209. Shagway Art's Barn - Blazing Star


Created by artist Janice Shelly, the “Blazing Star” quilt square design is a tribute to homesteader Henry Shagwag, a member of the Ottawa tribe, the most prominent Native Americans in Mason County. This quilt square features the colors of the Ottawa Nation representing many things: the colors of the people of the world – yellow, black, red and white or the four points of a compass and more.  

Have you ever driven past a beautiful old barn and felt the urge to explore? At the Shagway Arts Barn, you are encouraged to do just that. Enjoy discovering the many art treasures in the barn and don’t miss the loft and balcony; roam the trails on the surrounding 40 acres of meadows and woods; and take a step back into the early 20th century history while exploring the barn, log cabin and granary that Henry Shagway built.

Shagway bought the property in 1898 for $100. He built the barn with his uncle Pete Espiew, the namesake of nearby Indian Pete Bayou and in the early 1930s, was destroyed by fire. Henry, his mother, Libby and sister, Eunice established a business selling dairy products, vegetables and hand-made baskets to resorters. 

The road you traveled to this historic farm was named for him and his family continues to live in the Hamlin area.

Today the Shagway Arts Barn is owned and operated by Nancy and Judy Miller on the property now owned by their family and passed down by their grandparent’s, Dr. Donald and Katherine Hawley Miller, who had retired to these 40 acres in 1970. The barn was restored in the summer of 2012 by Great Lakes Barn Restoration of Fremont, Michigan.

The Art Barn’s mission is to provide a platform, at low cost to local artists of many mediums and to enable them to create, showcase and teach their artistry in a wooded and stimulating environment.

Whether you come for the historic architecture, the scenic setting, or the distinctive art museum and performance venue, you are certain to have a unique experience.