The Iowa Barn Foundation: Helping to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage one barn at a time.


Historic 2014 Spring Barn Tour, June 21 & 22, 2014
Northwest Iowa Barn Tour

Cherished historic barns in Plymouth, Cherokee, and Sioux Counties were featured on the Iowa Barn Foundation's area tour Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The tour was free and open to the public.

The Iowa Barn Foundation, founded in 1997, is a non-profit group dedicated to educating folks about barns and encouraging their preservation.

Like many barns in Iowa today, some barns on the tour are in need of restoration work.  Funds raised by the Iowa Barn Foundation go toward rehabilitation and restoration of barns.  It is hoped interest in these barns on tour will encourage preserving them.

Tonsfeldt Barn

A noon picnic lunch was held Sunday, June22, at the one-of-a kind historic round barn at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, 500 Fourth Avenue, NE, LeMars.  The price for lunch is $10.  A check made to the Iowa Barn Foundation should be sent to Mindy Hamann, 21461-240th St.,Grundy Center, IA 50638.  Reservations must be received by June 14,2014.

A guide gave the history of the Plymouth County Fairgrounds barn.

The 82' x 68' round barn, with a Gothic curved roof, was designed by Peter Tonsfeldt in 1918.  He wanted a structure to show off his Polled Hereford bull and purebred cattle.

During the Depression years, the Tonsfeldt family sold their west LeMars farm to Herman Lang.  Following Lang's death in 1980, the farm was offered at auction, where the Langley brothers purchased the property.

They donated the historic round barn to the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, and the barn was moved to its present location.

For more information contact one of the County Representatives listed below.

Click here to see photos taken during the Tour.

Plymouth County
County Representative, Brenda Groon, 712-568-2400

Historic round barn at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, 500 Fourth Avenue, NE, LeMars.

Details of this barn are above.


Hoffman barn was built at the turn of the century by Theodor Hoffman.  The land, on which the barn sits, was homesteaded by Dennis Hoffman in 1870.  Most of the wood used in building the barn came from cottonwood trees on the farm.  The lower level was used for work horses.  The stalls and bunks remain.  The barn was the scene of many barn dances.  Lawerence Welk played at some of those dances.

South of LeMars on Highway 75, Turn west onto C38.  The barn is nearly 8 miles west at 23903 C38, Merrill, IA.

Hoffman Barn

John Lucken barn, located at 17108 Bluebird Ave. Akron, IA 51005, was originally owned by Harvey and Bob Lias.  Bob, 82, recalls his grandfather building the barn when he was 12.

From Akron, go south on Highway 12 some 1.1 miles.  Turn east on 170th Street for 0.2 miles, then right on Bluebird Avenue to 17108 Bluebird Ave.


Sioux County
County Representative, Leroy Intveld, 712-439-2775)

Harold and Kathy Vande Kieft barn, 3280-440th St, Orange City was built in 1940.  It was converted from a cow barn to a stable for the family's draft and quarter horses.

The barn is located one mile north of the intersection of Highways 10 and 75, south of Sioux Center and 1-3/4 miles east on 440th Street.


Buyert barn is over 100 years old and still has mangers in it for feeding hay to cattle.

From Sioux Center's Hardee's corner (north end of Sioux Center), go 5 miles north on Highway 75.  Take Highway 75 to 340th Street.  Turn west for a mile to Grant Avenue.  Barn is at the NW corner of the Grant and 340th St intersection.


Evan Kraayenbrink barn, 2938-400th St, was built in the 1880s and is still used to provide shelter for dairy calves.

At the south end of Sioux Center at the intersection of 9th Street SE and Highway 75.  Travel 1.5 miles west on 400th Street to the barn on the north side of the road.


Oostra corn crib granary is a unique old building at 3122 US 75, Hull, IA.  It has grain bins over the alley and an inside elevator.  It was built in 1956 and has storage for 4000 bushels of ear corn and 3000 bushels of grain.

From the Caseys store in Hull, go west on Highway 18 to Highway 75.  Turn north and go 3/4-mile.  The crib is located on the east side of the highway.


Cherokee County
County Representative, Becky Roland Bryant, 712-213-0598

The large Gary and Alura Otto barn, 5544 S Ave, was built in the 1920's and housed cows, horses and sows on one side of the barn.  Hay was stacked in the center from the ground up, with grain bins above.  The other side of the barn was a loafing area for cattle.

From Cherokee, go one mile east on Highway 3 to S Avenue, turn south and travel 2.5 miles.  From Aurelia, take Highway 7 west to C43.  Turn left or west on C43 for 3 miles to S Avenue.  Go South 1/2-mile to the barn.


The Smith Family Trust Barn, 5034 T Ave, is owned by grandchildren of original owner, William Smith, whose family purchased the farm with the barn in 1907.  The barn is located on County Road M 10.

From Cherokee travel east on Highway 3 two miles to M 10.  Turn north for 1-3/4 miles.


Cherokee County Park barn is a 52' x 120' foot barn built in the early 1900's.  Originally owned by Wayne Little and used as a loafing barn for dairy cattle; now is a main feature at the Silver Sioux Recreation Area on the Little Sioux River.  Preservation, Restoration has become an economic question for Cherokee County.

Silver Sioux Park is located seven miles south of Cherokee on Highway 59.  Turn west on 600th St for two miles to Silver Sioux Road.  Continue right or north on Silver Sioux Road.  The Park, Silver Sioux Road, can also be accessed from Highway 31, east of Quimby.


The Otto Family Barn, 2241-63rd St, built in 1904, is part of Pioneer Henry J. Otto's 1884 homestead.  This early leader in the Hanover community had 16 children.  It is the 24 remaining cousins, of the original 64, who want to preserve their grandfather's barn.  The barn was used for work horses, cattle and hay storage.  It is the current home of Aaron Hinkeldey.  Virdene Otto is the leader for the barn preservation.

The barn is seven miles south of Aurelia on M21, or V Avenue and East 1/4-mi on C65 .  The barn is 3-1/2 miles west of Hanover, an early Iowa Community.


Alvin Melton granary, 4942 U Ave, was built by his grandfather in 1910.  It is believed to be the first granary in Cherokee County.  This impressive building still has the dump cups, chain and switching mechanism, used to fill the four large overhead bins, and the attached "engine room" where horses, and later tractors, supplied the power.

From Cherokee, go two miles east on Highway 3, three miles north on M10 to 500th Street.  East on 500th Street one mile and north on U Avenue to the Melton Granary.

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