THE SPRING IOWA BARN FOUNDATION PICNIC and tour was held in the Dubuque, Iowa, area on June 25 and 26. The tour, which is free and opened to the public, included eight historic barns in and near Dubuque County. It is self guided. The Dubuque County Historic Preservation Commission is co-sponsoring this event with the Iowa Barn Foundation. The purpose is to encourage the preservation of Iowa's historic barns - many in Dubuque County.
This is a county where barns are still highly regarded for their history.
The tour was held Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
A picnic lunch was served at the Monk barn on Saturday, Jun 25. The cost was $10 per person.
Scroll down to see the barns, and click on the Map (to the right or below).
Hempstead Barn, Mike & Pat Kearney, Northeast corner of Simon Road & Highway 151, Fillmore, IA
Take Hwy 151 North out of Cascade, IA. In about 5 miles - turn left on Simon Road. Barn is on the Northeast corner. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
This prairie style barn was built in 1896 for Michael and Mary (Whalen) Seery. Mary was the great-great-aunt of the barn’s current owners. It is a small barn, 24 feet wide, 48 feet long and 33 feet tall. Josepf Kofmehl from Farley, IA constructed the barn for Seery on this 40acre farm. The farm house on the property was removed in the 1970s when Highway 151 was widened.
The interior of the east side of the barn contains wood stanchions for milking cows and a pen for calves. The west side has four horse stalls. The interior of the barn is original. The wood floors in the stalls are wellworn but intact. There is a corn crib attached to the back of the barn.
Nancy & Paul Kaufman Barn, 6206 291st Street (Streff Road), St. Donatus, IA.
From St. Donatus, take Highway 52 north one mile and then take a right onto 291st Street (Streff Road) and travel 0.7 miles. Barn is on the right. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
The 30x80 foot barn is an early Iowa barn which was recently restored. The farm was homesteaded in the 1850s. Barn has table roof, large rolling doors on a track, entirely constructed from wood.
A dirt floor remains with its original milk stanchions, horse stalls, long beam construction. The haymow door slides down the front of the barn on a track suspended by two large counter weights. Two log structures and a stone house are also on the property.
Doug & Michaela Monk Barn, 13982 Rock Road, Monticello, IA
Rock Road is off Hwy 151 between Cascade and Monticello- take Rock Road North to 13982. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
According to neighbor Warren Rieniets, the red barn was built in about 1906 by his grandfather Anthon Theodore Rieniets. Theodore, as he was called, came to America in 1892, with his brother from Germany and got a job as a farm hand with Dietrick Burrack.
On February 20, 1895 Dietrick Burrack was killed on the property in a farming accident leaving behind a widow and 6 daughters Theodore married the widow in 1899, they had 3 additional children. The family lived in what is now the garage until 1911 when they built the house.
The barn used to have cupulas on the roof. Loose hay would be brought into the haymow from the east end. 25 to 30 Holstein cows were milked by hand by the family. The raised floor area was for the work horses.
David & Charlotte Neises Barn, 20987 Mud Lake Road, Dubuque, IA
Take US 52 North out of Dubuque to Mud Lake Road. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
Mathias Neises immigrated from Germany and homesteaded on this farm in the 1860s, building a log cabin (around which the current farmhouse on the site was built) and barn for his growing family. The stone for the foundation was quarried on the farm.
The barn is built into the side of a hill, allowing hay to be loaded directly into the upper level while creating space below for dairy cows and horses. In the 1890s an addition to the entire barn was built onto the east end. A silo was added in the 1920s and a cinder block milkhouse was built in the 1940s. David added a modern milking parlor onto the barn in the 1980s.
The barn is unrestored, but still features its original unpainted cedar siding, stone foundation, barn doors, and handhewn beams held together with wooden pins. The farm has been in the Neises family for seven generations and was designated a Heritage Farm in 2014 (150 years in the same family).
John and Mary Ann Rubly Barn, 14754 Pape Road, Dyersville, IA
Take 136 North out of Dyersville 2 miles, turn right Floyd Rd 1.5 miles, turn right on Pape Rd, destination on the left. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
This barn was built in 1917. It originally had wood shingles, and the rock for the foundation came from the cheek bed. The original horse stalls are still in the barn, and there is an oat bin upstairs with two grain chutes to feed the horses in troughs.
The stanchions are also in the barn, there is a milk house connected to the barn, with the separator still there. The manure carrier is also in the barn on the track. The barn is 36 ft wide, 70 ft, long and 40 ft to the roof. The wood shingles were replaced in 1981.
John and Mary Ann Rubly Barn, 29039 Dyersville East Road, Farley, IA
From Dyersville take 5th Ave NE out of town East, it becomes Dyersville East Rd- go 3.3 miles. Or from the Rubly Barn in Dyersville, follow Pape Road South, it becomes Dyersville East Road, destination on the left. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
This barn was built in 1940 by Allie Rausch. The barn is 34 ft, wide, 60 ft long 40 Ft to the roof. The cement in the barn was added later. The owners never milked in that barn, just used for cattle. This barn had wood shingles when built. The corn crib on the farm was built in 1954 by R. Domeyer of Petersburg.
Jack Smith Barn, 20922 Asbury Rd., Durango, IA
From Hwy 20 go North from Peosta on 5 Points Rd. Turn left on Asbury Rd to destination. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed.
The Smith barn was built in 1917 by a man named Jack Brehm. Mr. Brehm had a strong reputation in those days as being a real craftsman. Jack Smith’s great-great grandfather came to this site in 1853. Jack’s grandfather Joseph Smith operated a sawmill on the property and the frame for the barn came off the same place.
Mr Brehm arrived at the site in the spring of 1917 with the frame that had been prepared over the winter. The labor bill was five hundred dollars. Jack Brehm built several other barns in the Asbury area as well. A barn dance was held in the loft upon completion. Several neighbors signed their names that night in the northeast corner of the loft.
Ridden-Hahn Barn, 3294 Vine Road, Dyersville (Delaware County)
Barn is on the property of the ethanol plant owned by Big River Resources. To view the barn, from US 20, take Hwy X49 North. After the railroad tracks, turn left onto Vine Road. The barn is located beyond the plant. Try Google maps by clicking on this link- accuracy not guaranteed (the barn is more to the west than the Google map shows).
Note: The Plant Manager asks that anyone who comes to see the barn please stay at the road and not go up to the barn. "Everyone is more than welcome to come see the barn, but because we are an industrial site that also has to comply with Home Land Security we cannot allow anyone onto the premises."
The Ridden-Hahn barn dates back to the English settlement around Dyersville in the 1850s. It was built by William Ridden. During the 20th century it was owned by the Hahn family. We should all be grateful to Big River Resources for allowing us to view this barn and for giving it respect and care. It's one of the oldest barns in Iowa. Click here to see more photos.
Click here or on the map for larger map of the 2016 Spring Tour (PDF).
Click here for a map of the 2016 Spring Tour (PDF).