ELMIRA - The Elmira Civil War Prison Camp museum recently completed its centerpiece - an authentic recreation of the barracks building that housed confederate prisoners during the Civil War.

The building, located on Windsor Ave., has been completed using historically-accurate dimensions and materials, including the same type of wood used in the construction of the original barracks building. The quarters are claustrophobically laid out with respect to the original structure to give visitors a sense of what conditions were like at the camp when it was active between 1864 and 1865.

Elmira Prison Camp museum President and Chemung County Legislator Marty Chalk said rebuilding the barracks building accurately and with respect to history presented many challenges.

“Quite honestly, we had a difficult time finding exactly how the barracks building was supposed to work,” he said.

Chalk mentioned the barrack’s windows as an example, as museum officials weren’t sure their exact size at first. Chalk said they finally found the information they needed after contacting the Department of the Army.

“We didn’t know if they were full windows or what,” he said.

Chalk said the most challenging part of recreating the barracks building, which has been under construction since last year, was acquiring the correct information.

“We always tried to make sure it was replicated 100 percent,” he said. “The hardest part was getting the answer as to ‘OK, this is what it was.’”

Elsewhere at the museum, a brick dedication has been created where people with ancestors who fought in the Civil War can have a brick laid in their memory.

Visitors Mary and Dean Calland were in the process Saturday of having their ancestors memorialized for serving during the conflict.

“It’s remembering our history, and it’s appreciating the people who fought and remembering those who died for whatever reason,” said Mary Calland, a Civil War author. “What went on here, I think needs to be remembered.”

“It’s pretty cool to have your ancestors memorialized here,” said Dean Calland.

The museum also recently announced a partnership with the Foster House on West Water Street in Elmira. A section of the historical house is scheduled to be converted into a Civil War Research Library.

Chalk said many books and materials have already been donated for the library, including private memoirs from Ulysses S. Grant donated from a North Carolina man.

“We believe it’s going to give us a lot of credibility, and we believe it’s going to bring in a lot of Civil War scholars and people who have an interest in the Civil War and Elmira’s role in it,” Chalk said.

For more information, visit www.elmiraprisoncamp.com.