This is an interesting vernacular interpretation of the Queen Anne style. The three gables on the north side of the house (above) are an unusual feature.
Tag Archives: © Brian Brown/Vanishing Media
This is among the best known and most notable farmhouses in Wilcox County and is the centerpiece of what was once a large working farm. Most of the historic barns and dependencies survive. I have passed it in my travels since childhood and have always admired the dedication of the family to its upkeep. I’ll update with more history soon.
For many years an old wagon sat beside this iconic barn, surrounded by trees. I think I have a photo of the wagon somewhere but never got a good shot of the barn. I had just noted the loss of another Irwinville Farms barn I’ve photographed for many years when this came into view, as if to make up for that loss.
The two-room Gaskins School is located in the Weber community. Bryan Shaw of the Berrien County Historical Society notes that it was built prior to 1908. After consolidation, a larger building was constructed adjacent to this schoolhouse and it was used as the lunchroom.
Shaw also states that the consolidated school was moved off the property when it closed, and was remodeled by Sheriff Walter Gaskins for use as his home.
I’ve preliminarily identified this as Purple-headed Sneezeweed (Helenium flexuosum). Sneezeweed doesn’t get its name because of allergens but because certain species were used in early medicinal elixirs to induce sneezing. Medicinal use is strongly discouraged today because the live plants are known to be toxic to humans and cattle.