White Cottage Farm has a lot of special little buildings on and around the property. From the greenhouse to the barn, there is so much character and even some history attached to them. If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen a few sneak peek videos of our Milkhouse being taken down this past week. The Milkhouse was a smaller building attached to the barn.
Most of the milk house was a block building, that we used for storage of grain and medicine for the sheep, we had some extra bee boxes and frames in there, as well as small handheld farm tools. When we first moved in the wall on the side closest to the barn driveway, was already giving out. The roof from the barn, and the gutters were not catching all the water when it would rain, and it was falling into the ground between the barn driveway and the milk house. This put a lot more pressure onto the block wall, and sadly last year the wall caved in. We supported the roof until we could get to figuring out what we needed to do.
Unfortunately, there was really no way of saving it… When it would rain the dirt supporting the driveway to the barn would slowly washout into the caved in milkhouse wall, and down into the basement of the barn. Our biggest concern was the driveway losing its support and structure so we made the tough decision to remove the milk house and support install a retaining wall to keep the driveway safe and sound, and mitigate any other foundation damage to our barn.
We hope to one day bring back a building in this area in some way, because it was a great storage and entry for the lower part of the barn. We are roughly dating the milk-house to be about 60ish years old, and if it wasn’t for the poor drainage from the barn and gutters it would still be standing today. Just like all changes we have done to the farmhouse, we hope to bring back the history, while also making it fit our needs. Our next project will be getting this old 1800’s barn to stand up straight and square. We do have a little bowing going on in the center, and the saddest thing we see driving around West Michigan is old barn falling down, we really want this barn to stand another 150 years.