Iowa Barn Foundation

Bickett-Rate Barn, All-State Barn Tour

Bickett-Rate Barn.
Bickett-Rate Barn.

Bickett-Rate Barn.
Interior before.

Bickett-Rate Barn.
Interior after.

From the owner, 09/03/20

The Bickett-Rate Historical Preserve farm, owned by the Cedar County Historical Society (CCHS), adjoins the unincorporated village of Buchanan, Cedar county, Iowa. The restoration of the Bickett-Rate Historical Preserve Barn was completed as of 08/26/20.

See the photos of the barn’s interior (above). The owner reports – "There was a lot of cleaning going on in the barn before any restoration could begin. The biggest challenge was getting the accumulation of hay/straw removed from the mow floor. This had to be done so the barn could be raised for a new foundation and the restoration process. The barn’s concrete floor was broken and not safe to walk thru the barn. This was replaced and now the barn’s floor is easily accessible."

“And on August 10, 2020, we did incur some damage by the derecho that came thru our area, and these repairs will be covered by insurance. The west end of the barn received some damage from the high winds. We are convinced that had we not replaced the barn’s foundation and anchored the restored barn to the new foundation we would have lost the barn entirely. The barn is structurally sound and will be easily repaired by Boice Creek Construction who had completed the earlier restoration work this past Spring."

The barn is on property associated with the 1854 Hannah Morse Fowler Hall House which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The red painted barn was built in 1922 by the Stoltenberg Brothers of rural Tipton to replace the original barn destroyed by a lightning strike fire in 1921.

The property was continuously owned by the Hall/Rate family from 1848 until it was deeded to the Cedar County Historical Society (CCHS) in 1995 with the purpose of establishing the Bickett-Rate Historical Preserve. From 1891-1995, the site operated as an agricultural tenancy, a cooperative with the owner and tenants utilizing a shared rental agreement.

Also, this property is home to the restored Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swift Tower. Here is a link to an Iowa Outdoors video about the tower:

Since 1995 the farm land has been cash rented and the farm buildings maintained by the CCHS. The property is a cultural and educational resource utilized by various Cedar county entities. Tours may be arranged by contacting the Cedar County Historical Society, PO Box 254, Tipton, IA 52772 or phone: (563) 886-2899 | email:

Text and photos supplied by owner 09/03/20.

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