Boots & Badges
Letterwerks Sign City
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
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The Old Barn Resort welcomes you to a BARNiversary

Fri, May 14th, 2010
Posted in Business Announcements

A current photo of the completely restored Old Barn. Photo courtesy of Shirley Endres.

There are no shortages of old barns in southeast Minnesota, Bluff Country, and Fillmore County. But then again, there's really only one Old Barn. And it's going to have a big party this coming weekend!

The Old Barn Resort, located between Preston and Lanesboro, has two special reasons for that celebration. 2010 marks the 20th year that the Old Barn Resort has been in business. It also marks 125 years since its historic barn was actually built.

"We're planning a wonderful celebration of the Barn itself," says owner and operator Shirley Brenna, who along with her husband, Doug, became owners and operators of the Old Barn Resort in 1996. "We hope these activities will bring together many different people-those who know the history and who can discover some of the fun, those who've enjoyed the features of the resort and who may not know the history, and everybody in-between. We invite everyone to come out and have a great time!"

The Old Barn's "BARNiversary" will be held May 20-23, with a series of special events designed for all ages. Those events include:

• Thursday, May 20:

7-11 p.m. Mary Michel's 20th Year Party with DJ Guido.

• Friday, May 21:

9 a.m. Golf Tourney starts

7 p.m. Rib Eating Contest (Winner gets a rack of ribs a week for the rest of the Barn's 2010 season)

8 p.m.-Midnight Misfit Toys Unplugged-Live Music

• Saturday, May 22:

All Day Golf Tourney continues

All Day Allis Chalmers Display

9 a.m. Bean Bag Tourney

1 p.m. Barn Dedication & World's Largest Barn Cake

9 p.m. Bonfire Party

• Sunday, May 23

A.M. Allis Chalmers Display

3 p.m. Golf Tourney winners announced

1-3 p.m. Pig Roast - $2/person w/canned food item for Preston Food Shelf; $5 w/o food item

1-4 p.m. Karaoke Joe

3 p.m. Cow Pie Bingo

The Old Barn's history is legendary, dating back to Milwaukee businessman Edward Allis, founder of the world-famous Allis Chalmers line of tractors and farm equipment. Allis built the barn in 1884 as part of an effort to help his son, Jere, get settled down and established in business. Jere came to manage the local mill and stayed to farm, raising, Poland China hogs, purebred Holstein cattle and finally race horses.

Those horses, and the property, became well-known, with 20 trotters in the stable that raced at county and state fairs. The farm even had two private race tracks. Business and personal troubles led the Chalmers to sell the property in 1906.

Recent history begins with the creation of the Root River Bike Trail in 1988, bringing more people to the scenic valley in which the Barn stands. The Brennas have expanded the 200-acre "resort" to include a golf course, a remodeled restaurant, and expanded pool, patio and camping facilities.

"The Barn has been an icon of this area for 125 years," says Shirley. "It's really a centerpiece of Fillmore County history. A lot of people know that history, but there are even local residents who don't. We hope they'll come out, along with our campers and guests, to have fun and enjoy as few or as many of the activities as they can. The BARNiversary is going to be a fun weekend for everyone!"

For more information about the Old Barn Resort, and the BARNiversary, call (507) 467-2512 or visit

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