Old Comfort Farm is situated in the beautiful Maryland farmland of northern Frederick, Maryland. Owners Bill and Bonny Sydnor brought the damaged photo, top, to be restored in time to display when their home was toured as part of the Historic House and Church Tour in Creagerstown, Maryland in September 2009, and featured in the September issue of Frederick Magazine.
The building shown here is the once productive mill on the old Eichelberger homestead was in continuous use from the 1790s until it fell into disrepair and ultimate demise following the roof collapsing in a storm in the 1940s.
The image we had to work with was a photograph of a damaged original circa 1870—with all of the damage as it appears in the “before” image. The image was “rebuilt” using historical references to architectural features common to mill of the mid – late 1700’s. The missing and faded architectural elements were redrawn and restored in the computer and filled in and blended using the components still visible in the photograph.
When planning a restoration project on this scale it is really helpful if the owner of the piece has an idea of what is acceptable “artistic license” for reconstructing missing pieces. The first priority is people and in this image it was very fortunate that the images of the people were not damaged. Secondly, architectural and landscape components which tell other parts of the history.
Thoughtful handling of long faded details puts an heirloom, literally and chronologically, into perspective.