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Bailly, Joseph, Homestead

Porter, Indiana
County of Porter.
West of Porter on U.S. 20
National Register Number: 66000005
Resource type: District.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling. The threat level was Satisfactory in
Congressional District: IN-1 Certified Local Government: NO
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: National Park (Part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore) See www.nps.gov/indu.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 29, 1962):
This log house and storehouse are the remains of the trading post established in 1822 by Honore Gratien Joseph Bailly de Messein (1774-1835). His home was an early center of culture and civilization in a backwoods wilderness, providing a meeting place for both Indians and whites as well as being a stopping place for travellers and missionaries.

Since funds are not available for the preservation or restoration of the main house deterioration of the interior finish materials continues. Also, funding for the restoration of the three log cabins on the site has not been obtained, and the deterioration of the Chapel is accelerating.

Since the 2006 report, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore received funding to complete the preservation of the foundation of the Brick House, and the construction was completed. This included lifting the building onto cribwork and reconstructing the foundation, and stabilizing the adjacent riverbank. In July 2007 there was a significant storm with high winds and an historic walnut tree was felled. As the tree fell, it scrapped the side of the mian house damaging siding and roof shingles, and breaking some window glass. Emergency funds were found, and the repairs were complleted by the fall 2007. In addition, major preservation maintenance has been completed on the main house including repainting the front porch decking and hand rails. The Indiana Dune Natinal Lakeshore continues to request funds for: the completion of an Historic Structures Report adn Cultural Landscape Report; the restoration of the Main House and the three log cabins; and the rehabilitation of the Brick House. There are no planned uses for some of the historic buildings on site other than the limited interpretative programs currenlty presented on weekends. The public is only allowed on the first floor of the Main House, and in the Two-Story Log Cabin and the Fur Trader's Cabin.

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