Poor Farm Barn Event

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Saturday, May 27, 2023
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Poor Farm Barn Event

On Saturday, May 27 the community is invited to a free event to celebrate the rehabilitation of the Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn. The event is being held to honor the dedicated community of contractors, volunteers, and community partners who worked tirelessly to preserve this historic structure. LCHP encourages the community to attend this family-friendly event to participate in exploring the Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn and gardens. 

This is a unique opportunity to learn from those in the field of historic preservation about the four treatments—preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction of historic structures. Attendees will learn about the unique structural details of this county icon, most notably that it was designed by renowned Traverse City and California architect Jens C. Petersen. 

Guests will have an opportunity to ask questions about the ins and outs of historic preservation and meet the tradespeople who did the work. They will also meet experts who do the important work of archiving our unique historical and cultural records. Other highlights will include demonstrations of traditional farming methods as draft horses make their way around the property. In addition, partner organizations will showcase their own historic preservation efforts. One of these partners, the Leelanau Historical Society, will bring its newly donated Model-A which will be on view and available for photo opportunities. 

The all-ages event is free and open to the public. The event will be held on Saturday, May 27 from 11 am to 3 pm, (the rain date is Sunday, May 28) on the grounds of the Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn, located on County Road 616 in the Myles Kimmerly Recreation Area. Water and lemonade will be available, and participants are welcome to bring lawn chairs and a picnic lunch to enjoy the festive afternoon. There will be picnic tables set up on the lawn overlooking the gardens. 

LCHP board president, Stephen Stier states, “The Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn has stood for over 120 years as a testament to the dedication of this caring community. From the County Supervisors who planned for it to the farm managers who ran the County Poor Farm (later called the County Farm), to the neighboring farmers who helped sustain it, its presence is a reminder to all of us of Leelanau County's history and a symbol of our community's resilience. Join us on May 27 to celebrate the rehabilitation of this unique structure and the perseverance of the dedicated community who worked tirelessly to preserve it. We hope to see you there!” 

About the Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society: The Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society (LCHPS) is a nonprofit community and educational organization whose purpose is to facilitate the preservation and rehabilitation of historic structures in Leelanau County, Michigan. Decisions to recommend preservation consider the structure’s importance to Leelanau County history and culture, along with community well-being, civic identity, and sustainability. 

Potential uses for the barn will be educational, and designed to benefit the residents of Leelanau County. These uses should also be in keeping with the park-like setting of the County Poor Farm encompassed within the Myles Kimmerly Recreation Area of Leelanau County. 

Learn more at www.LCHP.org

Myles Kimmerly Recreation Area