Farmington’s Warner Mansion on a more solid foundation

The “home of Farmington history” is on more solid ground, now that foundation repairs to the Governor Warner Mansion are complete.

While the former home of Michigan Governor Fred Warner still needs some work on the roof and exterior paint, Mansion director Kim Shay told city council members Monday that major foundation renovations were completed in 2017. The museum’s financial condition has improved as well, with increased attendance and revenues.

In 2017, close to 3,500 people visited the Mansion, which is located at 33805 Grand River in Farmington. The highlight of the season, a 150th anniversary gala held on the grounds, brought in nearly $8,000 in ticket sales and generated $30,000 in dedicated building fund donations.

While the Spring Open House, Porch Parties, Haunted Mansion, and other annual events will continue, Shay said Founders Festival weekend activities in July will look a little different. Rather than hosting a petting zoo on Friday, the annual Flea Market will become a two-day event, Friday and Saturday.

Also new in 2018: a Farmington history outreach program to Farmington Public Schools, engaging high school students as event volunteers, and a presentation for corporations with the goal of creating a long-term endowment.

“We have the expectation that this year will be more successful than the last,” Shay said.

“It can’t be understated what you and your team of volunteers pull off,” Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bowman said. “You’ve really taken the mansion to new heights, and it’s really exciting to watch.”

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