Preserving, restoring and re-inventing historic buildings has never been more popular, perhaps because of cable channels that feature that kind of work.   It might also be that there are so many resources on line to show us how to do things.   And there are more and more preservation groups and governmental authorities that offer incentives in the form of cash or knowledge.

26 Fremont Google Street View
26 Fremont Google Street View

This week, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority  is kicking off its second summer of Practical Preservation workshops at  the 1800's Victorian house at 26 Fremont Street in Battle Creek. It's a chance to pair DIYers with experienced tradespeople to get hands-on experience in home restoration.   The first workshop, on plaster repair, is the Wednesday, July 10th at 4pm.

Also this week, you can take advantage of the first of two free Barn repair presentations, hosted by the Barn Believers Community Project Fund.   This Thursday, July 11th, at 3pm, Ken Brock, of Legendary Timberworks, Novi and Tim Wasielewski, of Michigan Heartland Reclaimed Lumber, Jackson. will speak at the timber-frame barn at Historic Adventist Village off West Van Buren Street.

Sullivan Barn at 49 S. Cass-Google Street View
Sullivan Barn at 49 S. Cass-Google Street View

Then next week, another free barn presentation will be held  Monday July 15th at the Art Center of Battle Creek from 10am to 1pm.   Speakers will be  om Nehil of Nehil-Sivak, consulting structural engineers, Kalamazoo at 10 a.m., Jim Slining, curator with Tillers International, Scotts, at 11 a.m. and Jan Corey Arnett, author and Barn Believers’ founder at noon.

Next Wednesday the 17th will be Plaster Repair, part 2 at 26 Fremont.


The  Land Bank workshops will take place on Wednesdays throughout July, from 4 to 7 p.m. Each session is $30. Registration is required and can be done at

  • July 10: Plaster Repair, Session 1
  • July 17: Plaster Repair, Session 2
  • July 24: Wallpaper Removal
  • July 31: Foundation Repair

Barn Preservation Presentations are free:

  • July 11 at Historic Adventist Village off West VanBuren at Wood Street 4pm
  • July 15 at the Art Center of Battle Creek, 265 East Emmett Street, 10am

Barn Restoration events  wrap up at the Dreamfield Acres Barn near Marshall, July 26, starting at 3 p.m. and include a new barn mural, music by Double Strung, food, and a silent auction.

The Dreamfield barn opens at 7:30 p.m. to ticket holders for the 8 p.m. concert by the multiple award-winning Richard Lynch Band, Waynesville, Ohio. The band helped launch the Barn Believers Community Project Fund in 2017 and is back by popular demand.   Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Art Center and online at Seating is limited. Advance purchase is recommended.

Money raised by Barn Believers goes to 501c3 organizations to undertake projects that help save timber-frame barns.  Application information is available online. The Fund is held at the Battle Creek Community Foundation.

Among sponsors for these events are Bill and Karen Dobbins; FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Eric Petersen, Bill Simonds, Peaceful Valley Farm, Sherwin-Williams, Prairie Farms; and Mooville Creamery.  For more details related to all programs, visit  or



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