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Treasures by the roadside: a look at Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula using the Michigan Rural Property Inventory.


The Michigan Rural Property Inventory (MRPI) is used to profile the Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. The value of the MRPI in establishing baseline information on vernacular architecture is illustrated and used to document the nature of Northwest Michigan farms as they existed in the I 930--approximately half way through their current existence on the landscape. This information is useful in suggesting the general land use practices relating to rural life in northwest Lower Michigan during the Great Depression. Profiles such as these are extremely helpful in documenting the nature and extent of land use change in the rural Michigan landscape over time.


In recent years, the conversion of farmland to other uses in Michigan has caused many planning professionals and academicians to examine ways to measure the rate of urban sprawl and the impact that it is having on natural and social systems in an area. Among the strategies to assess change are the establishment of time-sequenced baselines that allow the researcher to examine contemporary forces of change and their cumulative impact on the landscape in incremental steps. To effectively use this strategy, reliable and valid baseline information that helps to profile the nature and magnitude of change over time is critical.

In Michigan, a valuable secondary resource called the Michigan Rural Property Inventory (MRPJ) provides important baseline information on the rural Michigan landscape of the 1930s. The MRPI is housed at the State of Michigan Archive, Lansing, Michigan. The authors used this resource to determine the types of land use, land cover, acreage, and vernacular architecture that marked eleven Centennial Farms on the Old Mission Peninsula, Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, ML. The purpose of this profiling was to determine the usefulness of the inventory in creating a general picture of the northwest lower Michigan rural landscape during the Great Depression. Because all of the Centennial Farms in this township were established in the period from 1860 to the 1880s, the information in the MRPI provided a descriptive profile at approximately the halfway point in the farms' existence. Thus, this information, when combined with data from contemporary field surveys and personal interviews of family members, allows researchers to assemble a picture of change over time affecting rural landscapes in northwest lower Michigan. It also provides a reasonable description of the general conditions that marked farms during the Great Depression. While this information does not explain current trends in land use change, it provides a useful baseline from which one can profile the types of natural and technological changes having the greatest effect on present day farms since 1939 when the inventory was taken.


The State of Michigan has recognized farms that have been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years in its Centennial Farm Program (Bureau of History 1989). Since 1948, over 5000 farms have applied for, and have been certified as, Centennial Farms. The Bureau of History in the Michigan Department of State processes applications for the program. Requirements for Centennial Farm status are fourfold: (1) the farm must be a working farm; (2) it must have a minimum of ten acres; (3) ownership must be in the same family for more than 100 years; and (4) the relationship of the current owner to the owner 100 years earlier must be clear and definitive (Bureau of History 1989).

The authors selected the Centennial Farms to evaluate the usefulness of the MRPI in profiling rural property because the farms represented ownership within a single family over a long period of time. The selection strategy assumes that management of the land resource and the structures constructed for human occupancy would be similar through the generations. Therefore, the degree and intensity of change that would be likely to occur when new ownership is assumed on a farm were minimized. Our field survey work supported this assumption to a high degree, although some changes were inevitable based on technological changes in the agricultural industry.


The authors selected the Old Mission Peninsula, Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, because, outside of Detroit and Mackinaw Island, the area was one of the earliest white European settlements in Michigan. Occupied by Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Ottawas (Hinsdale 1881, 1895), the first white settlers were two Presbyterian ministers, Reverend Peter Dougherty and Reverend Smith. These individuals were sent by United States Indian Agent H. R. Schoolcraft in 1839. The ministers selected an area served by a natural harbor on the northeast end of the Peninsula. Shortly after arrival, they were joined by a contingent of artisans (i.e., a carpenter, farmer, and cooper) as part of the reparation to educate the Indians in skills valued by white settlers. According to historical accounts (Leach 1883; Inglis 1898; Smith and Sprague 1903; Barnes 1959), the small community flourished around the harbor until the Treaty of 1835 forced the Indians to rescind their allegiance to their tribe or move to a reservation on the Leelanau Peninsula, which is located to the west. In 1852, Reverend Dougherty moved the mission to the reservation location near Omena, Michigan, in an area now known as Peshabetown. He called the new site "New Mission," leaving the original site known as "Old Mission."

Thus, the peninsula of land that bisects Grand Traverse Bay became known as the Old Mission Peninsula.

With the departure of the Native Americans, the Peninsula was officially opened to federal land sales in 1859, although earlier land surveyor notes show that a considerable number of squatters occupied land in the 1840s-1850s (General Land Office 1816-1856). Once federal land sales began, claims to land on the Old Mission Peninsula quickly took place. By 1881, many of the original homesteaders of the Centennial Farms were well established on the Peninsula (See Figure 1). While land sale and acquisition occurred among owners of the Centennial Farms over time (Table 1), virtually all of the original homesteads remain intact. Today, this represents five generations of occupancy by the same family on these farmsteads.


