FEBT Restoration – Sand House

The Sand House is a small but important feature in the Rockhill Furnace yard. The building was where sand was dried, prepared and loaded into the sand domes of the EBT locomotives to provide extra traction when needed. The building dates from the 1910s or 20s.

The most serious concern about the Sand House was that the lower section of the tower had developed a distinct lean to the east. The lean began in the early 1980s and was slowly getting worse. Beyond the structural concern, the building was devoid of paint and the windows lacked glass.

Work on the Sand House began in 2007, when storage was needed for parts and supplies from other projects. The single story portion of the building was cleaned, debris removed and a door made functional. In 2008 work on exterior restoration began with the application of roof tar to the building and power washing of the siding. Later that year priming and painting began with the east and north walls. All window sashes were removed from the building for rebuilding. In 2009 the remaining hard-to-reach areas of the roof were tarred by use of a man lift. The first story of the east side of the building was also painted.

In 2016, structural repairs on the tower began. FEBT volunteers coerced the tower frame back into its original shape and stabilized the entire structure. It is still used for storing sand for locomotives, but the sand is now in a large bin at the base of the tower, rather than in the original barrel above.