Tim Wiles, Steve Stier, and Jay Fitzgerald represented the Friends of Highland Recreation Area at the Ellis Barn Festival yesterday at the Oakland County Fairgrounds. Oakland County and the Michigan Barn Preservation Network put on the Ellis Barn Festival in Springfield Oaks. Jay Fitzgerald of the FOHRA gave a presentation about the Highland Recreation Area, it's historical structures, wonderful flora and fauna, and of course the status of the Edsel Ford Barn. One of the FOHRA traveling table displays was set up at the Festival with photos, information, and a DVD player showing a short video of the history of Haven Hill that was created by Chris Arble, also a member of the FOHRA.
Above: Jay Fitzgerald at the FOHRA's display inside the Ellis Barn.
The 14,000 square foot Ellis Barn was constructed in 1884 in Clarkston and features a gambrel roof (a gambrel is a two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle while the lower slope is quite steep). The barn's original property and the structure were purchased by a real estate investment firm owned by major league baseball player's Kirk Gibson and Tim Birtsas. They realized the historical value of the barn and donated it to Oakland County along with $75,000 to towards it's relocation and reconstruction.
The barn was disassembled and moved to it's present location on the fairgrounds in Springfield Oaks, Michigan in 2005 - 2006.
Above, the awesome interior of the Ellis Barn.
The FOHRA presentation and display were well received by the attendees. Literature from the FOHRA and the Michigan DNR were distributed, and several new email contacts from interested attendees were received. Go FOHRA!