Saturday, October 17, 2015

barn crazy..

today i met the owner (Gail & husband, Mark) of the Humphrey farm and got the grand tour of the barn and house.  it was incredible.  they are working to restore the barn to how it was originally when it was built almost a hundred years ago.  the house was passed down from generation to generation with very little done in improvements and modernization.  some of the original furniture is still there, all of the original light fixtures.  it is just amazing.

this (left) was the homestead of the original owners who gave the property to the Humphrey family.  Gail and Mark hope to have the building put on a concrete pad to preserve it, and then rebuilt exactly as it is, board for board, log for log.

the barn, seen here in a picture taken the year it was built, will also be restored.  it was built by hand in 1917, with teams of horses, and in the summer housed the horses that her great-great grandfather used when he logged in the winter.  rather than have the floor just raw dirt, they put a wood floor in it to keep the horses off the dirt.  the second floor was where they kept all the hay that they grew on the property to feed the horses.  several years ago when they started to clean out the barn, they threw all the hay that had been in the upper floor out.  there was so much that when they finally finished getting it all out of the barn, they were able to walk out the upper loft doors.

the window that i took a picture of a few weeks ago that had the porcelain coated bowl in it was the room where the stable master slept.  you can see it to the left of the doorway in the picture.  they have been told that the entire property, barn and house, are eligible to be listed in a historic registry because there has been very few changes to either building since they were first built.

and i will apologize here for the poor quality of the pictures.  i was using my tablet to take them and did not realize that the focusing capabilities were not as good as my cell phone.
 these are the original stalls and wood flooring.  the extra wide stalls were for teams, and across the barn were single stalls, and one with a split door for mares with foals.  there is a tack room, but most of the time the tack for each horse/team was hung on the wooden posts at the entrance to each stall. 

 this was a double stall with the original feed trough.  hay would be dropped from trap doors in the ceiling at each end of the barn, and put into the trough with pitch forks.  the windows were small because they felt that it would help to keep the barn warmer in the winter months. 
 the original stairs to the upper hay loft
 the hay loft was just one big room.  the rope hanging from the bar across the ceiling was part of the large fork and pulley system that lifted the hay from the outside and brought it up to the loft.  the structure at the far end was used to put over the trap doors when the hay in the loft was very deep so that they could continue to toss it down to the horses.
 the tack room
 some of the original tools and equipment.  Gail and Mark will be restoring the barn as a museum of how it originally was when settlers and loggers came to the Upper Peninsula to homestead.

tomorrow ... a house tour back in time ...

1 comment:

  1. What a huge, and wonderful, project. I so hope they are able to complete it.


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