If you’re a music fan, there’s a barn in Michigan you might want to visit. It may sound strange, but the Music House Museum is a full-sized barn in Williamsburg that is home to some of the most beautifully-restored antique musical instruments in the entire state.
The museum was founded in 1979 by architect David Stiffler and engineer Dean Junker, who both shared a mutual love for musical history and the restoration of automated musical instruments. From 1979 to 1982 the two men worked to restore the century-old Stiffler family barn. Originally the barn had just been intended to be a place where the pair would keep their massive collection, but after some convincing from the community, the Music House Museum was officially opened in 1983.
“The Music House Museum is located on the central property of the historic Stiffler Family farm. The land was cleared and settled in the early 1880s. The former dairy barn now houses the main collections. The granary serves as the Museum’s main entrance. The farm was converted to the production of orchard crops following WWII.” - Music House Museum
Over the past 32 years the museum has welcomed more than 420,000 visitors who come to spend the afternoon exploring the rows upon rows of rare and antique musical instruments. The one-of-a-kind collection is made up of everything from organs, to music boxes and player pianos, all of which were painstakingly restored back to playing condition. The crown jewel piece of the museum is a 1922 dance organ that is so enormous it required a permanent spot in the barn's attic.
The museum also plays host to concerts, events, and school programs with the hopes of inspiring children to develop their own passion for music.
If you’re a music lover planning a road trip through Michigan, do yourself a favor and take a detour to Williamsburg to spend the afternoon exploring one of the states coolest barns!