Iowa Barn Foundation

Iowa Barn Foundation

24 Years of Working To Preserve Iowa's Barns

Spring Barn Tour (2021) by Iowa Barn Foundation

The Anamosa State Penitentiary, prison barns, a close-up history of Grant Wood, a revered quarry, and some of the state's most picturesque landscape, will be featured on the Iowa Barns Foundation's June area tour centered in the Stone City and Anamosa area on Saturday, June 26, and Sunday, June 27 from 8:30 to 5 p.m. Other area historic barns will also be included on the extra-ordinary tour, a one-of-a-kind event touting Iowa historic treasures.

The tour will feature a walk on the grounds of the prison's historic site, bought by the state in 1875, and home to early twentieth century Romanesque Revival barns unique with the heavy density of walls, windows, and door openings. The reformatory property was bought by the state because of the proximity to the valuable stone used in building the penitentiary and eventually transported by trains, around the country. When the site was listed on the National Register in 1992, buildings included a South barn, a granary, root cellar, North barn, slaughter house, processing plant, seed house, dining hall, and cold frame. Some of those buildings remain.

Click here for more about our special 2021 Spring Barn Tour.

Below - Anamosa Farm #1 South barn, photo by Dave Austin.

Barn

 

Annual Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour (2021)

The annual Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour (2021), featuring barns throughout the state that have received grants from the foundation, will be held the last weekend in September (Sept 25 & 26). This one-of -a -kind tour attracts folks from throughout the country and beyond. It is free and opened to the public. Details will be available in Summer 2021. See last year's All-State Barn Tour -2020 (20th Annual) on this website (click here).

 

Note to IBF Members about AmazonSmile.

The Iowa Barn Foundation would like to alert our members to an Amazon rewards program. For every purchase you make by using AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to your designated beneficiary. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to the Iowa Barn Foundation. For more information, go to the https://smile.amazon.com/ webpage, where you can read more about it by clicking on their link, Learn more about AmazonSmile.

 

We always see the exteriors of barns, but about the interiors?

But, the interior often reveals the story of the complexities of building the structure. Often the interiors are works of art that are hidden. Look at the interior of your barn--especially the ceiling. Would not others like to see it? Take a photo of it and send it to us along with a little history of the barn and its builder.

The 100 year-old Smith barn - click on the photo for the story.
Smith Barn Interior

Also, we are interested in sharing photos of "marks" in the barn that might indicate its age or who built it. We have found dates written in barn closets. Please send to Iowa barn Foundation Magazine, 5327 Mandell, Houston, TX 77005. Or e- mail to:  Jschmeal@earthlink.net

 

Everybody has a story (see our Barn Stories page)

Do you have a story or photos about barns that you would like to share with our Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine readers or our website viewers?  Submit your words, photos, or story ideas to Jacqueline Schmeal, 5327 Mandell, Houston, TX 77005.

Thank you. We would love to hear from you. And we are interested in knowing about barn-related activities around Iowa.

 

Our primary Mission

Barns, America's symbols of honesty, integrity, and the American dream, are disappearing from Iowa's countryside at a rapid rate. With mechanized agriculture of today, barns are no longer the center of the farm.

But, they remain poignant reminders of our agricultural heritage.

Founded in 1997, the Iowa Barn Foundation, an all-volunteer, all-state organization, is dedicated to preserving Iowa's rural agricultural buildings. The Iowa Barn Foundation is an Iowa non-profit corporation with tax-exempt status under paragraph 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The primary mission of the Iowa Barn Foundation is to educate the public about the significance and importance of Iowa's barns through the Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine and our Barn Tours. It raises money to provide barn rehabilitation or restoration matching grants to help property owners restore their barns.

In addition, property owners who use their own funds to restore or rehabilitate barns that would otherwise qualify for a matching grant, are eligible to receive an Iowa Barn Foundation Award of Distinction. Award of Distinction icon Take a look at some of the restored barns that have been featured on the IBF Barn Tours since 2001.

The Iowa Barn Foundation, in keeping with its mission to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage, accepts economically and financially self-sustaining farms and farmland. Through the foundation's farm conservancy, these farms and farmland are saved in perpetuity for agricultural purposes according to the owner's wishes.

We need your help to preserve Iowa's barns! All of the funds to rehabilitate and restore Iowa's barns come solely from private donations. Make a donation or become a member of the Iowa Barn Foundation today!

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Kenneth Ruegsegger, Mount Pleasant

There are those who give their lives trying to make a better society. Kenneth Ruesegger, Mount Pleasant , was one of those. His passing last week was a loss to Iowa, to barns, to America. He was one of those hard working people generous of spirit.

He and his wife, Marilyn, attended a barn tour and saw that signage was minimal. An expert in carpentry, the offered to make signs and take them around the state. So, for many years, Joe created the beautiful directional signs, and he and Marilyn drove from corner to corner of the state personally delivering the handmade signs to owners of barns on tour. It was a huge job--a labor of love.

These were special people who gave time, talent and effort to enrich the Iowa Barn Foundation--to enrich Iowa.

We'll still see some of those lovely signs. And, we will still stop and think of the wonderful couple who dedicated so much time to make the tour, Iowa, even better. We will always be grateful. Thank you, Marilyn and Ken.

Jacqueline Andre Schmeal, President Emeritus

Jason Zabokrsky, Troy Mills, wrote:

"Barns symbolize the agricultural heritage of those who founded the state of Iowa. That agricultural heritage is synonymous with important values. These values include dedication to hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community...

...As barns are destroyed a valuable part of our heritage is also lost. If Iowans lost these historic barns from the landscape, one may posit that Iowans will begin to lose sight of the important values of hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community which they represent."

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