The smallest of changes: Ma's Little Red Barn revamps its outside

The outside wall remodeling will be complete by the end of March, giving the barn a slightly newer look.

The old brown awning of Ma's Little Red Barn has been revamped with new green and white material.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
The outside walls of Ma's Little Red Barn didn't need to be touched for 21 years, but after some wear and tear it was time for a little revamp.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

PERHAM — If you've seen some construction work outside of Perham's Ma's Little Red Barn throughout the winter, there's no need to fear. The business isn't going anywhere; the outside walls facing Main Street and the post office just needed a little revamping.

When Mark and Barb Lenius (more commonly known throughout the community as "Ma" and "Pa") first acquired the building for their business on West Main Street about 21 years ago, they completely revamped the entire structure that was previously a lumber yard. This included new roof, insulation, electricity, flooring, lighting and more.

"We really started from scratch," Pa reflected. "When we purchased the building, you could drive trucks from Main Street through the back. We had to close it up and put ceilings on it … (The 2023 revamp) was the last of the outside of the building that we did not touch 21 years ago."

Pa continued, "Our office window shade — that's paper — had a water streak down the center of it last year at the end of the summer season. And I just said, 'Maybe it's time we put a new face on.' And so we did … If it's getting into the window shade, who knows where else it's getting into? When we went out there and looked at it, we could see that the thin paper covering was starting to flake off. It was time."

The work was done gradually throughout the winter and will be complete by the end of March. Just the face was redone, and most of it looks pretty similar to its pre-construction stage. The only major difference is the color of the awning, which went from a rustic green-brown to a vibrant green and white to tie into the business's barn theme. Steel was also used to prevent the need for later staining/touch-ups.


"I'm sure a lot of people drive by every day and didn't notice (the construction) until the machine was out," Pa joked. "It's not a big change. Nothing got taller or shorter. It's all the same."

Ma's Little Red Barn operated as normal throughout the construction and will continue to do so as it finishes — just with a slightly newer look.

Elizabeth (she/her), 24, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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