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Of Southeast Michigan

By Derek P. Brereton

Like taking a Sunday drive in the country and meeting unique individuals.

The Southeast Michigan countryside is barn heaven, at least for now. The great old post-and-beam barns are still the visual anchors of the landscape. Yet the majority of the old barns that remain are now unused and spoiling.

In exploring and photographing those barns, Derek P. Brerereton discovered a smattering of craftspeople choosing to practice skills derived from the same agrarian era. Blacksmiths and butchers, spinners and quilters, not only engage in traditional crafts but still manage to turn them to account. These two things, the remaining timber-frame barns and the old agrarian skills, both descend from their common ancestor, the viable family farms that predominated in this countryside until Second World War.

Old Barns and Country Skills of Southeast Michigan is a delightful and insightful journey into a past that is still present in the region, written by a man who practices the traditional craft of producing hickory syrup, led his own barn-raising, and built a log cabin and birchbark canoe.

Nonfiction  ISBN:978-0-9801750-7-3 | 8 x 10 Format | 128 Pages | 80 images, many in color | $24.95

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Winner – 2014 Midwest Book Awards
Finalist – 2014 Indie Next Generation Awards

Derek P. Brereton retired from teaching anthropology at Adrian College in Adrian Michigan. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer, the author of Campsteading: Family, Place and Experience at Squam Lake, New Hampshire, and he and his wife Pam practice the traditional craft of producing hickory syrup under the company name Soaring Hill Hickory Syrup. The couple also led their own barn-raising, built a log cabin and the birchbark canoe they are pictured in here.

Contact the author at dbrereton@comcast.net