Repair historic Cooper's Orchard barn (MI)

(photo courtesy of Terry Salmonson) Please note that if you would prefer to send a check, you may contact me via the Contact button at bottom of webpage. A special thank you to former neighbor, Cheryl (Wiltz) Elliot, and her husband, Bruce, for their donation check.

The Cooper's Orchard barn requires repairs to keep it standing for many years to come:
• Vertical posts need to be anchored in cement to stabilize foundation.
• Sides of barn need trusses and cables for reinforcement.
• West side of barn needs landscaping work to reroute water flow from hillside around the barn.

The Cooper's Orchard barn
, dating from the early 1900s, was part of a working farm, and then a busy cherry and apple orchard. This  historic landmark has a metal roof which can be seen from miles away when driving south on M-66, and lends charm to the hilly landscape around Lake Charlevoix. The barn is also an important part of the history of Charlevoix County, and is a standing testament to our early settlers. The property itself was purchased by John A. Cooper in 1896 and has been in the family ever since. John and his wife Minnie (Kowalske) were early pioneers of the Charlevoix area. John worked in the lumber business before being appointed chief of police in Charlevoix.  He was known for his big size, a hook in place of a hand he'd lost in a sawmill accident, and the ability to break up any fight. His wife Minnie, injured by an axe while chopping firewood, had an ongoing infection in one leg, impeding her mobility. Nonetheless she worked for several years cooking for over fifty men in a lumber camp, and later helped run the farm with John. Their twin boys, Charles Y. Cooper and Walter Cooper, took over the family orchards after their father passed away. Daughter Katie married William Walker, and lived on the farm right across the road.
The barn is in fairly good shape but definitely needs some foundation work, as well as structural reinforcements, to keep it standing for many years to come.   We are hoping to have a good portion of the funds by springtime 2021, so that we can get the repairs completed in 2021. This repair job is a bigger project than we usually tackle, so we are counting on friends and family, as well as anyone who loves historic barns, to help us out. Your donation will be very much appreciated, as you help keep a part of history alive for future generations.
For those who donate, we are offering small tokens of our appreciation.
Donors of $5~$25: You will have our eternal gratitude, plus we will give you a Cooper's Orchard barn magnet, barn postcards, or similar. You can let us know what you would prefer and we will try to fulfill your request.
Donors of $30~$49: You will receive a Cooper's Orchard 2021 desk calendar (while supplies last), Cooper's Orchard coaster, or similar.
Donors of $50 or more: You will receive an 8" X 10' photograph of the Cooper's Orchard barn, taken by professional photographer Terry Salmonson of Aartvark Studio in Charlevoix, MI. Please see the photograph above.
Donors of $100 or more, we are working on some special gifts and will post the information as it becomes available.


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  • Erich Rasch 
    • $50 
    • 10 hrs
  • George Rasch 
    • $100 
    • 10 hrs
  • David Crandall 
    • $50 
    • 11 hrs
  • kumiko Sakamoto 
    • $20 
    • 1 d
  • Patricia Kraft 
    • $100 
    • 3 d
See all


Bridget Cooper 
East Jordan, MI
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