I: Research and Documentation
TIMELINE: December, 2019 – December 31, 2020 (COMPLETE)
· Phase I is designed to provide the research and documentation basis to inform future management decisions about the structure and its treatment. The phase included preparation work to remove non-historic fabric in preparation for the Historic Structures Report and Historic American Building Survey documentation and their associated investigative and documentation undertakings. Other analyses included paint analysis, carbon dating of beams, and examination of historic building materials.
2) PHASE II: Engineering Study and Stabilization Plan
TIMELINE: January 2021 – April 2021 (COMPLETE)
Phase II provided the requisite plans to stabilize and preserve the structure that is under threat of imminent failure and collapse. And Architecture and Engineering firm was contracted to perform the engineering study and create a stabilization plan that can be implemented immediately.
PHASE IIA: Stabilization Plan Implementation
TIMELINE: APRIL-MAY 2021 (IN PROGRESS)
Phase IIA will entail the implementation of the Phase II stabilization plan. Grant funding was secured from the National Park Foundation, with work will being performed in partnership with HistoriCorps to implement as the stabilization plans.
3) PHASE III: Exterior Repair and Restoration
TIMELINE: DEC 2021 – DEC 2022
Phase III will undertake the initial preservation, restoration, and stabilization for the exterior of the structure. The phase will seek to work in conjunction with the structural stabilization to provide a stable and weatherproof exterior that is restored to its historic appearance as much as possible. This will include roof restoration, window and door preservation, exterior carpentry repairs and weatherproofing, and exterior masonry stabilization.