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

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

Moran Township

Mo1. (northwest of New Portage Rd.; NW¼ sec.14, T.40N.-R.3W.)

            This barn is a fine example of how a deteriorating barn can be restored. The general character of the barn before it was restored in the late 1990s is indicated by the photographs in the composite below the main photograph. (Photographs in this composite, courtesy of Charles and Nancy Brown.)

            The stratification of roofing materials atop the rafters, which are shown in the composite (bottom left), is indicative of the methods used in such restorations. Bottom to top -- i.e., oldest to most recent -- the overlying "strata" are:  Sawn lumber, most of which is original; cedar shakes, apparently the original roofing; asphalt shingles, probably added some fifty years ago; and the current metal roofing, which was added during the restoration.

            This barn is on a property that is recorded as having been owned by several different people since the early 1800s.  It was used for a few dairy cows in the 1930s and 1940s -- indeed, raw milk was sold from this barn by the then owner, Ray Langhoff -- and as a horse barn during the 1960s and 1970s.   It has been owned by Charles and Nancy Brown since 1996.  The restoration was completed in 2001.  Much of the work was done by Mike Stitt and his wife, Chris, of Hesperia, Michigan.

Mo2. (south of New Portage Rd.; NW¼ sec.13, T.40N.-R.3W.)

            The round corrugated roof and the ends of this barn are metal. The foundation, floor of the milk parlor, and even the higher level floor of the hayloft are concrete.  The lower photos show:  Left, the appearance of the barn looking directly up the ramp into the loft;  Right, the hayfork, pulley set, and track, which is still intact, and a portion of the roof and its supports.

            This barn is near the location of an older barn that was the area's "First large dairy farm" (Kiwanis... p.84). The nearby land, including the area where LaSalle High School is located, was the pasture. The predecessor of this barn is said to have been built by Robert Harris, who sold his dairy and business to Charles Hildebrandt, who later sold it to Theodore Krostrue (ibid.).  An advertisement in a United Methodist Church cook book indicates that Krostrue had the "City Dairy [that distributed] Pasteurized products" by 1941. In any case, the older barn and then the current, Quonset-shaped barn, which was built on the site of the older barn, housed the Krostue dairy. The pictured barn is said to have been built during the start-up period of the "Big Mac" bridge construction by workers who were awaiting their assignments on the bridge project.  This would have been during the early and/or mid-1950s.  This project was apparently under the direction of Marvin Mohr, who worked for Theodore Krostue and was then the manager of the dairy.  Most of the milk from the dairy was distributed in St. Ignace, on Mackinac Island, and in the surrounding area. The building that was the former creamery is still standing, east of the barn.  Currently, the barn is used for storage.  (Certain aspects of the preceding historical summary, which is based on both printed and oral statements, appear to be conflicting;  I have not gone through records that might contain information to resolve those conflicts.)

Mo3. (northwest of Martin Lake Rd.; NW¼ sec.9, T.40N.-R.3W.)

            The smaller part of this double barn, was built in the 1920s, apparently to house sheep.  The larger part was added during the 1930s. The smaller section originally had log sides, the outdoor sides of which are now covered by painted metal siding.  The continuity of the concrete foundation of the paired structure indicates that the older structure was probably elevated before the newer part was added.  The current roof of the larger section seems to be its original, whereas that now on the older, original barn appears to have been added more recently.  The similarly colored, painted clapboard siding of the larger part is also thought to be original.  A few features of the inside of this stucture are shown in the lower composite, which also includes part of a black and white photograph taken when the older part of this barn still had its logs exposed and before a later coat of red paint was added.

            The photos on the composite show:  A.the character of the cedar logs and chinks of the older part of the structure;  B.the outlet part of the gravity-feed, grain bin;  C.the haymow area of the added, larger structure, which includes trap door outlets to the lower level; example of the laminated board setup, each board of which is ~1" thick, that was used to establish the configuration of the roof;  [and]  the above mentioned black and white photograph, which was apparently taken when the names of the farm and the owner were freshly painted in white on the added "wing."   (The older photograph, courtesy of Chuck Cullip, the current property owner.)

