March 18, 2001, the Johnston (Station) Historical Society embarked on a new project to create a museum for Johnston's history and to create a community events facility in a historic setting. The Simpson family donated a century old six-bedroom farmhouse, a barn that was built in the '30's and a windmill. It took one year to prepare the structures for the move; to do fundraising; to create architectural and structural plans and to get all the approvals and paperwork needed to accomplish our goals.
June 26, 2002, the Society made history by moving the house and barn loft two miles from their original site. Work soon started on excavation, pouring walls for the house basement and barn ground level, backfilling and berming, installing supporting beams and columns, installing water and sewer systems, creating the wooden deck to the west of the loft and creating the base for the brick patio to the east of the loft.
June 2003, the concrete floor of the barn was poured along with the house basement floor and cellar steps. Interior walls were created and utilities were installed. With more fundraising, more grant writing, in kind labor and cost reductions from contractors, Community Service support, volunteers from Pioneer Hi-Bred, the Johnston community, High School seniors, the Johnston Park Board, the Mayor's Youth Council, inmate help from Newton and Mitchellville, and thousands of hours by Society members, we have come to what we have today. The barn is finished with restrooms, kitchen, and heating and air conditioning on the ground level. The portico under the deck was created using Merle Hay Road bricks. The upper patio is completed incorporating inscribed bricks from donors who wanted to support this effort. The bricks are century old bricks that were salvaged from the foundation of the house at the 86th Street site. Newly inscribed bricks can be added at any time. A new steel roof is installed and a cultured stone fašade covers the poured concrete walls.
All of this has been made possible through the generosity of our donors -people and businesses that have given time, money and resources to this project. The Society had a vision to give this barn as a legacy to the community. We entrust that vision to be carried on by the City of Johnston.