Tanglewood Farm

Recognition Award Winner

Location: Michigan
Year of Award: 2002
Original Use: Dairy
Current Use: Equipment Storage


Tanglewood Farm-Olivet, MI after restoration.

Mrs. Clara Davis is accepted the recognition award in honor and in memoriam of her husband, Mr. John M. Davis.  John Davis submitted an award application filled with memories, humor, and stories of life-long dedication.  His first story told how the farm and the barn got its name.  Tanglewood, a reference to the farm's appearance, turned out to be a preservation project before the family could even get settled in.  His father, D.S. Davis, bought the farm in 1928 from a bank foreclosure and in the years of bank ownership, the farm had suffered greatly.  Fields were overgrown, stones littered plowable land, and manure filled the barn.

Over the years John had replaced siding, floors, and structural beams. It has been re-shingled twice, and repainted seven times. Each coat of paint requires 150 gallons of red paint and 15 gallons of white. The roof was replaced as well as a few barn doors. Its unusual double ridge construction and massive size has been continually maintained and repaired over its lifetime.

John and Clara Davis’ 1891 Tanglewood barn has always been a provider for their family.  It has been an active component of their dairy farm and used in continual service for their family and tenants of the land. During the Great Depression it was even known to have housed a vital food source in the form of pigeons—when other means of sustenance were not available.