309. Historic White Pine Village- Jorissen Barn


Given the dominant role of farming in Mason County’s past history, it is only natural that the preservation and commemoration of agricultural heritage would have a strong presence at Historic White Pine Village.

The farmstead is a cluster of structures and exhibits that have grown considerably in recent years complete with farmhouse, Jorissen Barn and open air tool sheds which house the Village’s extensive collection of farm machinery, equipment and transportation artifacts.

The Burns farmhouse, dating to the early 1800’s was home to Thomas and Mary Burns and their five daughters and four sons, who all worked on the family farm, planting and harvesting their crops. In the winter the children enjoyed outdoor activities as reflected in the metal ice skates, wooden toboggans and ski poles present with the house. A wood stove dominates the kitchen, used for cooking and heating while laundry was done on the back porch with a scrub board, using water gathered from the pump under the windmill. Remarkably, Thomas Burns was a friend of famed orator and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan and he visited the Burns family on his several campaign trips with stops in Ludington.

Jerome Jorissen, co-founder of the Village, donated this barn after it was dismantled at his Pere Marquette Township farm. The beams were numbered for identification and brought to Historic White Pine Village to be reconstructed. As is typical of barns built in the first half of the 20th century, no nails or spikes were used in constructing the framework. The Joressen barn boasts three levels of interactive exhibits, including the Cooper Shop, Farm Tool Skills Learning Center, Transportation Exhibit and Stable.

As you enjoy moving through the various agricultural exhibits you will be transported back in many ways to an earlier time when horse power was provided by horses rather than internal combustion engines. It was how the mail was delivered and how families were transported in wagons during a part of the year and on sleighs and cutters during the winter. You will appreciate how long it took to plow a field, plant a crop, cultivate corn and complete the harvest, all propelled by a team of horses. In the stable visitors will see how a milking machine sped up the process over milking by hand and the milk house demonstrates the evolution of handling and cooling milk in dramatic ways. And there is so much more to learn and experience.