2018 Barn Tour

Old Barns—New Lives . . . a look at working barns

Our 2018 barn tour, held on May 4 in conjunction with the MBPN Annual Conference in St. Johns, featured six working barns at locations in Clinton and Ionia counties.

A full busload of Michigan Barn Preservation Network members and friends enjoyed the comfortable ride and camaraderie all along the way.

The discussion with the owners at each site provided lots of information about fixing up barns and solving problems.

Here are brief descriptions of the stops on the tour:

Thelen Barn

Lee Thelen added fertilizer and machinery storage while maintaining a traditional look for his farmstead. Another barn, a new gambrel barn, replicates the traditional look and access for fertilizer storage. More.

Klein Barn    

See our June calendar barn in person.  This barn, built in 1946 to replace a barn destroyed by fire, used lumber cut from the farm’s woodlot. The barn was raised in the traditional manner.


Pat Feldpausch Farms

Pat Feldpausch added new siding and windows to an existing barn to build a bird proof parts storage for this 3,000-acre farm. The cost of the rebuild was about the same as a new pole structure, but the results are a piece of “eye candy” for the entire neighborhood.


Irrer Barn    

The barn at the home of MBPN Treasurer Tom Irrer has a 25 foot-high door and is used to store dry fertilizer for this mint farm. The mint production process was explained during the tour.


Old Red Mill Pavilion

This historic structure began life as a cooperative grain elevator and was restored for a community farmers’ market.  Adjoining this a new timber frame pavilion built in 2015 with volunteers of the Timber Framers Guild was needed as the market outgrew the original space. More.

The Spitzley Barn

The Spitzley barn is dedicated to the gathering of family and friends and served as our lunch stop.  Antiques abound in this barn. More.