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Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

          The following was taken from stories written by Arminta Mizer Zingery 6/5, and Olive Mizer Graichen 6/4, in May 1959, about the early days on the farm in Michigan:

          "In 1877, Father built a large barn (the largest in the country) requiring 100 men to raise the timbers. I was eight years of age, and remember Mother having neighbor women help bake and cook for the men, who were seated at a long table in the front yard." Minta goes into detail: "In the winter of 1876 and 1877, Father hauled huge logs from the woods with oxen, to the ground near where he wanted the barn, and with a broad axe began to hew the bark off and dress them down to near the size he wanted the timber. He stretched a blue chalkline, by fastening the end to the edge of the log, and wound off from a huge spool to the other end, stretched it taut, and then sometimes I snapped it for him. This left a blue chalk mark to hew to! I can still see those timbers lying there all dressed down to proper size, and ends of each fitly framed so that when the time came to put them together, they fitted perfectly. Father made pegs at night in the kitchen. He sized them down with a drawing knife, the whittled them to proper size. The barn was 'raised' in May 1877. It took all day to raise the six Bendts, and I think about 100 men. Henry went far to invite them. He rode old 'Doll,' the only horse Father had, and I remember the neighbor women baking bread and plain cakes in the outdoor clay and brick oven to feed them."

           The barn was originally painted red, with "A. Miser 1877" on the gable end near the road. Minta's son, Henry Homer Zingery, tells of some of the apparatus grandfather apparently invented to use in preparing lumber for his building projects. The barn still stands. It is on Summerton Road, North of Shepherd, just East of United States Route 27. The big beams were put together with the wooden pegs, and are as firm as ever. Except for new roof, the present owner has made very few changes in it. He is the son of the man who bought the farm from Abe Mizer.

June 6, 1999

The Morning Sun
Isabella County Edition
Friday & Saturday, June 11 & 12, 1999

Historic Barn Destroyed by Fire
By Angela T. Reid
Sun Staff Writer

     A suspicious fire that destroyed a historic barn has left owners devastated and asking how it could happen.
     Deb and Darryl Mendrick of Mt. Pleasant returned home from Pontiac Sunday to find their barn on Sumerton Road nearly burned to the ground.
     The only thing that remains of the barn are the side support beams. Even those are charred and burnt beyond repair.
     The fire remains under investigation and it is classified as suspicious because firefighters do not know how it started, said Capt. Andy Theisen of the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department.
     It is believed the fire was somehow started in a pile of debris next to the barn. How it caught on fire is uncertain.
     When firefighters arrived the barn was fully engulfed, and due to the severity of the fire, investigators may never know how the fire started.
     The barn was more than a building to the Medricks.
     It was built in 1887 and still contained much of the material it was originally built with. The Mendricks have a document stating how the barn was built and how it was used.
     "The barn lasted 122 years and it was gone in three hours," he said.
     In addition to the barn being destroyed, two antique tractors were destroyed as well as a 1964 dump truck.
     Deb's brother owned the truck and one of the tractors was owned by Daryl's grandfather.
     "You can't replace those things," Deb said.
     The Mizer family, from Alma, had ancestors that built the barn. The Mizers hoped to visit the barn during their family reunion in three weeks.

After The Fire Photos

To The Jeremiah Mizer History Page

Back To The Meisser Home Page

The above photos were contributed by:
Fran & Vern C. MIZER 8/4:

Meisser Family History
Copyright 2002
Web Page by Charles Paul Keller


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