Every barn has stories- some-happy, some frightening, some tragic, or almost tragic.
Wayne Rimathe knows stories hidden in his barn, which was built for his uncle, Ed, outside of Slater in 1929. One story stands out.
As a teen-ager, Wayne liked to trap pigeons. He piled bales of hay high inside the barn so the pigeons couldn't fly out the hole above the hay mow door. One day his uncle, Ed, lowered the hay door, and the bales rolled out on him.
"Dumb stupid thing I did," said Wayne. "My uncle was mad."
The handsome barn is in what Wayne calls "Norwegian Country". The builders were local carpenters Sanford Lande and Genz Mehl. The barn , which has a gambrel roof with trusses on a two-foot center, still has a working Louden hay track.
Through the years, the barn was used to house beef and farrowed hogs.
Ed and Ray's farms were two miles apart, and the two brothers helped each other with farming. Ed had a dairy operation until he retired from farming in 1957. Wayne, who had not been farming, bought his farm. "I always wanted a farm even though I was a mechanic for International Harvester. I always thought the barn was really neat."
After he bought the farm, Wayne carried on mechanic duties in the winter and farm work in the summer. That changed a bit after they saw a llama show at the Iowa State Fair about 20 years ago. The animals fascinated Wayne so he started raising them for interest. He invited school children out to the farm, showed them the llamas, and explained how llamas are used. He even has a scale and grooming chute.
Wayne is proud of the farm. He's proud that's where his children were raised. He emphasized, "The barn was the life blood of the whole operation through the years. Everything happened in the barn."
The barn has new wood windows. There are turnbuckle latches on the door, and the siding is special. "They don't make tongue and groove siding anymore. We needed that to restore the barn", recalled Wayne.
He bought plain 1x6 inch boards and used a router to make a tongue and groove in each board.
Wayne was given a matching grant by the Iowa Barn Foundation. for the restoration work. The barn will be on the all-state barn tour at the end of September. The barn is one mile east of Slater on Highway 210 -- 1349 Highway 210. (jas)