James Schettek, grandson of the barn builder, stands next to the complete cupola

Ball Grant Furthers Preservation Work on the Barn

The Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society is pleased to announce that we have received a generous grant from the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation in 2021.  The Ball family’s commitment to making a difference in the nonprofit world, in this case Leelanau County, which they consider a second home, will have a significant architectural effect on the appearance of the County Poor Farm Barn in Myles Kimmerly Park.  The funding will directly support the restoration of specific architectural elements.

This Ball Foundation grant enables the Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society to replicate two of the original features of the County Poor Farm Barn which have been missing for more than sixty years:  the unique cupola, and the shed roof that was on the west side of the barn, both part of the original design by Traverse City architect Jens C. Petersen.  These elements will complement the now rehabilitated barn, giving it more visibility for the interpretation of their original functions.  The barn is unique because it was designed by an architect, whereas most barns were constructed by barn builders without architectural plans. 

The Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn, the only remaining structure of the poor farm, is the iconic symbol of an era of caring by giving a home and purpose to the more destitute of the county.  We are looking forward to their installation in 2022 and will celebrate with an annual fundraising event.  Please join our mailing list to stay apprised of upcoming events, by visiting our website: www.lchp.org.

As we enter 2022 we are thankful for the continuing support of our donors, especially during these difficult times.  If you wish to contribute to our ongoing fundraising efforts, please contact Barbara Siepker ([email protected], 231-334-4395) or donate on our website.