The historic Miller Barn dismantling project got underway last Monday, February 14 by local contractors under the supervision of Trillium Dell Timber Works of Galesburg, Illinois. The project, scheduled to start on January 31, has been met with winter weather delays.
The barn, located just west of Arthur on State Route 133, will be relocated to the Illinois Amish Heritage Center near the other historic buildings later this fall with an old-fashioned barn raising sometime around mid-September.
Built in 1879, the barn is in its original condition including the threshing floor and grain bins except for a concrete floor added in1954 in the south end.
Wanting to preserve the barn as it’s been standing exactly like it was built in 1879, it will be disassembled and reassembled piece by piece as every beam of wood will be labeled. The barn timbers will be shipped to Trillium Dell’s facilities for restoration or replacement as needed.
Once the restoration is completed months down the road, a weeklong celebration is being planned that includes a barn raising, a well-known Amish tradition. According to board president Wilmer Otto it has been decades since the last area barn raising.
The addition of a working livestock barn at the IAHC will allow the site to feature various types of farm animals and farming activities related to them.
Keeping this barn is a vital piece of history in telling the story of the early Illinois Amish people.