Barton Farmhouse

Have you ever gone by the school farm and wondered about how the Barton Farmhouse got from its original location on Eastways & Long Lake?  Check out this video of the 2008 move:

The Barton Farmhouse:  A primer for Bloomfield Historical Society “History People”

Property History

  • Purchased from the Government Land Office in Detroit in 1821 by John Wetmore
  • Sold to M. Castle in June, 1824; then to Miles Gillette in 1836.
  • Purchased by James Benjamin in 1844. Benjamin or his descendents owned the property until 1893.
  • In 1905 sold to Robert Heacock who owned it until 1914.
  • In 1926 sold to Sarah and Margaret Hendrie.
  • In 1937 sold to Carl Barton.
  • 2007 sold to the current developers.

Family History

  • Wetmore seems to have been an early land speculator who bought a number of different parcels in Oakland County in the early years.
  • James Benjamin developed the farm and raised a family. He left the property to his daughters upon his death and altogether the families owned it for 48 years. If he did not build the house then most likely he added on to the original not long after it was built.
  • 1832 is the earliest we think that the Farmhouse could have been built.
  • Sarah and Margaret Hendrie were daughters of one of Detroit’s most prominent businessmen, George Hendrie. Beginning in the middle of the 1800’s, George was involved in the Detroit Street Railway system, the railroads, the cartage business, steel, stoves and banking. He helped provide the land for the current home of the DIA and he was instrumental in the creation of Belle Isle. His children were Grosse Pointers who were very social and came to the Bloomfield area to build country estates where they could ride and hunt. George Trowbridge Hendrie and his brother William were among the founders of the Bloomfield Open Hunt across the street.
  • Sarah and Margaret named this house “The Covert” and from here they not only rode horseback, but traveled extensively around the world.
  • Carl Barton was the founder of the internationally known Barton Malow Construction Company. He, too, was a philanthropist as well as a successful businessman. He instilled his strong sense of ethics and community responsibility in his company as well as in his family.

Architecture

  • Greek Revival was a rebellion in the first half of the 1800’s against English design and celebrated the Greeks’ newly-won independence as well as their more Classical design heritage.

Current Situation

  • Several single family homes will be built on the existing property. The developers have graciously offered the Barton Farmhouse to the Community for $1 as long as it’s moved to a different location. We hope to have enough money to do that by early Spring, 2008.

Future Plans

  • The goal is to move the Barton Farmhouse to the Bowers Farm, just about a mile north on Square Lake Road. The Farm is currently owned by the Bloomfield Hills School District. It is a working farm and is also home of the Bowers Academy, part of the Schools high school program. The School Board has approved the move but it must be done with private funding.
  • The farm currently has a contemporary ranch-style house being used by the resident caretaker, but no real Farmhouse.
  • A committee consisting of representatives from the elected officials of the City of Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and the Bloomfield Hills Schools, along with members of the Bloomfield Historical Society, is working on behalf of their respective organizations to formulate plans to move the Farmhouse and to put it to work serving not only the schoolchildren of the area but members of the broader community as well.

Funding

  • Plans call for the Barton Farmhouse project to be supported by the entire community including private citizens, businesses and charitable foundations.
  • We are not asking for taxpayer support.

    barton_1937-mbj
    barton_homepage.jpg

Comments are closed