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

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

St. Ignace Township

Si1. (north of Charles Moran Rd.; SEĽ sec.30, T.41N.-R.3W.)   

            This small barn, ~ 24 x 40 feet, was originally only an out-building, and a large barn was behind it.  That barn is said to have had the same kind of construction as this building but to have had its timber walls shingled.  The original, or at least an early, owner of these barns was Roy Abbey.  After the larger barn was struck by lightning and burned in the 1970s, the original, markedly deteriorated, gable roof on this small building was replaced by the gambrel roof so hay could be stored in it and thence it could serve as a barn.  However, it has no floor, and consequently was used mostly for hogs. According to some former residents of the area, three large stars were once displayed on the face of this barn in the area above the level of the eaves;  one wonders, however, if it was this small barn or the larger barn, which was burned, that they are recollecting.

Si2. (west of Pine River Rd.; NEĽ sec.10, T.42N.-R.3W.)   

            This hay barn, which also housed some horses in the past, is said to have been built in the mid-20th century, but perhaps as early as the 1930s.  The original owner, George Izzard, who had only one arm, is credited with having built it with the help of two American Indians. It is said that at one time its sides and ends were covered by cedar shingles;  nothing that I saw, however, seems to support the possibility that shingles ever extended any higher than they are now.  The roof is relatively new;  it was covered in stages, the last of which was during the summer of 2011. The overhanging end of this barn, a feature of several former hay barns, is where some of the pulleys, which were used to lift hay from the the wagons to the mow level, were mounted.  These roof extensions are variously called "widow's peaks, "rain hoods," etc.

Si3. (south of Rte. 123; NEĽ sec.11, T.41N.-R.3W.)

            This barn, albeit rather small, was built to house cattle, workhorses, and their feed.  It is said to have been built more than 100 years ago for Joe Robinson.  The composite below the main photograph shows:  Left, a typical "Good Luck" horse shoe -- so mounted to catch the "luck."  Center.- Upper, an overall view showing the section that was added to the original barn later and another outbuilding;  Lower, a section of the front of the original barn that shows the rather uncommon use of short, relatively narrow pieces of timber as chinking between the larger "logs."  Right, two views that show part of an old saw (top) and two old whippletrees and parts of some old rein (bottom) that are hung on the inside walls of this barn.  Pieces of tools, "old" equipment, etc. are similarly "exhibited"  in several of the old barns in Mackinac County.

Si4. (north of St. Ignace Rd.; SEĽ sec.1, T.42N.-R.3W.)

            This barn, formerly used chiefly to house Hereford steers, was built in the late 1930s or early 1940s for Howard Simmons.  The "post" to the left of the barn supports the track for the door.  The plywood siding was added relatively recently to keep the barn and to help preserve it.  One of the beams in this barn is a spruce trunk that still has its bark on it.  

            The inset shows the former residence of the Simmons family.  Is is said to have been built in the late 1800s or early 1900s in the Simmons Settlement, which is about a mile and a half to the northeast.  Horses pulled it, using log rollers, to this location in 1936. The move, which took five days, cost one hundred dollars ($100).  Mrs. Simmons is quoted as saying that they lived in the house and that she never missed preparing a single meal in it during the move.  The beams and rafters of this house appear to be tamarack.  The shingles were added after the move.

            Both buildings are now being used for storage.