Barker House Open House

On Wednesday June 21st 2023 we celebrated Save the Dunes Day & our 71st anniversary! This year The Save the Dunes team hosted guests at the historic Barker Homestead. The goal of our open house was to raise funds to support the renovation and restoration of the Nationally Registered Historic home and out buildings.  Attendee’s were encouraged to mingle, explore, and enjoy the property while enjoying refreshments provided by Patrick’s Grille,  South Bend Chocolate Cafe, Running Vines Winery, and South Shore Brewery. Live music was performed by Jonathon Parker of 7 Spin Music.

As the night carried on, Our Executive Director Betsy Maher and our Bored President Nancy Moldenhauer shared some Barker House History.  Below are some points from Betsy’s announcements:

History of Barker Family Conservation Ties
– Marjory Barker, one of the original residents of Barker House, was very involved with the Michigan City community, including the conservation community. In 1953, 56 acres of what is now Cowles Bog was up for sale by Porter County for delinquent taxes. Marjory provided $700 of the cost for Save the Dunes Council to purchase the property. Today, Cowles Bog is part of the Indiana Dunes National Park.

-Marjory served on the first advisory board for the Save the Dunes Council in 1954. Marjory also helped the 30 acres of woods surrounding Barker House become designated as a Classified Forest by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Marjory’s daughter, Margery, followed in her mother’s conservation-minded footsteps and stayed involved with the Save the Dunes Council and similar organizations.

Barker House Facts
– Constructed in 1904, is a combination of Shingle Style and Arts & Crafts wood structure
– It’s a modified version of the American Four-square house type and is significant in the
context of Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century architecture in Michigan City
– The residence, three outbuildings, and a windmill and pump house exhibit the highest
level of historical integrity and gave it an “outstanding rating” on the National Historic
– Occupy a 4.41 acre wooded property nestled within the 30 acre old-growth Barker
Woods Nature Preserve which is owned by Shirley Heinze Land Trust. Dogwod and
Shadbuch can be found amidst oaks, maples and pines. Many birds live in the woods
year-round including woodpeckers and great horned owls. The Trail is .78 miles on flat
terrain and is a great place to view fall colors.
– The house is a two-story rectangular block clad in wood shingles. It sits on a slightly
raised brick foundation walls that are laid in a stretcher bond.
– The structure has an asphalt shingle hipped roof with wide boxed eaves, a hipped
dormer on the main façade and three chimneys

THANK YOU to our Event Sponsors!

Read more about the event on the featured news articles below!

Photos From the Evening