Historic restored barns, throughout Iowa, will be opened to the public during the Iowa Barn Foundation’s free, self-guided, all-state barn tour Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Most barns on tour have been restored with matching grants from the Iowa Barn Foundation. Other property owners received awards of distinction from the foundation for restorations they undertook themselves.
The Iowa Barn Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1997 by a group of folks with Iowa roots, raises money from individuals, foundations, and corporations to give matching grants to property owners to restore their barns. The barns must be restored as closely as possible to original. The property owner must sign a perpetual easement when receiving a grant.
This is the only group of its kind in the country.
The purpose of the tour is to encourage barn preservation in the state, to teach young people about Iowa’s rich agricultural heritage, and to renew pride in this unique heritage. Owners will discuss the barns and their histories at many stops. Visitors are expected from around the country. The effort has encouraged barn preservation throughout Iowa and beyond.
The tour is free although donations to support the foundation’s work are appreciated.
For information: www.iowabarnfoundation.org
Northwest Iowa Barns On Tour
Johnson barn: 6610 460th St., Sutherland (O’Brien County) From Sutherland, travel one mile north on County Road M 12. The barn is on the northeast corner of the intersection of County Roads M-12 and B-53. Barn was built about 1920 for John Adams, a dairy farmer. It has a footprint of over 2,000 square feet. Twin cupolas and horse weathervanes are original. Arched rafters had to be hoisted in place with pulleys and horse power. This allowed for access to the loft without support poles.
Lorch Mennonite barn: County Roads A-34 (220th Street) and M-18 (White Avenue), Ocheyedan. This magnificent Mennonite barn was built in 1889 and has a distinctive overhanging side.
Ackerman barn: 6357 Hwy 9, Ocheyedan (One-half mile north of Ocheyedan on corner of County Road L-58 and Highway 9.) On the Todd and Susan Ackerman farm are barn and smaller “matching” hog house built between 1915 and 1918. The barn is 84 x 36 feet; the hog house is 56 x 24 feet. At one time two Russian carpenters lived in the haymow of the hog house.
Belfrage barn: 2410 Port Neal Road, Sergeant Bluff (Woodbury County). Take Port Neal exit off Interstate 29 and go west two miles to first intersection. Turn right and go two miles north. Owner’s great-grandfather, John Belfrage, served in the Civil War, and bought the land on which this barn stands in 1875. A carpenter named Aaron Gunderson built the barn on the land in 1910.
Conover barn: 5315 190th St., Holstein (Ida County).From Holstein travel 1.5 miles west on US 20. Turn south on County Road L67 and go three miles. Turn left on 190th Street. It is the first place on north side of road. Barn was built around 1900 and used by C.B. Conover and his son, C.B. Jr., for their outstanding Belgian draft horses. Harry Linn, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, gave draft horse demonstrations here.
Jensen barn: 2410 560th Ave., Ringsted (Emmett County). Travel one mile east of Ringsted on blacktop. Then go one-eighth mile south on County Road P-12. Barn with attached milk house was built in 1938. Track and carriage in hayloft are still used to lift hay into the barn.
Hansen barn: 4015 340 Ave., Ruthven. (Take North 18 four miles south of Ruthven). One-of-a-kind landmark corncrib, built in 1940s, holds 7,000 bushels of ear corn and 4,000 bushels of small grain. In middle of crib is a bucket system that transports ear corn to the top of the corncrib and releases it into multiple outlets. Grandfather of owner died when owner’s father was 18 and he had to take over farm.
Ascherl barn: 4680 McKinley, Granville (O’Brien/Sioux Counties). From Granville, go one mile east on Highway 10 and a half mile south on gravel. Barn is on east side of road. This landmark barn was built in 1914 by Mr. Diers from Germantown.
Battaglioli barn: 4819 480th St., Granville (O’Brien County). From Granville, take Highway 10 east two miles. Turn south on Monroe and drive two miles to 480th Street. Then travel east a quarter of a mile. This distinguished barn highlights an area.
Ferguson barn: 40415 130th Ave., Laurens (Pocahontas County). Barn is 3¾ miles straight north of Laurens. Barn and landmark, unique “conehead” crib were built in 1912. Elevator still works.
Clancy Barn:1866 Marengo (Highway 4 and 7), Pomeroy (Calhoun County). Barn was built in 1948 by Leon Clancy, charter member of Charlois Association, who raised the cattle on the farm.
Dreyer barn: 102 310th St., Fenton (Kossuth County). From the south side of Fenton, turn west on County Road B-19. Go ¾ mile west to second place of south side of road. Barn was built in 1903 and used as dairy barn until 1944. There is a 1,000-gallon wooden water storage tank in hayloft. Manure unloading system is intact.