CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An historic Canton Township barn built before the Civil War was destroyed in a fire caused by smoke bombs and burning paper set up as part of a social media post, officials said.
The Cady-Boyer Barn was moved from its original location at McClumpha and Joy roads in 2006 to its current spot at 500 North Ridge Road in Preservation Park.
The barn was dismantled and rebuilt by Amish craftsmen who hand-numbered every board and plank for reassembly, city officials said.
The 1930s white silo was added to the barn in 2009.
“For the past 15 years, the Cady-Boyer Barn has been one of Cherry Hill Village’s treasured landmarks,” Canton Leisure Services Director Greg Hohenberger said.
Canton firefighters were called to the barn at 5:01 p.m. May 30 to battle the blaze, which had engulfed the barn quickly, they said.
Firefighters battled the flames for over an hour, but the entire structure was lost, according to authorities.
The silo remains standing, but its structural integrity is still being investigated, officials said.
“It’s such a loss because the massive red barn and silo anchored all of the historic properties in this park and were so visible from Ridge Road,” Hohenberger said. “This great reminder of Canton’s agricultural roots will really be missed.”
A thorough investigation revealed the fire was caused by a combination of “the careless use” of colored smoke bomb fireworks and the burning of paper. The smoke bombs and paper were being used for effects in a social media post, according to the Canton Fire Marshal.
“While the fire was unintentional, this incident serves as a strong reminder that even small novelty fireworks can cause significant damage,” Canton officials said in a release.
Nobody was injured during the fire and no other structures were damaged.
The barn site will be fenced off until debris can be removed. Discussions about future replacement have started, but there’s no concrete plan in place.