2017-02-23 / Letters

Save barn as farming is part of our history

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners.

Dear ... commissioners

Farming has always been an important aspect of the history, livelihood and character of Leelanau County. The Leelanau Conservancy has made preserving farmland and farms a priority in their mission. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park has preserved historic buildings, including farm buildings, to maintain this rural character and the history of our area. Additionally, the only remaining building from the Poor Farm is a part of our history and is a reminder that then and now we must care for our fellow man. After all, the Leelanau County Commissioners thought this was important enough that they made a decision to help the poor at their very first meeting in 1863. As mentioned in the excellent letter from Barbara Siepker to the Board on February 7th, the Poor Farm Barn is part of “our county’s pastoral view shed, representing our rural identity as well as a community that cares for its poor members.”

We would respectfully request that the Board of Commissioners delay plans to demolish the barn and consider repairs pursuant to the Condition Report on the Poor Farm Barn submitted in May, 2015 by Stephen Stier. We strongly support any measures to repair and protect the historic barn that is such a part of our Leelanau County heritage.

Tom and Sue Flerlage
S. Dunns Farm Rd.
Maple City,

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