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|Village Barn of Fleetwood
|The Patriot: Posted on Wed, Oct 22, 2008
Three-Mile House gets a facelift
By Lisa Mitchell; Patriot Editor
Work is evidently being conducted at the old Three-Mile House on Rte.
737, three miles outside Kutztown. New property owner John Burns,
of Fleetwood, immediately began the building's facelift after
purchasing the property on Oct. 15.
"I kept driving by seeing that for sale sign. I said, 'I have to have it' and
bought it five or seven days later," said Burns.
Since then, Burns said at least 100 people have stopped to ask him
what he's doing to the Three-Mile House in Greenwich Township.
"It's one of the last things you see when you leave town and one of the
first you see when you come back into town," said Burns.
To dispel any rumors that may be circulating, such as demolition,
Burns invited The Patriot for a tour.
Walking around the exterior, Burns pointed out the German lap siding
and stone work. On the roof are antique weather vanes. The property
was deeded in 1850, but he believes the log building portion dates
back to the 1830s.
"It has a lot of history and it needs a lot of work," he said.
Removing the aluminum siding revealed what Burns believes to be the
indentation made by the original Three-Mile House sign. Also, shadows
can be seen where shutters were once hung.
Around the building, Burns removed old trees and overgrown
shrubbery. Out front is the original well and hand pump.
Inside, Burns has been just as busy, removing numerous layers of
wallpaper and linoleum flooring dating back to the 1920s.
Since 1850, the building has been a bar and restaurant, a dance club,
and the Three-Mile House serving breakfast in the morning and music
in the evening. More recently, it served as a construction office and
One visitor told him that one of the owners of the Three-Mile House
lost the building in a poker game and had to live in a cottage across the
A recent visitor to the property gave Burns some historical records.
According to records, Pete Shlenker owned the building and then Bill
Kurtz. From 1949 through 1959 the Heisers owned it. Then, from
1978 to 1999, it was owned by the Oldts. Howard and Darlene Kressly
owned the property until Burns purchased it on Oct. 15.
Much work is yet to be done to achieve his completion goal of spring.
Burns hopes to create a general store and an antique shop on the
entire first floor, as well as offer beverages. He hopes to rent one wing
for a sandwich shop.
What will be its name?
Burns plans not to name the general store and antiques shop the
"Those days are gone. It's time to move on forward," he said.
However, he does not know yet what he will call it.
This is not the first historical property renovated by Burns. Previous
properties include the Kutztown Shoe Factory, Kutztown Power Plant,
the Village Barn of Fleetwood, which was a speakeasy; the Old Seaman
Chevrolet Dealership in Fleetwood, and more recently the Top Motel in
Previously, Burns was an auto mechanic and later owned Kutztown
Furniture. He has been rehabbing since 2001.An antiques auction will
be held on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the old Three-Mile House.