giving Stories

Donors Make the Calf Barn a Reality ... and a Winner!

Pay McKay and Dick Huizenga
Rochester Calf Barn

Rome wasn’t built in a day – or so the saying goes and in Rochester Hills, the Van Hoosen Calf Barn wasn’t rebuilt in a day . . . it took years of hard work . . . 23 years to be exact!

Museum Supervisor, Pay McKay has been planning the restoration of the Calf Barn for years. Seen with Dick Huizenga, Pat shared his vision of restoring this long neglected building to its original glory. Originally built in 1927, the Calf Barn was part of the working farm of Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, a fifth generation farmer.  Award winning cattle from her farm were exported to Costa Rica, Venezuela and Argentina throughout the 1920s – 1950s.

Today, the Calf Barn has been rebuilt on its original site with generous private donations through a capital campaign at the Community Foundation. Now used as a multipurpose facility to support Museum operations and community events, the Calf Barn has become the newest celebration venue with wedding, anniversary and graduation events in addition to Spring on the Farm, Garden Walk and the annual Fall Pumpkin Festival.

Phase I, which included repair of the masonry walls and restoration of the upper wood portion of the Calf Barn was completed in 2013. Phase II will begin later this summer with interior finishes, utilities, heating and air conditioning installation. Local history exhibits will be throughout the building.

In March 2014, the Rochester Hills Museum received the 2014 Barn of the Year Award from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network. Upon receiving this award, Pat McKay said, “It’s nice when those who love barns, who recognize the role that barns have had in the economic development of Michigan, and who recognize a barn’s value to their community recognize your efforts.”

© 2018 Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
303 East Street | P.O. Box 80431 | Rochester, MI 48308-0431

Site Credits