The Farmhouse

Greek Revival, Circa 1845

Built during Bloomfield’s early settlement period, this Greek Revival farmhouse is a front-gabled one-and-a-half story home with recessed umbrage porch. Its history is primarily associated with the Benjamin, Hendrie, and Barton families. Their lives and times reflect the changes in Bloomfield from the rural agricultural society, to grand country estates, and then refined suburban living of the Bartons.

 

Threatened with demolition in 2008, the house was purchased for $1 by the newly-formed Preservation Bloomfield. The upright and wing portions of the home were moved about two miles north from its original location off of Long Lake, to the Charles L. Bowers School Farm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

1844-1901

1901-1920

1920-1937

James Darwin Benjamin came to Bloomfield, Michigan from New York in 1841. Three years later he bought 122 acres and built the farmhouse on Bloomfield Center Road (now Long Lake Road). Not long after, Benjamin married Clarinda Kneeland and started a family. Two generations of his family lived in the home spanning 48 years.

 

The home had a succession of owners included in this order: Mary Martin, Robert Heacock, and then Charles Kantor. During the time of Robert Heacock's ownership, the upright was extended, and a kitchen and side porch were added.

1937-2006

Jessie Hendrie acquired the farmhouse from Charles Kantor. The Bloomfield Open Hunt Club opened across the street, so Jessie fondly referred to the house as "The Covert," a hunting term meaning good cover for wild things.

Carl Barton, founder of the internationally known Barton Malow Construction Company, bought the farmhouse in 1937. He and his wife, Connie, raised their 2 daughters there and enjoyed the home for many decades.

Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926
Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926

During this time, the home belonged to the Hendrie family.

Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926
Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926
Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926
Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse in 1926
Moving the farmhouse
Moving the farmhouse

In 2008, the farmhouse was moved from its original location off of Long Lake Road, across from the Hunt Club, to Bowers School Farm on Square Lake, approximately 2 miles northeast.

Moving the farmhouse
Moving the farmhouse

A foundation was constructed at the new location of the farmhouse. Here's what it looked like.

Restoring the farmhouse
Restoring the farmhouse

Portions of the farmhouse had to be reconstructed. The additions to the house during the 1900s had been removed and demolished to return the home to its original 1800s structure.

Restoring the farmhouse
Restoring the farmhouse

Windows were restored for historical and structural accuracy.

Restoring the farmhouse
Restoring the farmhouse

The porch decking was replaced to safely welcome visitors and guests.

The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse
The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse

South elevation and front entrance.

The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse
The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse

West elevation and side entrance.

The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse
The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse

East elevation.

The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse
The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse

North elevation.

The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse
The Benjamin-Barton Farmhouse

Historically-accurate colors (November 2016)

Benjamin-Barton-Farmhouse-Preservation-Bloomfield-Michigan-Historic-Greek-Revival-1830s-Side
Benjamin-Barton-Farmhouse-Preservation-Bloomfield-Michigan-Historic-Greek-Revival-1830s-Side

Historically-accurate colors (November 2016)

Benjamin-Barton-Farmhouse-Preservation-Bloomfield-Michigan-Historic-Greek-Revival-1830s-Crown-Moldin
Benjamin-Barton-Farmhouse-Preservation-Bloomfield-Michigan-Historic-Greek-Revival-1830s-Crown-Moldin

Historically-accurate colors (November 2016)

 Timeline & History