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“The Friends Of Highland Recreation Area”


After a couple of years of clean up and stabilization efforts by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA), The group has begun the effort to begin Rebuilding the Edsel Ford Barn. The group began by building wall sections to replace the damaged portion of the structure. Once the side walls are in place the group intends to start replacing the rafters and roof sections on the remaining portion of the barn.

Edsel Ford Barn

In June of 2008 Severe storms passed through southern Michigan and Oakland County, including the area of  Highland State Recreation Area. Nearly 3/4’s of the old Edsel Ford Barn was destroyed that summer day. The Friends Group had made many advances to securing the Barn for future use and activities for all to enjoy. Below is a picture of the barn after the storms.

Damaged Edsel Ford Barn

Not giving up hope, The Friends Group went right back to work securing the site. A temporary fence was installed until work could be completed installing a more permanent fence. The entire area around the debris was fenced in.

Installing FenceFence

Soon afterwards, the MDNR approved the Friends Group to gain access into the area to secure the site further to protect it against the winter elements that would soon arrive.

Barn CleanupStabalizing Barn

The Friends group cleared a 10 ~ 15 foot area behind the remaining portion of the barn. The team also shored up the outside walls for safety. New beams were installed, wire supports were also added for stability. Partial walls were repaired, and tarps were installed over the roof to keep the winters snows out.

After ClearingTarps on Barn

A visit is literally a “day in the park”

FOHRA Begins Rebuilding Edsel Ford Barn

Since then, the group has cleared the entire concrete section of the original barn. In the process reclaiming as much of the original wood as possible for re-use. The reclaimed supplies included, 6X6 Beams, Cedar Shank Siding, and Window sections. FOHRA has re-used the reclaimed Beams to begin the Wall Sections for the outside portion of the barn. See progress below.

Edsel Ford Barn CleanupEdsel Ford Barn MidwayEdsel Ford Barn Pad ClearEdsel Ford Barn Half Clear

The above photo on the left shows what FOHRA encountered after the storm. The above photo on the right shows the halfway progress on clearing the pad at the Edsel Ford Barn.

The above photo on the left shows the clearing and sorting process that FOHRA undertook while clearing the pad. Any salvageable wood was reclaimed for future use. The photo above on the right shows the pad cleared of all debris. What remains is re-usable materials. Thank You to the efforts of the FOHRA, we can now begin to Re-Build the portion that remains. We could use your assistance on this effort. Please contact the Friends Of Highland Recreation Area for additional information. Thank You for Visiting, we hope to see you soon at the Park!

Friends Of Highland Recreation Area