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Pickle Barrel House Museum (Teenie Weenie Pickle Barrel Cottage)

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Teenie Weenie Pickle Barrel Cottage
1927, Harold S. Cunliff; 2004–2005 restoration. Lake Ave. at Randolph St.
  • (Photograph by Roger Funk)
  • (Photograph by Roger Funk)

Once the summer home of William and Mary Dickerson Donahey, cartoonists and creators of children's books, the pickle barrel cottage is an interconnected pair of staved barrels, one small and the other quite large. It is a giant-size version of the “Teenie Weenie” homes created by the Donaheys “under a rose bush in the woods” in their Chicago Tribune cartoon strip that featured tiny people in a life-size world and ran from 1914 to 1970. The popularity of the cartoon won for the Donaheys an advertising contract from Murdock and Company food products. Pioneer Cooperage Company of Chicago designed the cottage and the Monarch Pickle Company of Chicago built it in the woods on the shore of Grand Sable Lake. The main barrel held the living room on the first floor and the bedroom on the second. A pantry linked this barrel to the smaller one-story barrel that contained the kitchen. When the site was acquired by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Pickle Barrel Cottage was moved to Grand Marais, a resort center that was formerly a commercial fishing village. In 2003 the Grand Marais Historical Society took over the cottage and restored it to serve as a museum.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Pickle Barrel House Museum (Teenie Weenie Pickle Barrel Cottage)", [Seney, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 534-534.

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