The Octagon Barn


octagon barnThe Octagon Barn is a cool up north Michigan day trip. It is located in Tuscola County an easy drive west from Caro, approximately 1 mile east of the Village of Gagetown along Bay City Forestville Road 1 mile north on Richie Road, just south of the Huron County border.  This is easily the most unusual barn anywhere in the region.  It is the largest timber frame octagon barn in the country at 102 feet across and 70 feet high.  When construction began in 1924, it was known as an air castle because the entire vast interior is open and the roof seems to be suspended above.

barn interiorWhat exists on this site today is the result of a vision, a team effort, generous contributions and many hours of planning, organization, and plain hard work. The vision began in the minds of a few neighbors who did not want to see such an awesome structure and piece of agricultural history be destroyed in the name of 'convenience' or 'progress'.

And so began the Friends of the Thumb Octagon Barn organization - a rescue effort to save the barn from demolition, then restore the barn, then restore the house and surrounding grounds. Fund-raising efforts have grown into annual events known around the state. The vision to preserve has grown into a plan to own and operate an educational/historical/agricultural site for the education, recreation and entertainment of the community and visitors.  There is a cool harvest festival here each autumn.