In 1935, the State of Michigan embarked on a state-wide, property tax equalization effort. Using the skill of unemployed surveyors and civil engineers, the Michigan State Tax Commission initiated an effort to survey the entire State of Michigan, excluding incorporated cities and Wayne County, which already had a unified property tax system in place. This was part of a federally funded Works Progress Administration (WPA) program called Michigan WPA Project S-154 (Michigan State Tax Commission 1936). The product was the Michigan Rural Property Inventory (MRPI). It included "acreage property in the respective townships as well as corrected maps of recorded village plats and other subdivision." Because of the effort, Michigan had the unique distinction of being the first state with a uniform property assessment (Michigan State Tax Commission 1938, 1940, 1942).

Three distinct products resulted. They included a set of Michigan Rural Property Inventory (MRPI) cards for each property in a township. These double-sided cards included a legal description of each property, including information on school district, name of the property owner, distance to market, road access, farm buildings (including the footprint of the main house), land use, and land cover. Copies of the contents of the MRPI cards were transcibed into ledger books at the Michigan Department of Treasury for State Tax Commission use; this was the second product of the Inventory. The third product involved the creation of MRPI Index Maps; each map represented a political township within a county. These oilpaper maps identified individual properties within a section of land through a code letter that also was found on the respective MRPI cards for each property. (A more thorough description of the contents and accuracy of the Inventory can be found in an article in Westphal et al. 2000.)

It is believed that nearly all counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan were completed for the Inventory, and at least a few counties in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula were completed before Word War II terminated the project. However, over the years, many counties discarded their MRPI cards, and the current location of the ledger books is a mystery. Presently, the State of Michigan Archive has MRPI cards for 58 counties in Michigan. For purposes of this paper, Peninsula Township was selected because of the completeness of the MRPI index cards and the availability of the index map to locate the respective properties.


The State Bureau of History in Lansing provided copies of information on the eleven registered Centennial Farms in Peninsula Township (Bureau of History 1991). This information was cross-referenced with plat maps (Hixson 1930; Rockford Map Company 1957) for the township as to the current location of each property and its owner's name. Knowing the general location of the centennial farms from the plat maps allowed the researchers to find the approximate location of each property on the MRPI index map for the township. Once the property was located on the index map, the specific MRPI code number for the index card(s) related to each property could be identified and the proper index cards retrieved from the archive for study purposes. Some of the Centennial Farms are larger today than they were in 1939 (Table 1). Therefore, by cross-referencing the plat maps with the MRPI index map, one was able to document farmland additions that were made after the original farm property was homesteaded or purchased.

The MRPI was conducted in Grand Traverse County in 1939. Therefore, data on the cards capture land use, agricultural cropping patterns, and outbuilding needs of the time. Architectural terms that were found on the cards were cross-referenced with building construction books (Day et al., 1973; Rawson 1979; Reed 1980; Noble and Clark 1997; Engler 2001). However, on occasion, some of the definitions were provided by architects, archivists, or hardware company personnel when the various sources indicated an inappropriate product for the 1930s.

A spreadsheet format was used to profile the specific qualities of each farm. The spreadsheet was organized into two main bodies of information: vernacular architecture and land use/land cover. A tabulation of each characteristic was then made on a farm-by-farm basis to produce the remaining tables found in this article.


Architectural Characteristics--Farm Houses. The predominant architectural characteristics of the Centennial Farmhouses on the Old Mission Peninsula can be found in Table 2. From this information it is clear that farmhouses like many other features of the landscape change with time. All of the farmhouses (14) were built from 1860 to 1932, but only five were built before 1900. The remainder of the homes, and the schoolhouse, were built on or after 1900. Therefore, less than 40 percent (5) of the original settlers' houses remained on the Centennial Farms list in the first half of the occupancy period (1860-1939). Out of the 14 homes built on the Centennial Farms before 1939, most were constructed for single-family use by the farm owners; only one building was used by a tenant, and the remaining building was a schoolhouse.

All of the homes were made of wood frame construction, including the floors, roofs, and load-bearing walls. Stone occurred in the foundations alone. Only the tenant house lacked a basement; otherwise, in 1939, 8 farmhouses had partial basements and 5 had full basements, including the school.

The basic roof type was a gable roof (Figure 2); however, over time it appears that additions (Table 3) to the houses resulted in hip, gable, and shed roof additions (Figure 3). The majority of farmhouses were 1.5 stories, with a smaller proportion of single- and two-story houses making up the balance. Most additions to the original farmhouses were a single story (or of lesser height than the main portion of the house). This produced roof lines on the farm homes that are more varied than the written general roof designation of the rural property inventory sheets. Farmhouses had a variable number of rooms; for the Centennial Farms under study, this characteristic ranged from 4 to 14 rooms, with the most common numbers ranging from 4 to 7 rooms.

