Friday, April 29, 2016

Mural Barn Near Marshall, Michigan

For the last year and a half that we've been traveling to Michigan to visit Doug's brother, we've been driving by this beautiful barn, with a large mural painted on the side. On our last trip, I managed to snap a drive-by picture of it.


The opportunity to snap a photo from the highway is somewhat limited because of the hill in front of the barn. And then, when the corn is up in the summer, the roof is about all you can see.

An internet search for some information about the barn and the mural led me to Jan Corey Arnett, The Barn Lady. Jan was very helpful with information about the barn and has some photos of it here that are way better than mine.


The mural, called "The Heart of Heatherbrook," was completed in 2007, and is supposed to last 10 years without being repainted. Being on the south side of the barn, it is very subject to sun fade and, likely, to a lot of highway pollution.

According to Jan, there are several such murals around the county, all done under the same series of grants. This is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, and most enduring of all.

Jan's website states, "The mural represents the talents of the Battle Creek Society of Artists, working under the leadership of professional muralist, Tony Hendrick, Grand Ledge, Michigan. It is funded by a grant from the Calhoun County Arts & Industry Council."

Jan told me in an email that one of the requirements was that the mural depict local history. There is a lake not too far away where the sandhill cranes spend their summers, hence the sandhill cranes in the foreground. Prisoners from Jackson State Prison, as well as migrant labor, picked fruit when that farm was a thriving fruit farm, hence the man picking fruit.

The barn in the mural is a representation of the very barn on which it appears.

I hope you will go to Jan's website, where you can see photos of this and several other barns and read their stories.


  1. Linda, that is a beautiful mural and I love the name of it, too!

  2. i love that the barn itself is featured in the mural it holds. :)

  3. What a great idea, I enjoy the art.I like when communities do this kind of project, many of the barn quilts I show are part of a 4-H project around the state. As for the eagle question, many Iowa counties have them nesting. There are six known nests in my county. I can stand across the river from this nest and observe them.I know they have gotten alarmed at canoeists and really gave them a hard time. It'snot the bird I would want mad at me, their grace and beauty is amazing.

  4. Thanks for finding and sharing this neat mural. It is very beautiful.

  5. A wonderful find of this barn and interesting mural

  6. This is very interesting, Linda, and I love the connection with the local history. If you know the story, the mural becomes so meaningful, it's not just a decoration any more...

  7. Hi, What a beautiful barn and mural. I've seen quilt squares on barns but not murals. This one is GORGEOUS...

    Sorry about your camcorder --but glad your hubby is okay.... I'm scared to death of wobbly water crossings when we hike....


  8. Linda - The mural IS beautiful, even now in its somewhat faded condition. The photos on Jan's website show the beauty of it on the day it was first revealed.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Ruth.

    Steve - I understand from Jan that this barn was pretty run down at one time. I love this beautifully restored version of it.

    Thanks, George.

    Margaret, thank you.

    Petra - I totally agree. I couldn't see the details of the mural from the highway, but I loved it when I enlarged the photo on the computer. Then, when Jan filled in the history of it a little bit, my appreciation for it grew.

    Thanks, Betsy. Those water crossings seem to get more wobbly the older the hiker gets. :)

    Tex - I loved that aspect of it, too.

  9. Very interesting! Don't think I've seen a mural on a barn before, but it's pretty!

    1. Joyful - Thanks kindly for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've not seen any other mural barns myself, but I understand they're out there.


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