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Barn slips, slides to new location



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The structure will be used for storage space. (click for larger version)

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Richard Davis moves a six-ton barn. Photos by Mary Keck (click for larger version)
June 27, 2012 - You may have heard of barn raisings, but the barn behind the Bird Feeder on Ortonville road did more than raise up on June 5th.

Richard Davis of Davis Building Repair lifted, turned, and moved the approximately six-ton, 20-by-30-foot barn using a 350 Loader Dozer and other equipment. Davis is a fourth generation builder and received help moving the barn from his daughters, Jessica and Heather, and his nephew Justin Wilkins.

From Davis's perspective, relocating a building is no big deal. He's moved bigger buildings, in some cases he had to section them off and drive them miles away to their new location.

"I've done so many, its like second nature," he said.

For the task of moving the Bird Feeder's barn, it took two days to get all the equipment to the shop. Besides a dozer, the most important ingredient for a good barn moving is Fels Naptha soap, said Richard Davis.

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Bars of soap were rubbed against the wooden beams to ensure a smooth move, and smooth it was!

The whole second story of the barn was packed full of storage, and the first floor held milk crates, boxes, and bottles of liquid. Not one item fell as the building, which sat about three feet from the ground on 40-foot long metal beams, slid across wooden planks. Once turned, the barn was moved backward about 30 feet.

The Bird Feeder intends to continue using the barn for storage, but needed it moved because it was in the way of a new glass addition they hope to install in the coming weeks.

Clarkston News reporter
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