The building materials of farmhouses were not so variable. Seven of the 14 farmhouses had foundations of stone exclusively, while 4 had foundations made exclusively of concrete. Only one house had stone block; the remaining houses were a combination of stone and concrete. Twelve of 14 houses had wood (clapboard) siding on their exterior walls, while 2 other homes had finished lumber or a combination of stone (Figure 4) and pattern shingles on their exterior walls. Roofs were more variable in building materials. Six houses had pattern shingles on their roof, while 4 houses had wood shingles. An additional 4 houses used roll shingles--2 of these in conjunction with pattern shingles. The material appears to be a 3-foot wide composition shingle that was packaged in a roll. Only a single house had composition shingles made of asphalt impregnated felt with a colored granule surface. The interior walls of the majority of centennial farmhouses tended to be pine planks (8 of 14), while only one house had hardwood plan ks. The other houses were finished in plasterboard, with only 2 having wallboard present. The interior walls of the schoolhouse were unrecorded. All the farm homes had wood floors, with half having a combination of pine and hardwoods, and the remaining having one or the other wood material exclusively.

In 1939, 11 out of 14 Centennial Farmhouses had porches. The majority of houses had 2 porches, while one farmhouse actually had 5 porches (Table 3). Of the 20 porches recorded, half were covered while the remaining half were open (uncovered). Screened-in, cut-in, or enclosed porches were not common on these farmhouses at this time.

Only one home had a unique ornamental feature--a turret--in 1939 (Figure 5), with most of the centennial farmhouses characterized by National Folk Style or Craftsman Style (Harris 1975). Garages were common on Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula in 1939 (Table 4). However, only one home had an attached garage (excluding the school house and tenant house). This attached garage was located at the back of the house. Finally, structural change was common to the farmhouses of this study; nine of the farmhouses had some type of structure attached to the main part of the home. Most of these structures were classified as lean-to structures; however, two of the structures were listed as "wood sheds."

Other Vernacular Architecture. Farmstead barns were common in 1939; 10 barns were found on the 24 parcels that comprised the 11 Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula (Table 5). Five of the barns were constructed in the 1800s, while the remaining barns were constructed between 1904 and 1932. Sixty percent (n=6) of the barns had a basement. Another 60 percent had an addition or lean-to built onto the main structure. Only 2 barns had both amenities. Gable-roofed barns predominated; only three barns had a gambrel roof. Barn foundations tended to be stone and concrete; some basements had concrete floors--an indication of relative affluence for the timeframe of their construction. Again a variety of roofing materials covered each barn.

Granaries, silos, and corn storage buildings were common on the twelve parcels composing the Centennial Farms in 1939 (Table 6). Only one farmstead had a smokehouse. Hen houses were present on 5 farmsteads, but only one farm had a brooder house. A bee house (apiary) and hog house were found on only one farmstead respectively at the time. Sheds and tool sheds were common on many farms; on one farm, buildings labeled as a store, storage, and sleeping quarters were all listed together. This indicates the multi-use that some buildings served during the year. Only one farmstead listed a well house, while another listed a pump house with two water tanks. No information on the source of water for the remaining farmsteads was listed.

All of the farmstead structures have foundations listed in the MRPI in 1939. These foundations were variable, however. Of the 48 vernacular buildings listed on the 11 Centennial Farms (excluding farmhouses), most were clad with wood siding. Only 2 were clad in stone while one was sided with roll shingles. Only 8 structures had an addition placed on them.

Fencing. In 1939, only 5 of the farmsteads had fences listed (Table 7); of these, 4 were barbed and woven wire, and the fifth was simply woven wire. Wood posts were common; only one farm had steel posts at this time.

Land use practices are summarized in Table 8. Among the more important findings relating to current issues of urban sprawl are farm size and use. Surveyors and engineers who were hired to record information on the MRPI cards actually sketched the layout of farmfields, woodlots, and other features. Unfortunately, the layout of the farm buildings was not recorded.

Farm Size. Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula ranged from 5.5 acres to 80 acres in 1939, but most were small: 10 out of the 11 farms were less than 50 acres in size. Of those 10, half were less than 20 acres in size (Table 8).

Farm Use. Land use designations on the MRPJ cards divided acreage into three major categories: Class "A" Agricultural, which included cropland, farmstead, and untillable pasture; Class "D", which indicated orchards; Class "E", which designated nonagricultural uses like roads and wooded areas. An "other" category delineated wastelands, schools, and cemeteries.

Approximately 43 percent of a typical Centennial Farm on the Old Mission Peninsula was dedicated to cropland and farmstead in 1939; the acreage ranged from one to 47.5 acres. Cropland was present on nearly two-thirds of the farms.

The actual acreage dedicated to the farmhouse was difficult to discern from the MRPI cards. Only 42 percent of the individual centennial farms recorded farmstead acreage on their MRPI cards. Of these 10 parcels, the farmstead was listed as occupying from one to 3.75 acres. The average farmstead was approximately 2 acres in size. Five of the 24 parcels listed in Table 8 had untillable pastures in 1939. These pastures ranged from 3 acres to 29.5 acres.

