Lanny Simpkins builds model of Grandpa's house 2011.03.02

Written by David Green.

house_overviewEvery so often Lanny Simpkins hears the question “Have you made anything new yet?”

He’s mostly had to say “no” over the last couple of years, but his answer changed recently.

Now he has a new model of his grandfather’s farmhouse that once stood near Ogden Center.

The house will join his models of a barn and a few outbuildings for display at this year’s annual conference of the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

Dan Creyts of Charlotte, a board member of the group, saw Lanny’s display last summer at the Thresher’s Convention in Wauseon. Creyts wanted that barn on display for this year’s conference March 11-12 at the Kellogg Center on the MSU campus.

Lanny’s grandfather, Fred Shaffer, lived in the house west of Ogden Center until he left to live in a nursing home. The home deteriorated over the next few years, Lanny said, and was eventually demolished. Not a trace of the home site remains.

Not a photograph remains, either, as far as Lanny knows, so his miniature construction is based completely on his memory.

interior“I’m sure I forgot something,” Lanny said, “but it’s pretty close.”

Lanny started the project in early December and completed the two-story house last week. He fabricated pieces from poplar and pine, and only purchased Plexiglass for the windows.

Lanny still needs to build the little coal shed to complete his grandpa’s homestead, but at least one other important feature is complete. He built the three-hole outhouse long ago.

• Programs at this year’s Michigan Barn Preservation Network conference include a photographic display of heritage barns; agritourism; preserving heritage barns in miniature; finding hidden treasures at a farm site; restoration case studies; historical markers; and more.

To register for the conference, visit the website www.mibarn.net.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017