What happens when an architect and an engineer put an 18×32-foot organ in an old dairy barn in Williamsburg, Michigan? A collection of antique instruments gains a home, and the Music House Museum is born.

Since opening in 1983, the reimagined barn has housed a one-of-a-kind collection of automated musical instruments spanning from the 18th century to the 1950s. The collection continues to grow each year and includes music boxes, player pianos, nickelodeons, magnificent organs and more. Every instrument has been restored to its original-playing glory using period-conscious materials to maintain authenticity. One of the most extensive restorations was on the jewel of this collection, the 1922 Mortier Dance Hall Organ, “Amaryllis.” Originally built for the Victoria Palace in Ypres, Belgium, the piece made its way into the collection in the ’80s and is one of less than 100 large dance organs left in the world.

Enthralling more than 450,000 visitors since its opening, guests have participated in guided and self-guided tours, which also include a miniature Traverse City display that was housed in Clinch Park from 1931 to the early ’70s and donated to the museum in 1991. 

See all of this and more when you attend these Music House Museum events.


The Music House Museum presents Modern Times, a 1936 American comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin in which his iconic Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world. The film is a comment on the desperate employment and financial conditions many people faced during the Great Depression, conditions created, in Chaplin’s view, by the efficiencies of modern industrialization. The movie stars Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman,Tiny Sandford and Chester Conklin.

The Music House Museum welcomes back pianist Peter Bergin for a concert he calls “The American Parlor”. It hearkens back to the days before radio and even the phonograph, where the primary location for entertainment for the family, and even the neighborhood, was by the piano in the parlor room. Music publishers supplied the sheet music to fuel the entertainment, and families took it from there.

Photo(s) by Music House Museum