Orchards were a part of 68 percent of the parcels composing the centennial farms in 1939. They constituted almost one-third of the average farm's acreage. Orchards ranged from 3 to 35.5 acres. Of the 11 Centennial Farms, 60 percent had orchards covering less than 15 acres. Many of the orchards were subdivided into smaller fields called "blocks."

Nonagricultural Uses. Roads were present on five on the centennial farms. They occupied between .5 acre and 3 acres of a farm. Wooded areas were found on 6 Centennial Farms in 1939; the woodlots ranged from .5 acre to 20 acres. Of the 12 wooded parcels listed on the MRPI, one third of them occupied over 10 acres. Woodlots on the centennial farms average approximately 10 percent of the farm's acreage.

Other characteristics of the Centennial Farms that shed additional perspectives on rural landscape change are setbacks and distance variables to vital institutions and/or services.

Farm home Setbacks. Highly variable distances marked the location of the far house from the road. Setbacks ranged from 9 to 400 feet. About two-thirds of the Centennial Farm houses, however, were within 100 feet of a road. Meanwhile the schoolhouse was set-back only 5.5 feet from the road in 1939; and the tenant house was 280 feet from the road.

Distance to Post Office and Farm to Market. Because the Centennial Farms are relatively even in their distribution over the 17-mile-long Old Mission Peninsula, they average approximately 8.5 miles distance to a post office. Two post offices existed that served the Peninsula in 1939. One post office was located at Old Mission and the other in Traverse City. Distance to market varied, depending upon whether the market was identified as Old Mission, Mapleton, Bowers Harbor, or Traverse City.

Distance to School. The distance that schoolchildren had to travel from their centennial farms to schoolhouses ranged from less than a mile up to three miles. The placement of elementary schools along the main highway (M-37, Center Road) was thoughtfully laid out so that no child would have more than 3 miles to walk to school (Johnson 1999).


Tables 9 and 10 provide a summary of the predominant features of the vernacular architecture comprising the Centennial Farms. As mentioned earlier, two time frames appear to mark farmhouse construction, pre- and post-1900. All of the farmhouses built pre-1900 are marked by a roof style and layout known as the National Folk style. This style is characterized by its gable roof, single room depth with a double room width, and a covered porch. Post-1900 housing styles were predominated by the Craftsman style, which was a popular movement throughout the country at that time and marked by the use of indigenous materials. Only one house (on the Pratt Centennial Farm) was there any suggestion of the influence of Victorian architecture in the form of a turret and bay window. This farm was in close proximity to the resort community of Leffingwell, where Victorian Shingle, Stick, Queen Anne, and Folk Victorian styles predominated. Therefore, in the farming community on the Old Mission Peninsula, it is believed that the predominant housing styles were National Folk and Craftsman; Victorian Styles were not common among farm families of the time. This contrasts slightly with the findings of Lau (2000).

Other characteristics of the farmhouses included wood construction, short stature (1 to 1.5 stories), and modest size (4-7 rooms prevailing). Over 60 percent lacked full basements, and all of them had wood floors. Porches, as mentioned earlier, were common and many farmhouses had more than one. No frills marked the character of the centennial farmhouse. It appears that as farm families grew, additions to the original farmhouse were common. Wood exterior siding and unattached garages round out the general characteristics of this type of farm structure.

This information is in sharp contrast to contemporary homes currently being built on the Old Mission Peninsula. Many newer residential structures are sided in brick, aluminum or vinyl siding, and nearly all of them have attached garages (Uithol 1994, 2001). The size (square footage and number of rooms) and height of the modern home also are significantly larger than their vernacular predecessors. An overall lack of style also appears to distinguish homes being built over the past twenty years from earlier house structures.

Barns and other outbuildings (Table 9) were a common part of most farms, and many were constructed of the indigenous materials of the site. All barns were constructed of wood in terms of framing and siding. Gable roof types predominated (Figure 6); however, as early as 1904, gambrel roof types began to appear on the Old Mission Peninsula (Figure 7). This was relatively early; Michigan as a whole saw this transition to gambrel roofs over a decade later. A number of authors attributed this phenomenon to the progressive nature of certain farm families in the area (Page 1884; Smith and Sprague 1903). Other outbuildings largely reflected the self-sufficiency and diversity of most farmsteads in the 1930s. Multiple cropping systems, pastureland, orchards, and woodlots marked the majority of Centennial Farms on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Both plants and animals were propagated on these farms, in stark contrast to the monoculture of fruit orchards that mark the Centennial Farms and other farms of the area today. As of 1989, not a single Centennial Farm in the township supported any livestock production; this included poultry as well as cloven-hoofed animals (Manigold 1989). Many outbuildings have been torn down, converted and/or expanded from their original use as farm machinery increases in size. These alterations can be seen in the roof line and foundation changes that marked many structures in the MRPI. Likewise, changes in the vernacular architecture of outbuildings (Figures 6 and 7) can be noted today in aerial photographs taken of the farms. The popularity of the relatively inexpensive pole barn as the modern alternative to the multi-storied wood barn or the single-storied machine shed has had a significant impact on the visual resources of the rural landscape.

