Homeplace Double Pen House, TN 2022
Homeplace Double Pen House, TN 2022

Homeplace Double Pen House, TN 2022

Homeplace Double Pen House, TN 2022

Still waters run deep at Land Between the Lakes. Join us this fall in the rolling hills of Tennessee to restore the roof of Homeplace’s iconic double pen house!

PROJECT PARTNER: Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – USDA Forest Service

SESSION DATES: September 18-23, September 25-30, October 2-7, and October 9-14



Project Site Description & History

Still waters run deep at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Long before the Tennessee Valley Authority used the power of eminent domain to remove European settlers from the region, the Osage, Cherokee, Shawnee, Yuchi, O-ga-xpa, and Chikasaw Nations lived on and traveled through this bountiful land. Midcentury goals of increasing electrical power delivery led to the expansion of water ways in this area originally known as “Land Between the Rivers.” During the 1950s, many economists “predicted that the average American work week would fall from 40-50 hours a week to just over 30 in the year 2000—and likely decrease even further as the economy became more efficient” (Between the Rivers). Anticipating that Americans would have more free time, leaders leaned into cultural values surrounding outdoor recreation and relaxation ideals and decided to expand the number of National Recreation Areas across the country. To this end, the TVA condemned the land between the rivers, and roughly 800 families, many of them poor, were relocated by financial coercion or even force. This controversial history is remembered in the “Between the Rivers” documentary.

Today, Land Between the Lakes serves its original recreational and educational goals through places like the nationally-recognized Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and Living History Museum, the site of this HistoriCorps project. After all, if we can’t preserve our history, how are we ever going to learn from it? Homeplace evokes the Civil War era in US history through replicating a two-generation farm spanning the scenic, rolling landscape of northwest Tennessee. Today, interpreters in period clothing reenact daily chores on a real, working farm, where attention to details, routine, and craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. The farm livestock includes rare and endangered breeds which would have been found on a farm like this in the 1850s, as well as varieties garden plants and field crops planted from heirloom seeds dating back before the Civil War.

Volunteers on this HistoriCorps project will learn and apply traditional roofing skills to restore Homeplace’s iconic Double Pen House. Bring your camera – aside from the unique interpretive farm scenery, the views from up high will be memorable.

Location and Logistics


September 18-23, September 25-30, October 2-7, and October 9-14. Please plan to arrive at the campsite no earlier than 3pm and no later than 5pm on the first day of your session.

LOCATION:  We will camp across state lines at the Energy Lake Campground in Kentucky.

ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible

Tents, truck campers, campervans, and RVs/trailers can access this campsite, but there are no hookups. Potable water and restrooms will be available. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed at this project. Showers will be available! 

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 80s and lows in the mid 40s. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work gloves, clothes and boots, and other personal gear.

Scope of Work


HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Cedar Shake Roof on the Double Pen House.

  • Remove existing oak shakes and gutters on the main portion of the Double Pen House (10%)
  • Replace purlins and roof decking, as needed (10%)
  • Install new cedar shake roof and flashing (75%)
  • Install new and salvaged gutters (5%)

Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer! Choose your session and register below:

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact volunteer@historicorps.org for assistance.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Volunteer Logistics, Policies, and Advice

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • HistoriCorps is committed to keeping our volunteers, staff, and project communities safe.  Read our Covid protocols here (updated August 2022).
  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, work gloves, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate small RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email volunteer@historicorps.org for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day.
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Hard hats, eye protection, ear protection, gloves are standard personal protection equipment (PPE) required on all projects. Hard hats must be worn at all times on the project site, unless working in a designated safe space. Field staff will train volunteers on correct use of PPE.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.