HISTORIC MICHIGAN: The Thumb Octagon Barn
While traveling thru Michigan’s thumb, it’s possible you may have already come across this historic structure…but then again, maybe you haven’t.
The Thumb Octagon Barn was the creation of banker James Purdy. In the early 1900’s he was traveling thru Iowa and happened across an octagonal barn; this really impressed him and soon his idea to build his own octagon barn became a reality.
Years later, in 1942, James and his wife Cora Purdy sold the farm and moved to Gagetown, just a few miles away. Over the years, different owners came and went with some of them selling chunks of the original 560 acres of land.
By 1991, the farm buildings – including the barn – were deteriorating. With the DNR threatening to tear the barn down, the local residents came to the rescue. They discovered the barn had been registered in 1977 on the Michigan State Registry of Historic Sites. In 1994, they began holding events to raise money to save the structure.
Over a period of years, they raised money, endured excruciating legal processes, and worked hard to maintain the barn and the land. They not only succeeded, but the barn is now open for all to come and enjoy; many antiques, old farm implements and artifacts adorn the inside and outside.
You can read more history about this classic piece of Michigania and learn about upcoming events on their web page by CLICKING HERE.
A Michigan Thumb roadtrip would not be complete without visiting this historic structure. Check out the pictures below, click the above link to their website, and learn more about it before you do. It'll make your visit more meaningful.
The address is 6948 Richie Road, a little more than 2 miles northeast of Gagetown.