Farmington Barn gets a haircut! A haycut? A loftcut?

Our barn is on the move! Well, almost. Here are some progress shots taken today (Tuesday, August 21). The addition on the side of the barn, which is not historic – gone, although we’re saving the pieces for use in reassembling the barn.

The hayloft is off and we’re on our way! The original plan was to “flake” the barn – take it apart in sections, but our contractor, Mark Stitt, has vetoed that plan and is taking it apart piece by piece.

Watch this space for more updates!


As of 8-21-18, 6:00 PM
As of 8-21-18 6:00 PM

Farmington Barn update: We’ve got a contractor!

Yesterday, OCPHS contracted with Stitt Barn Preservation in Hesperia, Michigan to disassemble the barn. The barn will not be fully disassembled – it will be cut into sections for transport and storage.

Stitt is a family business,with a long record of preserving, repairing and moving barns. Check them out on Facebook or Instagram to see their work. I met with Mark Stitt at the barn, we discussed our options, and at lunch we came to an agreement that he’d handle the work.

Mark intends to begin work the week of August 16th, and have the barn at Pine Grove about a week later. We contracted with Stitt to move the barn for $20,000, due to them in 3 payments.

This makes our fundraising effort really important: We’ve got to raise this money, folks, and we have a long way to go before the barn can be re-erected at Pine Grove. There’s just no way to get the barn back up this year. The cost to re-raise the barn, put on a new roof and repair the interior damage (some due to water, some due to age) is well beyond our capability for 2018.

But based on seeing Mark’s work – both in person at the barn in Leonard and online – it’s going to be a great addition to Pine Grove when it’s done.

Please do what you can to help us raise the funds to pay for this great addition to Pine Grove!

The 2017 Ice Cream Social was a complete disaster!


…if you missed it!



Because it was a spectacular day. The weather could not have been better. The cakes could not have been more tasty. The hot dogs were…hot dogs (what can we say?).

We had a great turnout, with a great crowd – no drunken brawls, no picnic area tables flipped in anger (that’s a first), our porch talks went off without a hitch – great attendance at our schoolhouse events, I could go on.



And I will!

Our crafters were great doing crafty things, the historical societies did historic things, people tried on weird clothes. Lots of kids enjoyed Legoland and our old toy collection, along with the other kid stuff. Ron Finch seemed like he had a good time, and our car show participants hung out on the lawn with some really outstanding cars (15 in total – that’s probably about the right number). The Curiosity Sale was a big, big success and so were the band and singers.

And we cannot thank the Daughters of the American Revolution enough for their absolutely delicious cake and ice cream.


(Look for more photos to appear here just as soon as I can get my hands on them.)


And now to thank those that made it happen…

Rodger led the team with alacrity, wit and ease while Linda found us our awesome sponsors. Barbara did all her…Barbara things (without which we’d look pretty bad in about 16 different ways), and Charlotte kept us focused and DAR’d us to death (never a bad thing).

Kari and Rob handled the food (well, not like handled it), Sara kept our crafters in good shape while Kathy made the mansion shine.

Dave tried to keep the car show folks from pulling hole shots on the lawn, John kept the crowd from running into each other in the parking area, and Fred tried to sell the carriage house at least twice in the Curiosity Sale. Eddie helped with that, thanks Eddie!

Barb Hudalla had the gift shop looking absolutely spiffy and welcomed quite a few shoppers to her awesome collection of neat items you can buy, while you all kept Amy busy with her army of cashiers and salespeople, who in turn kept our guests coming through the gates quickly and efficiently.

Ann and Ryan Johnson were here – our token Wisner descendants – travelling all the way from the UP and China (!) to participate. It wouldn’t be a Summer Social without Pine Grove drafting you two into helping make the day into such a success.

Bill made the grounds look spectacular and the Oakland County WWAM crew did a great job of keeping us trash-free and did a lot of moving stuff around with flair.

And our volunteers and members, oh, you volunteers: you staffed the booths, you kept the crowds moving through the mansion, you kept the parking area from descending into chaos, you made us shine. Thank you, thank you for your help. We really couldn’t put this together without you.

It was truly a great day, folks, and without you – our guests and sponsors – it’s all for naught, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for attending the Social. We had a lot of fun!


New website launched!

With one single act of pure bravado, trumpeted by some OCPHS board members as “sheer lunacy”, by others as “relevant to 2011”, and by still others as “how do I get to it on my phone again?” – we’ve launched a new website.

The new site has been “in the planning stages” for nearly four years and replaces a site that was…pretty much like this one, but it’s now prettier and hopefully easier to use.

OCPHS volunteers proof the new website.
In all seriousness, we hope to bring some of the work of our volunteers to the public using the new site. Coming soon to the site is a Card Catalog section, where we’ll be publishing indexes to our collection. These indexes have been in development for quite some time, and we hope will be a valuable finding aid for researchers.

We’ll be adding (back) our online store, offering some of the books and other items for sale to the public. And we’ll be adding other things: a wishlist of items we need here at Pine Grove, and news about our fundraising goals.

We hope you find the site useful.  Please tell your friends about it.


In the meantime, there’s work to do…

The OCPHS Board takes a class in website management.
Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress:

(with a hat tip to


Donations Help History Live Here!


Each year we ask members and friends to lend their support to our Annual Giving Campaign. This year we’re trying something a little different, by inviting you to choose where your donation goes.

Support our General Operating budget, or give toward special projects like the Carriage House interior, School House painting and repair, 1901 Standard Vehicle Carriage, or to an area that’s most important to you!

Donating is easy: Click the links below to read the President’s letter and print a mail-in response sheet, or visit our “Donate” page (link in the menu above) to make your gift securely on-line.

All donations are tax-deductible. Thank you for helping ensure that History Lives Here at Pine Grove!

2017 Annual Giving Letter (PDF)

2017 Annual Giving Letter response sheet (PDF)

Welcome New Board Members & Officers

At the May 17th Annual Meeting and Election, two new directors, Sue Grifor and Dave Decker, were elected to serve three year terms, along with those other directors returning to the board.

Officers were also selected to serve one year terms:

  • President: Charlotte Cooper
  • 1st Vice President: Sara Cote
  • 2nd Vice President: Rodger Zeller
  • Secretary: Kathy Davis
  • Treasurer: Barbara Frye

We also thanked those directors stepping down from the board: Amy & Bruce Annett, Charles Martinez, Kari Vaughan, and Mike West. They will continue to serve with us as active volunteers.

We thank all board members, past and present, for their commitment to work for the good of OCPHS and for the promotion and preservation of Oakland County’s history. A complete list of our 2017/18 directors, officers, and directors emeritus may be found on our “Society” link, above.

Spring Has Sprung!

Many thanks to the Oakland County Sheriff’s WWAM community service workers, as well as our OCPHS volunteers for coming out to spruce up our grounds and to help with other tasks on Spring Clean Up day, April 29.

What a difference a crew of willing helpers makes in a short time!