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“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

                                                                                                                                                                             Winston Churchill

Summer at Pears Mill 2019 













Summer at Pears Mill


Something is happening at the Mill every

Saturday this summer! Here is the line-up of demonstrators, free classes, workshops and other events. Space is limited for those activities noted with an * , see below for registration instructions. 


Every Saturday

Corn milling and Mill Tours 10-4


Pies for Preservation























The Pies are Back by Popular Demand!


Mark your calendar for a treat! Delicious pies will again be available for your summer enjoyment! We will be selling pie by the slice or whole pies, ice-cold vintage pops and water, and pie boxes just outside Pears Mill from 10:00 am til 1:00 pm (or while supplies last) on the following dates: 

May 26 (Memorial Day weekend), 

June 30 (4th of July weekend) 

Sept 1 (Labor Day weekend) 


All profits will be added to a fund designated for one of Buchanan’s most important historic buildings – the Ross Sanders House at Front and Oak streets.  It’s our hope the BPS will be able to assist with a special project for this irreplaceable piece of Buchanan’s past, and a key to its sustainable future. 


In 2016 the "Pie Fund" reserves were used for the hardware and installation of a fire and motion detector system in Ross-Sanders House. We also contributed to the painting of Ross-Sanders west vestibule.



Historic Plaque Programs


The BPS welcomes applications from owners of “Contributing” properties in the Downtown and North and West Neighborhoods National Register Historic districts for this plaque program.


Mark your historic building’s place in history by purchasing  a 5” x 7” cast bronze plaque!  Contact the BPS using our contact page for more information about this program.


Walk Historic Buchanan


Talk a walk.  Donald Ryman’s original self guided Buchanan Architectural Heritage Historic Walk, in a third revised edition, is available in the resources section of this web site.


Annual Membership Meeting

Each Fall members meet to elect a board and officers and celebrate the year’s successes and mourn the year’s losses in a social setting.



A BPS Newsletter is published periodically to keep members and friends informed.



Preservation Workshops are available on a variety of topics.


Exhibits and Demonstrations

Permanent exhibits include milling related tools and machinery, maps, photographs, mill models, and commercial signs from Buchanan’s past.


Over the course of the Summer season, history re-enactors, basket weavers, spinners, rug makers, wood carvers, and musicians share their skills at Pears Mill.


Educational Partnerships

In conjunction with the Buchanan Community School District, the BPS provides demonstrations of historic crafts and mill tours every May as part of a living Michigan History Week curriculum.



New Summer Intern Program

In the summer of 2017 the BPS created a Pears Mill, summer intern, college scholarship program. With financial support from our members, we funded two, one thousand dollar scholarships. We connected with a great applicant pool from the Buchanan High School History Club and picked the two very best.


Pears Mill Scavenger Hunt

Intern Anita Gillette created a fun new activity for your next visit! Clues and photos are the hints which lead you to discover many of the treasures of Pears Mill. There are three levels for all ages and everyone's a winner! This event works on your schedule, available any Saturday this summer from 10am -4pm.  Ages three to ninety-three will have a great time! 


Other Successes

The BPS actively supported, endorsed, or participated in the following National Register listings:

•    The Buchanan Downtown National Register Historic District

•    The Buchanan North and West Neighborhoods National Register Historic District

•    The Union Block Building



In 2014, three of William Pears great grandchildren visited Pears Mill.  Left to right: Charlene Pears Simpson of Arizona with her cousins Marcia P. Easterling of Maine and Ralph Buchanan Pears of South Carolina.


The Society’s other completed and continuing projects include:


•  Maintaining, in cooperation with the City of Buchanan, and operating, with BPS volunteers,  the 1857-1858 Pears Mill and c1840 Day & Hamilton Millrace.


•  A completed historic structure engineering report and work plan for the City of Buchanan owned, 1856 Ross-Sanders House.


•  With the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, completion of a Michigan State Historic Preservation Office funded model “Community Preservation Assessment and Survey.” 

Donald Ryman recieved the 5th Annual Frank J. Ward Memorial History Award from The History Center at Courthouse Square of Berrien Springs

Graham Woodhouse Award

In Jan of 2014, BPS was honored to receive the 2014 Graham Woodhouse Intergovernmental Effort Award, for it’s role in the McCoy Creek Watershed Improvement Project. The BPS was one of 18 agencies involved in the planning and funding of the project.


Roofing Ross-Sanders House


In late summer 2016 the Ross-Sanders House recieved a new roof. Many thanks to BPS members Bill Cameron and Peter Lysy who acted as project managers, the City of Buchanan and the crew from Sherriff Goslin Roofing. 

Donating to Buchanan Tree Friends 

With a $500 donation and ongoing support from the Buchanan Preservation Society, The Buchanan Tree Friends are off and running.

Beth Murphy and Spencer Miller.JPG
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