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Building Conservation Associates

Stafford Settlement

Location: Cumberland Island, Georgia
Year Built: 1830

BCA performed testing and analysis of multiple historic masonry materials removed from the Stafford Slave Settlement, part of the Stafford Plantation Historic District on Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia. The materials tested were removed from remaining chimneys, the most visible remnants of the Settlement. The chimneys are constructed of four primary masonry materials: tabby brick, red clay brick, mortar, and stucco/parging. The testing and analysis performed by BCA, which was limited to the tabby brick, red clay brick and mortar, was performed as part of a larger project involving the structural stabilization of select chimneys that remain at the site.

BCA performed a visual assessment of the chimneys during a site visit to remove samples. After the site visit, physical testing and evaluation in the laboratory was performed on the samples. The goal of the testing and evaluation was to document the physical properties of the historic masonry to guide certain aspects of the chimney stabilization project. Through the lab testing, BCA found that the materials used to build the chimneys were of good quality and fundamentally sound. BCA made recommendations for appropriate replication mortar and tabby replication mixes, select repairs, and additional testing and research to more fully understand the materials at the site.