Ellis Barn Hoedown

The historic Ellis Barn has seen plenty in its 130 years, but it has never hosted a hoedown – until now. The Clarkston Community Historical Society sponsored an evening of dining and country dancing at the barn from 7-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The hoedown featured line and contra dancing with long-time caller, Glen Morningstar, all to the live music provided by the Olde Michigan Ruffwater Stringband. Tickets included a barbecue dinner by the Union Woodshop and one drink token. Additional Michigan craft beers and wines were available at a cash bar.

Over 125 were in attendance.

The grand barn, with its gambrel roof, was part of the Ingomar Stock Farm, owned by Norman J. Ellis, and is the only Michigan barn referenced in the nationally renowned book “The American Barn.” Built in 1884, six generations of the Ellis family owned the barn until the property was sold for a residential development. Then it was relocated from its Dixie Highway location to Springfield Oaks County Park and rededicated in 2005. It was named Barn of the Year in 2003 by the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

The barn includes an indoor riding arena, 11 box stalls, tack rooms, an office, horse exercise room, mechanical exercise ring and a cavernous second floor for hay, straw – and now, dancing.

“It was an exhilarating evening in the barn,” said Arkwright, “and a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience this historic gem right in our own backyard.”

The Ellis Barn is located at 12451 Andersonville Road, Davisburg (48350) within the Springfield Oaks County Park.