Gallagher barn in Medina will become event site

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Jenna and Martin Bruning see location as popular spot for weddings and parties

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA One of the area’s most iconic barns has been a landmark on North Gravel Road for about 150 years.

The barn, with large painted letters WM J. GALLAGHER FARMS, will find new life as a events center for weddings, parties and other special events.

Jenna and Martin Bruning have been working to clean up the property, including the landscape and the building in recent months. They have two weddings booked for next year. They have a lot more work to do, but they see the site as a destination for the area.

The couple grew up on dairy farms. Jenna’s parents, Mike and Cyndi Van LieShout, own a dairy farm in Barre. Martin grew up on a dairy in Waterport. The couple was married in a barn at the Van Lieshhout farm.

“We were married in a barn and it was beautiful,” Mrs. Bruning said on Thursday during an open house at the site.

The barn will be repainted to match the original colors of white with green trim.

The Orleans County Planning Board recommended the Village of Medina approve the site plan and a special use permit for the Brunings to operate the business.

Planning Board member Joe Sidonio said the project is a way to bring a new use into a historic agrcultural property, while drawing more people to the community.

The property is in the village on the north side. The Brunings said the project has the potential “to provide a grand entrance into the village.”

Medina community members take a tour inside the Gallagher barn on Thursday.

The barn has a rustic look with a lot of space that the Brunings believe will be popular for weddings and other events.

The barn dates back to the Civil War era.

The Brunings plan to call the site “The Gallagher” and hope to have it available for events in June.

The property includes this stately brick house that the Brunings said would also be available for dinner parties and other events.

“The house is a monument of Medina and a gorgeous complement to the setting,” Mrs. Bruning said.

The Gallagher is close to the canal, and the Brunings expect visitors to The Gallagher will enjoy other spots in Medina.

The couple both have full-time jobs with Mr. Bruning working as a milk truck driver and Mrs. Bruning serving as a district manager for Aldi.

They have had help from friends and family with clearing brush, redoing masonry work, installing new support poles and tackling many other projects.

The Medina Historical Society has this portrait of William J. Gallagher, who was known as a local eccentric, a businessman who liked to portray a clown.

Mrs. Bruning said she has heard stories about Mr. Gallagher from community members.

Gallagher, former owner of the Gallagher property, is pictured hamming it up for the camera as a clown in the 1930s.

Gallagher appears to be missing his front teeth in the photo and his hair is wild. He has a wide grin and expressive eyes.