Plans for a barn museum in Fenton Township

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Fenton Township (WJRT) - (12/21/17) A Mid-Michigan business owner who loves history has bought an old barn. He plans to use it to teach visitors to his orchard about farm life 100 years ago.

Mueller's Orchard is famous for its apples. It's a family-friendly place.

"It's kind of a come-have-a good-time-type-thing," said Charles Mueller.

And he hopes this red barn will interest his customers.

"The barn right now is about 100 years old...Fortunately they took good care of the roof so the barn stayed square and straight," said Mueller.

It sits near his property and he was able to buy it recently. It's zoned residential but needs to be agricultural.

"We have to change the zoning on it," said Mueller.

And when that happens, Mueller hopes to use the barn to teach people what farming was like a century ago.

"We're going to restore inside and put it back pretty much the way it was so people can see how it worked and why it was so important to the farm," said Mueller.

The barn will be cleaned up and the animals from a petting zoo will stay in there. The barn looks like it did 100 years ago.

"You can see the beams are all hand hewn and hand cut," said Mueller.

Visitors will get a sense of how farmers efficiently used all the space in the barn. The trolley used to move out manure is still installed as is the mechanism to get hay into the mow. There will even be some old farm equipment to park inside.

"It's a good old barn," said Mueller.

He doesn't want important farm skills to be forgotten.

People can just go inside, look around, kind of hands on, see how an old barn worked," said Mueller.

No doubt it will bring back memories for a lot of people. Mueller hopes to have it up and running by the time apple harvest season starts next year.

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