Located on the east end of town on four acres of land purchased by the City of Saline in 1998, the Rentschler Farm Museum consists of a frame house and eleven outbuildings, all of which have been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2013.
The architecture of the house was borrowed from several styles, but is dominated by the Queen Anne fish scale accent in the gable and a wrap-around gingerbread porch, the latter having been restored in 2001 by the historical society.
The outbuildings consist of a restored workshop, hog house, an original 19th c. shed, large equipment barn, henhouse, corncrib, upper and lower barns, a sheep barn, small equipment shed, an ice house and a windmill.
The name Rentschler means landowner or farmer. Emanuel Rentschler purchased his 216 acre farm just after the turn of the century. At that time, there was an old farmhouse and a large dairy barn that stood perpendicular to the road. The 19th c. shed was still useable and there was a sprinkling of other buildings that have since been razed. Gradually, Mr. Rentschler made several improvements, including a new farmhouse in 1906, built by his brother, Matthew.
Four generations of Rentschlers lived and worked on this homestead between 1901-1998. Volunteers from the Saline Area Historical Society developed the property with a focus on farm living between the years 1900-1950. These are the years that reflect a time of great change in agriculture and family living. There was the transition from horse to tractor, from kerosene to electricity, from an agriculture-based economy to a manufacturing economy. All of these are visible in the history of this farm, which we dedicate to all farm families of this area. Many of the artifacts that appear quaint today were actually innovative in their own time.
The Farm Museum is open May to mid-December on Saturdays. After September, only the farmhouse is open as the outbuildings close for the season and the animals return to their owners' farms. Regular hours are 11:00-3:00 and by appointment. Groups larger than ten require a reservation. Call 734-944-0442.