All of the barns are (or were) bank barns. The Finney barn was a bank barn before 2016.
A Loss of a Historic Barn
On July 19, 2018, one of Iowa's celebrated historic barns was swooped 15 feet into the air by a tornado and slammed to the ground leaving only scattered pieces of the stunning National Register treasure on the ground.
Sharon Galloway, the barn's owner, was visiting friends 20 miles away when she received a call from a friend, "Your house is fine, but you don't have a barn anymore."
By the time she reached home, near Keosauqua in southeast Iowa, there were 30 cars parked on the property. "I felt terrible. It was surreal. I look at it, and it's gone," she said.
Sharon's father, Clyde McElhinney, bought the barn in 1957. It had been built in 1890 by William Barker as a dairy barn. It was a basement barn and was special because it featured Louden custom equipment. The house, which was not damaged, was built in 1884. The cupola also remains.
Sharon, 77, who was a teacher, is concerned about the 100 bats that lived in the barn. "I wonder what happened to them," she said.
Photo taken July 19, 2018, after the tornado at about 6pm
The Finney barn is located in Van Buren Township. Van Buren County, Iowa, on the east side of Highway 1, north of Mt. Zion. It is believed to have been built sometime between 1898 and 1904 by owners Charles S. & Bessie L. (Barker) Bogle. Although the builder of the barn is unknown, there is evidence in the barn that the lumber came from the Streeter Lumber Company, which operated in Keosauqua and Douds about that time period.
The following information was noted in An Architectural & Historical Survey of the Bank Barns in Van Buren County, Iowa, conducted in 1996...
"This barn is somewhat larger than the others noted, being 38' x 48'. It features the wagon doors on the west elevation, reached by an earthen and wood ramp, with the lower doors opening to the east. These English barns were basically a variation on the three bay threshing barn, but built into a slope with lower level for livestock. An interesting feature of this barn is the use of windows on all elevations, with two windows in each gable end as well. This use of windows is unusual in the barns surveyed. The construction is similar to many others in the survey, combining log, hewn, and milled lumber, with wooden pegs used in some places. The beams, both hewn and milled, measure 8" x 8". Construction of bank barns allowed for hay and grain storage on the upper level while sheltering livestock below. This was economical because there were two levels under one roof."
Faced with imminent collapse due to a deteriorating foundation, substructure support, and floor, and limited use of 21st Century needs, the barn was moved on a new foundation by Enos Mullett of rural Milton in 2016. Plans are to restore the old foundation as a way to bridge its former location and use with the new. With proper care, the barn is now poised to be a useful structure for another 125 years.
The Parson is on the Iowa barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour most years (but not for 2018).
Another photo is on Wilford Yoder's photo page (scroll down to see it).
Photos by Jeffrey Fitz-Randolph (except tornado photo)