Barn Museum Update October of 2019

The barn museum building is done! A special dedication ceremony will be on Saturday October 19th from 1 to 3 P.M. There remains much work to do including painting the museum barn red, and beginning to display the many artifacts of Franklin’s farming family’s life along with the tools and equipment they used. This work will be on going for several years.

Barn Museum Update 2019

The Franklin Historical Society’s barn museum will be completed this summer. Work is moving along smoothly, and plans are being developed for an opening in the fall.


Barn Museum Update 2017

The Barn Museum foundation is nearing completion. The museum is a gift to the City of Franklin honoring the city’s farming family history. We have many artifacts, tools, and equipment in storage that will be displayed once the building is completed. The museum will be open to the general public for touring and will be an important addition to our grade school program that just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Our goal is to have a grand opening for the city’s 4th of July civic celebration in 2018.

On December 7th, 2016 the Franklin Historical Society began the first step in the actual construction of the barn museum with a formal ground breaking ceremony for the site preparation. Now in the spring of 2017 plans are in place for first the bidding for the foundation work in March, followed by the bidding for the construction of the building. Fundraising efforts have been successful but additional funds are still needed. We are getting close.

Barn Museum Update

The City of Franklin’s Common Council on June 26th passed the Barn Museum Capital Project Agreement between the Franklin Historical Society and the City of Franklin. The FHS Board of Directors has also approved the agreement and three of the FHS officers have signed the agreement.

What this means is that all financial terms to build the barn have been agreed upon. City Public Works Department will help with the foundation work and City Engineering will prepare the bids for both the foundation and the building. The bids must be open for 3DSC_0215 copy0 days.

The FHS and the City will work together on all aspects of this project. The goal will be to have the foundation work done during the summer and the barn completed in the fall. Fundraising efforts must continue.

The ultimate goal is to have the barn museum artifacts displays ready for a grand opening during the City’s 4th of July Celebration in 2017.

Barn Museum Update

On Thursday evening June 9th the City of Franklin Planning Commission approved the site plan for the building of the Franklin Historical Society’s historic barn museum.

With the help of the City of Franklin the FHS will begin construction of our barn museum this year.

There is much work to do. Bids for both the foundation work and the construction of the building must be sent out and awarded by the City. There will be several private companies involved and Public Works will do much of the foundation work.

A construction agreement contract between the City and the FHS must be finalized and approved by the Common Council.

Fundraising efforts must continue for the FHS is primarily responsible for funding the project. I would encourage all FHS members and supporters to please help us in these important upcoming months.

Barn Museum Update

It is time for the FHS to update our membership and the Franklin community about our barn museum project. At the date of this writing

May 1st, 2016 plans are being made to start construction this year. First step will be the foundation. Shortly thereafter the barn will be reassembled. Work to begin creating a museum of Franklin’s farming family past would start immediately after. The goal would be to have a grand opening in 2017.

The Franklin Historical Society has served the City of Franklin since 1969. Our mission has been to preserve the history of our great city by maintaining living museums in Lions Legend Park and educating the youth of our city’s history.

Franklin started as a farming community and still remains active as one. In our historic village we have the St. Peters Chapel, Franklin’s Town Hall, the Whelan School and the Sheehan-Godsell Cabin. What we do not have is a Franklin barn museum to represent the family farming life that is so important to our past. Four years ago the Wendt family offered a donation of a historic 1880’s Franklin family barn to the FHS.

This donation was both a great opportunity and challenge for the FHS. By disassembling the barn and reconstructing it in our village we can build a barn museum to display the many artifacts, tools and equipment we have to demonstrate the life style of a Franklin farming family in the 19th and 20th century.

The FHS has graduated over 7,500 students in our grade school program. They are instructed as if they were students in 1908. After the morning class the students tour our other buildings. The barn museum would be an important educational extension of this program. As with our other buildings the barn would be open often to the general public.

From the very start this project was a “leap of faith” for it was well beyond our normal financial means. However, we considered the project essential to our mission to preserve Franklin’s history.

Two special committees were created for this project. A barn construction committee’s job was to develop plans and find the most economical means to build it. The fundraising committee started a capital account to fund the construction.

The FHS first disassembled the barn doing much of the work ourselves and enlisting local businesses such as Guiffre Crane and Johns Disposal. Doing so saved over $12,000 of a $23,000 bid. In 2013 we saved 100 tongue and groove boards from the Oak Creek Mahr barn the day before the Oak Creek Fire Department did a burn of the barn. The value of the boards was $10,000.

After finding out the barn received a A-3 Museum construction classification from the State of Wisconsin an architect and a structural engineer had to be hired to design and reengineer the barn. We received a bid of $30,000 for this. Instead Mark Arndt of Franklin volunteered his professional services as an architect pro-bono. The only cost came as a $5,000 engineering consulting fee from Robert Lata a State certified engineer who discounted his fee. These detailed plans have been presented to city planning and inspection.

Our fundraising committee has worked tirelessly. There have been six barn dances (a seventh Oct. 2nd, 2016), a barn raising social, a founding farming families event, numerous letter writing campaigns and calling on local businesses, several raffles, product sales and barn floats during the city’s 4th of July parade. Thousands of hours of volunteer work where expenses were held to the bare minimum.

The hard work of the FHS volunteers and the support of the Franklin community has been inspiring!

Jim Luckey, President

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