Barn Tours – A MBPN Tradition
Want to travel the countryside and see Michigan barns up close? Join up with the Michigan Barn Preservation Network for a day of touring with fellow barn enthusiasts and visit with owners at the featured sites.
You’ll learn about barn styles and architecture, timber framing and other traditional construction methods as we explore the current use of old barns and the potential for saving or repurposing old structures.
And if you are wondering how to fix up your barn, you can get plenty of ideas on our barn tours. Many old barns have the same problem areas and you can talk to builders, preservationists and barn owners who have solved these problems.
MBPN membership gives you priority registration for barn bus tours.
2022 BARN TOUR
A Visit to the “Other Up North”
Alpena was the starting point for our all-day bus barn and fall color tour on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022 in Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle counties bordering Lake Huron on the east side of northern Michigan.
The itinerary featured seven barns representing different styles and examples of historical preservation for either agricultural or adaptive uses. Highlights included stops at AJ’s Berry Farm, the Elowsky Grist Mill, Somers Centennial Farm and Purple Wild Goat Farm (pictured below).
- AJ’s Berry Farm, 15 miles west of Alpena on M-32, is a popular U-pick site and pre-picked farm market for seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as maple syrup, jams and baked goods. Autumn activities include the corn maze, pumpkin launch and hayrides.
- Elowsky Grist Mill, just south of Posen in Presque Isle County, is on the property of Hemlock Hills at Mill Pond event venue. Inside, you’ll see 150 years of grist milling history, with generations of equipment used to convert the grain grown on local farmland into flour.
- Somers Barn has a striking fieldstone silo and barn foundation that supports a typical timber frame barn. An abundance of nearby fieldstone has resulted in many impressive structures in the area. This Michigan Centennial Farm is a showplace on the Alcona County Quilt Barn Trail.
- Purple Wild Farm, also in Alcona County, has a round-roof barn. It is owned by Barb Halazon and Marge Coppone, who raise Nubian goats and Highland cattle. Roger Bateson of MJ’s Complete Barn Service will describe his repair work on the roof and how they saved this barn.
See all seven barns on 2022 Tour.
2021 – Hadley Farm Hop (Self-driving tour on Sept. 25 hosted by Hadley Historical Society)
2020 and Beyond – Fall Color Tour in Michigan’s Thumb (This anytime, self-driving tour with the Map-N-Tour app as your guide features 12 rural sites — working, quilt and art barns as well as museums and a farmers market. Get the Map-N-Tour app free from Google Play or the App Store.)
2019 – Spring Barn Tour in Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor-based bus tour)
2018 – Spring Barn Tour in Mid-Michigan (Bus tour in Clinton and Ionia Counties)