Finally, the greatest changes seen in the rural landscape when considering the Centennial Farms of this study, has been the changes in farm size and land use. As mentioned earlier, the transition of land use from a diverse agricultural base to a monoculture has had an impact on all aspects of the farms' function and aesthetics. For example, fencing is no longer needed for purposes of livestock containment nor is it desired for movement of large farm implements like cherry shakers. Likewise, diversity in practices that maintain a farm operation during periods of high and low production has been lost because every farmer is raising the same crops. And because efficiencies of scale come into play as farmers begin to focus on monoculture activities, farm size begins to expand. This efficiency of scale, along with a dependence on a single crop, leads to greater economic vulnerability of the farmer. A poor growing year or an oversupply of the market can spell financial doom, and leave the farmer vulnerable to resid ential development pressures.


Michigan farms and farmland are in transition. Like most aspects of modern society, the farm is responding to changes in technology, but also to other influences (economical, societal, etc). To understand the nature and magnitude of change in the rural landscape, one needs to establish baselines based on the chronology of time. In Michigan, students of the landscape have a valuable resource that can be tapped in establishing a baseline around the period of the Great Depression (the 1930s). This baseline is called the Michigan Rural Property Inventory, and it available at the State of Michigan Archive in Lansing, MI. By selecting "socially stable" farmsteads, like Centennial Farms of an area, one can begin to develop a baseline of information on the landscape to assess change. The authors like to think about Centennial Farms as "treasures by the wayside" because they can help us document landscape modification over time in our own communities.


This article is dedicated to Walter Johnson--farmer, historian, and land steward of the Old Mission Peninsula--who was instrumental in sparking my interest in the social history of the area.

Location and Ownership, Centennial Farms of the Old Mission Peninsula
and Associated Properties

Code Township Range Owner in 1939
 and section

1a T28N R10W S18 Wilson, Margaret
1b T28N R10W S18 Wilson, Willard
2a T28N R10W S08 Gray, E.P.
2b T28N R10W S08 Gray, E. Paul & Ellen
3a T28N R10W S04 Neason, Belle
4a T29N R10W S03 Tompkins, Murry
5a T29N R10W S10 Gore, Leslie V.
5b T29N R10W S10 School Lot #3
6a T29N R10W S14 Boursaw, Garret
6b T29N R10W S14 Boursaw, James L.
7a T29N R10W S28 McManus, Harold
7b T29N R10W S28 McManus, Verle
7c T29N R10W S28 Coolidge, Fred
8a T29N R10W S34 Holman, Bernard & Ethelywn
9a T29N R10W S27 Lardie, Chas. A.
9b T29N R10W S27 Kroupa, Joseph
9c T29N R10W S27 Lardie, Oakley
9d T29N R10W S27 Lardie, Mike
10a T29N R10W S33 Hoffman, William & Irma
10b T29N R10W S33 Cemetery
11a T30N R10W S34 Pratt, Wm. R. Est.
11b T30N R10W S35 Pratt, Mary L.
11c T30N R10W S35 Pratt, Mary L.
11d T30N R10W S35 Pratt, Mary L.

Structure Characteristics of OMP Centennial Farm Houses

Code Building Year Foundation Roofing
 Use Built Material Type

1a Single H 1922 concrete pat shg gable
1b Single H 1900 concrete roll gable
2b Single H 1878 stone wd shg gable
3a Single H 1900 st/conc comp gable
4a Single H 1890 stone pat shg gable
5a Single 1929 concrete pat shg gable/sh
5b School 1910 stone pat shg gable/sh
6a Single H 1928 stone pat shg gable
6b Single H 1890 stone roll gable
8a Single H 1908 st/conc wd shg gable
9d Single H 1860 stone roll/wd shg gable/sh
10a Single H 1895 stone pat shg gable/sh
11c Single H 1904 st blk roll/pat shg gable
11d Tenant H 1932 concrete roll/wd shg gable/sh

Code Exterior Construction Basement Stories Rooms

1a st./pat. shg. wd fr full 1.5 7
1b wd. siding wd fr full 1.0 4
2b wd. siding wd fr part 2.0 14
3a wd. siding wd fr part 1.5 5
4a wd. siding wd fr full 2.0 9
5a wd. siding wd fr full 1.5 6
5b siding wd fr full 1.0 --
6a wd. siding wd fr full 1.0 4
6b wd. siding wd fr full 1.0 4
8a fin. lbr. wd fr part 1.5 8
9d wd siding wd fr part 1.0 7
10a wd sd/ab shg wd fr part 2.0 8
11c wd siding wd fr part 1.5 8
11d wd siding wd fr part 1.0 5

