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owa Barn Foundation 2016 All-State Tour

By Staff | Sep 22, 2016

Important and historic barns throughout Iowa will be opened to the public during the Iowa Barn Foundation’s two-day, self-guided 2016 All-State Barn Tour Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Most barns on tour have been restored with matching grants from the Iowa Barn Foundation. Other property owners received awards of distinction from the foundation for restorations they undertook themselves.

There are four area barns included on this weekend’s tour. They are:

Jensen Barn, Ringsted

Hansen Barn, Ruthven

Dreyer Barn, Fenton

Ferguson Barn, Laurens

The Iowa Barn Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1997 by a group of folks with Iowa roots, raises money from individuals, foundations, and corporations to give matching grants to property owners to restore their barns. The barns must be restored as closely as possible to original. The property owner must sign a perpetual easement when receiving a grant.

This is the only group of its kind in the country.

The purpose of the tour is to encourage barn preservation in the state, to teach young people about Iowa’s rich agricultural heritage, and to renew pride in this unique heritage. Owners will discuss the barns and their histories at many stops. Visitors are expected from around the country. The effort has encouraged barn preservation throughout Iowa and beyond.

The tour is free although donations to support the foundation’s work are appreciated.

Some of Iowa’s earliest barns will be on tour.

JENSEN BARN

Historic Ringsted, Iowa, barn.

Jens Jensen built this large brick barn near Ringsted in 1936. Leroy Jensen, Clarion, is fourth generation to own the barn. It has a sliding door for putting in hay and a litter carrier for removing manure.

Jens Jensen needed a barn. So he built his large brick barn near Ringsted in 1936. He built his 41-foot-tall clay block barn close to the road, making it a local landmark, as well as a place to house his livestock. Later it was converted to a farrowing barn.

Leroy Jensen, Clarion, is fourth generation to own the barn. He says it has two unique features, a haymow door that slides down for putting in hay, and a litter carrier for removing manure. A litter carrier was on a track and carried manure to the outside, where it could be dumped.

The farm was cited as an Iowa Century Farm in 1991. The barn is now used for storage.

HANSEN BARN

Hansen Barn, 4015-340th Avenue, Ruthven. (Clay County) – Take N18 four miles south of Ruthven. One-of-a-kind landmark corncrib, built in 1940’s, holds 7000 bushels of ear corn and 4000 bushels of small grain. In middle of crib is a bucket system that transports ear corn to the top of the corncrib and releases it into multiple outlets. Grandfather of owner died when owner’s father was 18 and he had to take over farm.

DREYER BARN

Dreyer barn, 102 310th Street, Fenton (Kossuth County) – From the south side of Fenton, turn west on County Road B19. Go 3/4-mile west to second place on south side of road. Barn was built in 1903 and used as dairy barn until 1944. There is a 1000-gallon wooden water storage tank in hayloft. Manure unloading system is intact.

FERGUSON BARN

Ferguson barn, 40415 130th Avenue, Laurens (Pocahontas County) – Barn is 3.75 miles straight north of Laurens at 40415 130th Avenue. Barn and landmark “conehead” crib were built in 1912. Elevator still works.

This is the 16th year of All-State Barn Tours.

The 2016 All-State Barn Tour is this Saturday, Sept 24 and Sunday, Sept 25, with self-guided tours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.