Mo4. (north of Lovegrove Rd.; SE¼ sec.4, T.40N.-R.5W.)
This gable roof barn was built in 1912, almost a half decade after homesteader Sam and Maude Lovegrove came toOzark "from Jonesboro, Tennessee via Indiana." (Trout Lake.., 1976, p.41) Although it was a "dairy barn," the milk parlor is said to have been in a separate structure that was to its west. A "fly shed," however, was attached to the barn on its north side. In any case, the barn has not been used for its original purpose since Paul Lovegrove, Sam and Maude's son, no longer ran the farm, which was sometime after the mid 1970s (ibid, p.42).
The lower composite shows some of the nearby farm buildings and the remains of an old windmill: Left, according to the present owner, the rather small, fairly tall building was a granary; its outer and inner walls are plywood sheets that are held up by poles similar to those used as utility poles; a "tin" lining is in its lower few feet; [and] the grain, said to be oats, was put in the granary through a small door in the peak area and "fed" out near the bottom in response to gravity (Roger Gady, p.c., 20 June 2011). Right, this structure, said to have been added in the 1970s, had diverse uses including the housing of horses; along this line, Lovegrove's horses were widely known because of their prowess in pulling competitions.

Mo6. (east of Gros Cap Rd.; NW¼ sec.8, T.40N.-R.3W.)

            This small barn, according to the current owner, dates back to the 1870s.  A former resident said that he was told some fifty years ago that it was owned by Xx first name xxX St. Louis in the early 1900s.  Notice the way the logs are joined at the corners and the fact that the spaces between the logs was, and still is in some places, filled with mortar. The shingles on the gable area appear to be original. The roof, now in need of replacement, has been covered with at least three things in the past:  shingles, tar paper and plywood.  A loft is above virtually all of the lower level.  An old horse collar is hanging near the entrance.  The size and shape of the door indicate that it likely housed only a horse or two, perhaps for pulling a buggy.  In any case, it is the only remaining "barn" of what is said to have been a half dozen or so that were once in the Gros Cap area.

Mo7. (east of East Martin Lake Rd. (formerly, Cremer Rd.); NE¼ sec.9, T.40N.-R.4W.)

This barn was not seen during the original field study. It is known to have once housed a few cattle, a horse or two, hay in its mow, and a sundry of other, for the most part small, pieces of equipment -- e.g., the hay saw held by Harold Kriesche, the current owner of the barn (See the middle photo of the composite.).When the barn was built is not known: A photograph of a once associated farmhouse taken while it was being built is dated 1936. Whether the barn was built before, at about the same time as, or after that house was built is not known for sure. Lisa Massey, granddaughter of the Anthony Cremer, the elder, who was the owner of the property when that house was built, however, believes that the barn was there before the house was built. If so, the barn was very likely built by or for Ambrose Corp, the father of Benjamin and Laurence Corp from whom the elder Cremer purchased the property. Ambrose Corp's second wife and the mother of Benjamin and Laurence, was, the daughter of the Martin, for whom Martin Lake, which borders the property, was named.The "lean-to" structure to the left of the barn in the main photograph appears to have built at the same time as the barn. Its original log sides and corrugated metal roof, both of which appear to be original, are the same as those of the main part of the barn. The short boards, now attached to the outside of this "lean-to," many of which have or are now falling off, were added by Anthony Cremer, the younger. Contrariwise, the "lean-to" that is to the right of the main barn in the main photograph post-dates the original structure. This is known because it was not present when early photographs were taken of the barn plus the other "lean-to"This main barn is the only one that I have seen within Mackinac County (or elsewhere!) that is sided by logs with their lengths positioned vertically. These logs range between ~3½ to 8 inches in diameter. Chinking between the logs consists of relatively small branches -- see the left photo of the composite. With a few exceptions, both the logs and branches are white cedar, probably from nearby. Most, perhaps all, of the logs and most of the branches appear to have been debarked before they were incorporated into the structure. . The side of the main barn that is shown in the lower right photo of the composite, shows, among other things, the haymow-level door. The water-color painting of the barn (original - ~ 8 ½ x 11 inches), by an unknown artist, dates to the early 2000s. Notice that the recently added, unweathered, light-colored log and the paired 6 x 6 inches header (i.e., lintel) that is above the old Dutch door (See main photograph), are not shown in the water-color painting.
[The preceding write-up includes information supplied by Curtis Cheeseman, Charles Brown, Lisa & John Massey and Harold Kriesche.]