Code Interior Floors Garage

1a pine p1 hdw Unattached
1b wallbd pine --
2b pine pl hdw/pine Unattached
3a pine pl hdw/pine --
4a hdw pl hdw Unattached
5a pine pl hdw Attached
5b -- -- --
6a wallbd pine Unattached
6b wallbd pine Unattached
8a pine pl hdw/pine Unattached
9d plaster hdw/pine Unattached
10a plaster hdw/pine Unattached
11c pine pl hdw/pine Unattached
11d plaster hdw --

Attached Farm House Structures of OMP Centennial Farmhouses

Code Porches Sheds
 Type Qty Type Qty

1a screen-enclosed 1 -- --
1b screen-enclosed 1 shed 1
 cut-in 1 -- --
2b open 1 -- --
 covered 2 -- --
3a covered 1 lean-to 1
4a enclosed 2 -- --
 open 2 -- --
 covered 1 -- --
5a -- -- lean-to 1
5b * cut under cover 2 lean-to 3
8a covered 2 lean-to 1
9d covered 2 lean-to/wood shed 1
10a covered 2 lean-to 1
11c screen-enclosed 2 wood shed 1
 -- -- -- --
11d -- -- lean-to 1

Code Other
 Type Qty

1a -- --
1b -- --
 -- --
2b -- --
 -- --
3a -- --
4a -- --
 -- --
 -- --
5a garage 1
5b * -- --
8a -- --
9d --
10a -- --
11c bay window 1
 turret 1
11d -- --

* Schoolhouse

Unattached Farmhouse Structures of OMP Centennial Farms

Code Building Year Built Dimensions Foundation ExteriorWalls

1a Garage 1930 20x18x10 Concrete Roll
2b Garage 1914 30x16x10 Concrete Wd Siding
4a Garage 192- 41x28x18 Concrete Wd Siding
 Slp Qrts 1920 16x08x08 Wd Post Wd Siding
6a Garage 1928 38x12x08 Stone Wd Siding
6b Garage 1900 18x14x10 -- Wood
8a Garage 1912 18x18x10 Concrete Fin Lbr
9d Garage 1920 16x12x08 Wd Post Rgh Lbr
10a Garage 1918 18x12x10 Concrete Fin Lbr
11c Garage 1929 20x12x10 Concrete Wd Siding
 Ln2 1930 12x09x06 Wd Post --

Farmstead Barns of OMP Centennial Farms

Code Building Year Dimension Foundation Exterior Roof
 Type Built Walls Type

1a Gen. Barn 1885 40x--x-- Stone Rgh Lumber Gable
 Ln2 1900 40x20x08 Stone Wd Siding Shed
 Ln2 1900 40x20x08 Stone Post Rgh Lumber Shed

2b Barn 1904 60x44x28 Stone Fin Lumber Gambrel
 Ln2 1929 60x18x07 Stone Wd Siding Shed

3a Barn 1920 36x24x16 Stone Wd Siding Gable

4a Gen Barn 1892 48x34x22 Concrete Fin Lumber Gable
 Addition 1926 62x22x16 Concrete Fin Lumber Shed
 Addition 1926 14x20x07 Concrete Fin Lumber Shed

5a Barn 1930 40x30x20 Concrete Fin Lumber Gambrel

6b Barn 1890 16x14x14 Concrete Rgh Lumber Gable
 Ln2 1900 30x16x08 Concrete Rgh Lumber Shed
 Ln2 1895 14x12x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumber Shed

8a Barn 1932 38x30x22 Stone Fin Lumber Gambrel

9d Barn 1891 26x18x16 Stone Rgh Lumber Gable
 Ln2 1891 26x13x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumger Shed

10a Barn 1880 50x38x08 Stone Rgh Lumber Gable

11c Barn 1904 40x20x20 Stone Wall Rgh Lumber Gable
 Ln2 1904 28x14x08 Concrete Rgh Lumber Shed
 Ln2 1904 22x20x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumber Shed
 Ln2 1094 42xl6x08 Concrete Rgh Lumber --

Code Roofing Floors Basement Walls Floor
 Material Dimensions

1a Wood Shingle Wood -- -- --
 Roll Concrete -- -- --
 Roll Dirt -- -- --

2b Metal Wood 60x44x10 Stone Concrete
 Roll Concrete -- -- --

3a Pat Shg Wood 36x24x09 Stone Concrete

4a Pat Shg Wood 48x34x09 Concrete Concrete
 Pat Shg Wood 62x22x09 Concrete Concrete
 Pat Shg Wood 48x20x09 Concrete Concrete

5a Pat Shg Wood 40x30x08 Concrete Dirt

6b Roll Dirt -- -- --
 Roll Concrete -- -- --
 Wd Shg Dirt -- -- --

8a Roll Plank 38x30x08 Stone Concrete

9d Roll Wood -- -- --
 Roll Dirt -- -- --

10a W Shg/Met Wood 50x38x08 Stone Dirt

11c Wd Shg Rgh lbr -- -- --
 Roll Dirt -- -- --
 Wd Shg Dirt -- -- --
 -- -- -- -- --

Note: The entries appearing in italics are additions or lean-tos (Ln2).
They are attached to the structure directly above.

