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

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

Mackinac Island (City)
No farm barns are known to be or ever to have been on Mackinac Island.  However, it is said that there once was a small farm, which included a few cows and at least a small barn, in the northern part of the island.  Perhaps this can be documented.

             Today, several horse barns, probably better referred to as stables, are present on the island. Most of them are near the southern end of the island and nearly all of them date back some 50 or more years.  Indeed, several of the smaller stables, which are referred to herein as personal, date back to the 1800s.  Virtually all of these have been kept up so well that they appear to be of more recent vintage. These "barns" are designated in the captions for this these structures as either personal or commercial:  Personal is used to refer to the stables that house only one or two or so horses that are used to pull the carriages of or are ridden by Island landowners.  Commercial is used to refer to the stables that house relatively large numbers  -- e.g., 12 to more than 70 --  of the horses that pull the Island's taxis, tour wagons, rental carriages, garbage wagons, ... .  Only three examples of each of these kinds of "barns" are included in this album -- i.e., more of each category are present on the island.

             It has been suggested that these "barns" should be considered "extras" in this album because they are not farm barns.  If readers wish to make this distinction, fine (in which case they may also want to include a few of the other structures of similar limited use that are included in this album as barns rather than extras.)

MIC8. (north of Algonquin Rd.; SW¼ sec.10, T.40N.-R.3W.)

              Personal -- This is the barn/stable that the horses that pulled the carriage in which Buck and I rode call "home."

MIC7. (north of Algonquin Rd.; SW¼ sec.10, T.40N.-R.3W.)

                 Personal -- unlike most of these barns/stables, this one is painted "barn red."  In addition, it is embellished by other barn-like features, which are painted white, such as the outlines and diagonal boards of both sections of  the "Dutch door."

MIC6. (north of Algonquin Rd.; SW¼ sec.10, T.40N.-R.3W.)

              Personal -- A couple of what appear to be riding horses are shown with this small horse barn.  A couple driving horses are also kept here from late spring to mid-fall.

MIC1. (east of Market St.; SW¼ sec.14, T.40N.-R.3W.)

          Commercial? -- This barn, which is located in the "downtown" part of Mackinac Island, was once used as a commercial horse barn. Today, the ground-level part of it is used chiefly to store carriages, and the upper level is used, at least in part, as living quarters.  As shown in the lower right close-up, the area directly above the foundation on the right side of the structure as shown in the large photograph is currently being replaced.

MIC2. (northeast of Cadotte St.; NE¼ sec.15, T.40N.-R.3W.)

           Commercial -- This barn houses horses for Mackinac Island Carriage Tours.

MIC12. (north of Park Rd.; SW¼ sec.3, T.40N.-R.3W.)

           Commercial -- This barn, which includes more than thirty stalls, is near the edge of Harrisonville, the year-around village on Mackinac Island. The horses housed in this barn pull the so-called haulage drays that carry junk, garbage, etc. on the island.  Most years, twelve to fourteen of these horses are kept on the island the year around.  The close-up on the lower right side of the upper photograph shows the now greatly faded sign that is in the gable area of the most recently (1950s?) added part of this barn; at the top, it reads Mackinac Island; at the bottom, service company; the middle features a horse's head, a horseshoe, and the name of the then owner.   

MIC13. (east of Carriage Rd.; SE¼ sec.10, T.40N.-R.3W.)  

            Commercial -- The top photograph shows the oldest of the three barns shown in the lower photograph.  It is said to have been in place by at least 1957.  Its  new metal roof and the similarly constituted gable areas were added in 2010. During the tourist season, each of these structures houses horses of Mackinac Island Carriage Tours Inc.:  Seventy or seventy-one in the barn with the round roof, another seventy in the in the barn in the middle, and about sixty in the barn on the right in the lower view. The horses with stalls in these barns make up the two-horse teams that pull the taxis and tour buggies and the three-horse teams that pull the "sightseeing busses" during the tourist season.  These horses, along with those housed in other barns, which total about 500, are taken off the island each October and spend their late fall to late spring times on the mainland -- e.g., in the Pickford area.  These barns are used to store the vehicles during the off-season.