Barns of Mackinac County, Michigan
135 Barns plus a few "extras"

R.V. ("Dick") Dietrich
Professor emeritus C.M.U.

Most of the definitions given in this glossary are applied as they are used in this album. They should not be considered to be universally applicable.

barn, a farm building used chiefly to shelter farm animals and their feed -- e.g., cattle and hay. Descriptions of the barns included in this album are kept short with the hope that the photographs show such things as their overall characteristics, material(s) of the walls, the shapes of their roofs, plus or minus special features. Therefore, only those things that are mentioned in the captions are included in this glossary -- e.g., gable and gambrel roofs and hewn logs versus sawn lumber.
a relatively narrow piece of wood used to cover open spaces between larger boards.
an oblong piece of timber (etc.) used as a horizontal support in a structure -- e.g., barn or house. (cf. purlin).
chink or chinking, materials used to fill in open or potentially open areas such as those that occur or seem likely to develop between logs of a structure.
cupola, a small structure mounted atop a roof, typically embracing its peak; some cupolas serve as ventilators; others are only decorative.
dovetailed, a joint that consists of interlocking mortises and tenons; the joints at the corners of some of the older log buildings are examples..
"Dutch" door, a two part door, either the top or bottom part of which can be opened independently.
the base or bases upon which a building rests; those around the edges are most common and frequently the only ones seen; they may be continuous or consist of independent piers, including single boulders. . .
the facing section of a building that is between the slopes of its roof. Where used to describe a roof shape, gable is applied roofs with a single slope on each side. (This type of roof is referred to as a "ridged roof" by some people within the area.)
roof with two slopes on each side, the lower slope of which is steeper than the upper.
granary, building, or part of a building, where grain, typically threshed, is stored.
past participle of hew, widely used as an adjective; herein it is applied to logs or rough lumber that has been shaped with, or as if with, an axe or adze. For emphasis, such logs or timber are often referred to as hand-hewn. (cf. sawn).
noun: grass and other plants -- e.g., clover and alfalfa -- that have been dried for use as fodder.
related to hay -- e.g., hay barn.
related to hay -- e.g., hayfork, hayloft and haymow.
hayfork, name widely used for the large "fork" that was used to move relatively large amounts of hay from hay wagons into haymows; these forks were opened and closed mechanically -- e.g., once the hayfork with the hay in it that picked up from the wagon was in the appropriate place above the loft, it was "tripped" -- i.e., opened -- and the hay was dropped in the mow.
hayloft, place, typically in the upper part of a barn, where hay is stored. (cf. haymow).
haymow, frequently used synonym for hayloft.
milk house, name widely applied to the place, typically a small building adjoining a cattle barn, where milk taken from cows in the evening was kept cool overnight, and then, the next day, taken along with the fresh morning milk to a central receiving plant.
milk parlor, name widely applied to the area, typically within a barn, where dairy cows are milked.
pier, a pillar, typically concrete, that supports a post (q.v.).
post, vertical timber used in superstructure of a barn. These are usually referred to as wall posts or purlin posts depending upon their position and/or function.
a horizontal timber, typically one of several, that supports one or two --e.g., one at each of its ends -- rafters of a roof.
rafter, a sloping beam, typically one of several, that supports a pitched roof.
the exterior surface atop a building. Roofs of different shapes are given names such as round, the meaning of which is self-explanatory, gable (q.v.) and gambrel (q.v.).
sawn, past participle, frequently used as an adjective for cut lumber that has not been planed; often used as rough-sawn to emphasize the unplaned characteristic (cf. hewn)
shake, name widely applied to a wooden shingle that has been formed by splitting rather than cutting -- e.g. a cedar shake is made by splitting a block of cedar along its grain.
a thin, typically oblong, piece of wood, usually one of many that are laid in overlapping rows as siding or to cover roofs. Shingles are sawn and markedly thicker at one end than the other, which makes them readily distinguished from shakes.
stanchion, a framework used to secure cattle while they are being milked or housed during any relatively long period of time -- e.g., during winters.
truss, a wooden framework that supports a structure or part of a structure -- e.g., a roof.