Farmstead Structures of OMP Centennial Farms.

Code Building Year Dimensions Foundation Exterior
 Type Built Walls

1a Gran. 1900 24x24x16 Stone Wd Siding
 Shed 1900 16x10x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
1b Shed 1900 08x06x06 Concrete Rgh Lumber
2b Silo 1904 22x10x-- Concrete Wd Siding
 Hen House 1893 35x20x07 Concrete Matched Lbr
 Brooder 1931 33x13x06 Concrete Wd Siding
 Well House 1932 12x08x07 Concrete Stone
 Hen House 1910 15x13x10 Concrete Rgh Lumber
 Bee House 1915 15x10x8 Concrete Wd Siding
3a Tool 1890 18x12x10 WdPost Rgh Lumber
 Corn 1920 --x16x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
4a Tool 1890 36x20x10 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Store 1900 30x18x18 Concrete Wd Siding
 Corn 1920 20x16x09 Tile Post Rgh Lumber
 Hen 1900 14x12x08 Concrete Wd Siding
 Smoke 1890 08x06x04 Stone Stone Wall
 Storage 1892 36x18x14 Stone Pier Fin Lumber
5a Hog House 1930 10x10x06 Wd Post Wd Siding
 Shed 1925 20x20x08 Concrete Wd Siding
 Silo 1930 30x10x-- Concrete Fin Lumber
6b Hen House 1890 18x10x05 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Corn-Tool 1890 16x14x12 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Granary 1900 l2xl2x10 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
7b Shed 1920 20x08x09 Stone Post Fin Lumber
8a Granary 1900 16x12x10 -- --
 Hen House 1935 14x12x08 Concrete --
9d Shed 1907 20xl4x-- Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Ln2 1907 20x12x06 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Ln2 1907 20x10x06 Stone Rgh Lumber
 Corn 1900 16x04x08 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Shed 1900 06x06x06 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
10a Granary 1880 16xl4x10 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Ln2 1938 14x09x07 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Hen House 1928 14x12x06 Concrete Roll
11c Pump House 1930 10x06x08 Concrete Wd Siding
 Corn Crib 1910 24x04x06 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Shed 1910 12x07x04 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Shed 1910 08x06x06 Wd Post Rgh Lumber
 Hen House 1920 08x06x06 Wd Post Wd Siding
 Hen House 1930 21x10x05 Concrete Wd Siding
 Hen House 1925 10x08x08 Concrete Rgh Lumber
 Water Tank 1935 6' diamater Concrete Steel
 Water Tank 1935 6' diamater Concrete Rgh Lumber

Note: The entries in italics are additions or lean-tos.

Construction of Farmstead Fences of OMP Centennial Farms

Code Type Posts Condition in 1995

2b Woven wire Wood Fair
 Barbed and Woven Wire Wood Poor
4a Barbed and Woven Wire Wood Fair
8a Barbed and Woven Wire Wood Stud Fair
10a Barbed and Woven Wire Wood Fair
10b Woven Wire Steel Good

Land Use Inventory of OMP Centennial Farm Parcels

Code Class "A" Agricultural

 Cropland and Farmstead Untillable
 Total Crops (a) Farmstead (a) Pasture

 1a 14 11.7 2.3 --
 1b 1 -- 1.0 --
 2a 5 5 -- 29.5
 2b 22.5 19.3 3.2 3
 3a 12.5 11 1.5 11.5
 4a 16.5 12.75 3.75 --
 5a 2 -- 2 --
 5b -- -- -- --
 6a 13 11 2 11
 6b -- -- -- --
 7a 9.5 9.5 -- --
 7b 1.5 15 -- --
 7c 25 25 -- --
 8a 16.5 15.56 .94 8
 9a 8 8 -- --
 9b 7.5 7.5 -- --
 9c -- -- -- --
 9d 2 .5 1.5 --
 10a 47.5 45.7 1.8 --
 10b -- -- -- --
 11a 21 21 -- --
 11b -- -- -- --
 11c -- -- -- --
 11d -- -- -- --

