Barn of the Year for Continuing Agricultural Use – Family
Labor of Love:
DIY projects give new life to family barn
Maintaining and repairing the barn and other farmstead buildings on their property has been an ongoing priority for Virginia and Allan Langenderfer, who acquired the MacKenzie Farm in 1994.
In addition to the early 1900s 26 x 48 gambrel-roofed barn with attached lean-to, the farmstead includes a granary, corn crib, windmill and farmhouse. Those were the structures spared by the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado that destroyed an additional similar barn, chicken coop and silo.
Now into the fourth generation, the MacKenzie Farm in Adrian, MI has been in Virginia’s family since 1927. The landscape is still graced by the well-preserved iconic red barn with white trim. Displayed inside are nostalgic farm artifacts commemorating family heritage.
Over the past 20 years all of the restorations have been Do-It-Yourself projects:
- Virginia and Allan put new stonework on the concrete foundation.
- They purchased new barn siding, primed and painted every board, then nailed over the original siding.
- They reroofed the lean-to section of the barn, the granary and corn crib as the need arose.
- Inside the barn, they built new steps to access the lofts and converted the old horse stalls for other uses.
The former horse barn area now serves as a tool room, machinery storage area and workshop. The barn also has an event room for family gatherings.
More vintage farm items displayed in stairway and family event room .
“All our projects of the barn, home and other buildings have been a true labor of love,” says Virginia. “We realize how important this barn and farm has been to all our generations, and we plan to continue to maintain them to preserve our awesome heritage. Our family is truly blessed.”
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