Pemberton House work could begin next year|[5/6/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2005

Work should begin on stabilizing Pemberton House by sometime late in 2006, the superintendent of the Vicksburg National Military Park said Thursday.

Monika Mayr, superintendent since September, made the comment during a talk at the Vicksburg Rotary Club.

She said the park has received a small amount of money to begin conversion of the historic house on Crawford Street where Confederate John C. Pemberton had his headquarters during the Siege of Vicksburg during the Civil War. The roof, she said will be the initial focus of the stabilization process.

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“Our schedule now is to have that construction start between June and December 2006,” she said.

The short-term goal for Pemberton Headquarters is to have it open to the public on at least a limited basis as soon as possible after the initial work is complete.

Mayr also said the stabilization of the Shirley House, the only structure actually within the park’s boundaries that was standing during the siege, is on schedule to begin within a matter of days. This work will include roof repairs and repairs to the windows to keep the weather out.

The work to repair Connecting Avenue between the USS Cairo and Fort Hill is scheduled to start late this summer and take about six months.

The stabilization of the bank of Mint Springs is another critical project Mayr said she hopes to get moving quickly. The work is on schedule to begin in 2008, but local park officials want to get that moved up because they don’t think the bank will last that long.

She said if the bank caves, the National Cemetery will lose some graves and the interior road and an Indian mound will be endangered.