First barn-raising in county in 50 years taking place near Manchester Saturday
Lisa Carolin | for AnnArbor.com
The location is on 20 acres of property owned by the Breretons that they call "Soaring Hill." In 2009, they built a small rustic log cabin using dead ash trees that they salvaged from the property. They don't live there, but enjoy visiting the woods, fields and river (Raisin.)
"We wanted a small barn to store our canoes and the equipment that accumulates such as a mower and tools," said Pamela Brereton.
The Breretons expect about 20 people at the barn-raising July 21, some of whom have building skills, and a few with specific timber framing skills.
"This area is rich with beautiful old timber frame barns from the late 1800s to mid-1900s, but they are disappearing fast," said Pamela Brereton. "We want to build something that has the aesthetic appeal of the old barns, and we feel strongly that the old skills like timber framing are worth preserving."
The Breretons plan to include two old rituals at the barn raising: They will place a 2012 coin under the first post erected, and they will cut a small evergreen from their property and tie it to the peak of the barn roof at the end of the day.
The last barn-raising to occur in Washtenaw County took place 50 years ago west of Manchester on the west side of Lamb Road, north of Austin Road . The Breretons say that one of the main reasons that it's been so long is that people don't build timber frame barns anymore, and that pole barns and basic frame construction barns are simpler to build and don't require a gathering of people.