Barn Tours

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.

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 and barn owners who have solved these problems.

In keeping with the theme of the 2019 MBPN Conference, this year’s spring barn tour will focus on Act III – Finding Resolutions for Valued Structures. We will visit an array of Ann Arbor-barns that have been or hopefully will be repaired / restored / reused, some for agricultural use and some for uses that were not envisioned by the original builder.

Spring Barn Tour – Washtenaw County

Date: Friday, May 31, 2019

Time: Bus will leave the hotel at 8:30 am and return by 5:30 pm.

Location: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ann Arbor West
323 North Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

The barns selected are on the west side of Ann Arbor, a short ride from the hotel. Lunch will be catered by Last Bite.

Tour Cost: Members: $80; Non-Members $100. To register, click here.

Accommodations: A block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express are being held for the conference event. Reservations: 888.233.9450; Front Desk 734.827.1100.

Join us for an informative and fun day in some of the area’s oldest and most special barns.

At this year’s conference, we will be slicing and dicing what we can learn from these old structures as we discuss their plight and what WE can do for their preservation.

All of the barns on the tour, including Cox Barn shown above, are old timber framed structures that date back to the early-to-mid 1800s when this part of Michigan was being settled. Some have been restored, others are being planned for future use and some are just holding on.

Recap – 2018 Spring Barn Tour   

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

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

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.