Code Class "D" Class E
 Orchard Road Wooded Other Total

 1a 16.5 1 8.5 -- 40
 1b 3 1 3 -- 8
 2a -- -- 5 .5 (1) 40
 2b 35.5 3 16 -- 80
 3a 10.5 -- 6 -- 40.5
 4a 23.5 3 7 -- 50
 5a 34.5 1 7 -- 44.5
 5b -- -- -- 1 (2) 1
 6a 27 .5 11 -- 62.5
 6b 4.5 -- 1 -- 5.5
 7a 7.5 -- .5 -- 17.5
 7b 3.5 .5 -- -- 19
 7c -- -- 20 -- 45
 8a 14 1.5 -- -- 40
 9a -- -- -- -- 8
 9b -- -- -- -- 7.5
 9c 7.5 -- -- -- 7.5
 9d 7.5 .5 -- -- 10
 10a 11.5 1 19.5 -- 79.5
 10b -- -- -- 1 (3) 1
 11a 19 -- -- -- 40
 11b -- -- -- -- 3.46
 11c -- -- -- -- 10.9
 11d -- -- -- -- --

(a)These acreage estimates are made by the author


(2)School lot


Construction Characteristics of Centennial Farmhouses of the Old Mission


wood 100.0%


gable 69.2%
gable/shed 30.8%


one 46.2%
one and one-half 30.8%
two 23%


eight 23%
seven 15.4%
six 15.4%
five 15.4%
four 15.4%
fourteen 7.7%
nine 7.7%


wood siding 76.9%
wood siding/asbestos
 shingle 7.7%
finished lumber 7.7%
 shingle 7.7%

Roofing Shingles

patterned 38.4%
roll 15.4%
wood 15.4%
wood/roll 15.4%
composition 7.7%
roll/patterned 7.7%

Interior Walls

pine planks 53.8%
plaster 23.1%
wallboard 15.4%
hardwood planks 7.7%

Unique Features

bay window 1 7.7%
turret 1 7.7%
none 92.3%


present 61.5%
none 38.5%

Addition Types

lean-to 66.7%
wood shed 11.1%
shed 11.1%
lean-to/wood shed 11.1%


unattached 69.2%
attached 7.7%
none 23.1%


concrete 75.0%


partial 53.8%
full 38.5%
none 7.7%

Building Materials

stone 46.2%
concrete 30.7%
stone/concrete 15.4%
stone block 7.7%


pine/hardwood 53.8%
hardwood 30.8%
pine 15.4%


two 38.4%
zero 30.8%
one 15.4%
five 7.7%
three 7.7%

Porch Types

covered 50.0%
screened-in 20.0%
open 15.0%
enclosed 10.0%
cut-in 5.0%
stone 12.5%
wood post 12.5%


wood siding 44.4%
finished lumber 22.2%
rough lumber 11.1%
wood 11.1%
roll shingles 11.1%

(1)These features were on the same farmhouse

Barn and Farmstead Structure Characteristics of OMP Centennial Farms

Farm/Barn Ration

present 83.3%
none 16.7%

Barn Foundations

stone 60.0%
concrete 30.0%
stone wall 10.0%

Barn Walls

rough lumber 50.0%
wood siding 10.0%
finished lumber 40.0%

Barn Roof Types

gable 70.0%
gambrel 30.0%

Barn Roof Shingles

wood 20.0%
roll 30.0%
patterned 30.0%
metal 10.0%
wood/metal 10.0%

Addition Walls

rough lumber 63.6%
wood siding 18.2%
finished lumber 18.2%

Addition Roofs

shed 91.0%
not recorded 9.0%

Addition Shingles

wood 18.2%
roll 54.6%
patterned 18.2%

Addition Floors

wood 18.2%
concrete 27.3%
dirt 45.5%
not recorded 9.0%

Barn Basements

present 60.0%
none 40.0%

Farm/Structure Ratio

bee house 2.6%
tool shed 25%
corn storage 41.6%
storage 2.6%
smoke house 2.6%
pump house 2.6%
hog house 2.6%
storage 2.6%

Structure Foundations

stone 5.3%
stone pier 2.6%
stone post 5.3%
tile post 2.6%
wood post 39.5%
concrete 42.1%
not recorded 2.6%

Structure Walls

rough lumber 44.7%
wood siding 31.6%
finished lumber 8.0%
matched lumber 2.6%

Barn Floors

wood 70.0%
rough lumber 10.0%
dirt 10.0%
plank 10.0%

Barn Additions

present 60.0%
none 40.0%

Addition Foundations

stone 18.2%
stone post 9.0%
concrete 45.5%
wood post 27.3%

Basement Walls

concrete 50.0%
dirt 50.0%

Basement Floors

concrete 75.0%
dirt 25.0%

Farm/Structure Ratio

granary 33.3%
shed 50.0%
silo 16.7%
hen house 50.0%
brooder house 2.6%
well house 2.6%
stone 2.6%
stone wall 2.6%
roll 2.6%
not recorded 5.3%

Structure Additions

present 5.3%
none 94.7%

Addition Foundations

stone 33.3%
wood post 66.7%

Addition Walls

rough lumber 100.0%


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Author:Bauman, Grant; Westphal, Joanne M.
Publication:Michigan Academician
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Jun 22, 2002
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