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Local Barn Uniquely Restored

By Staff | Jan 3, 2018

Jim and Jeanette Frambach reside on ten gorgeous acres in Emmetsburg, Iowa. One of the most notable buildings on their property is an old barn and silo built by the first recorded owners in 1947; the silo was completed in 1948. The barn measures 40 feet by 32 feet and is now home to some of the greatest social gatherings in Emmetsburg.

Buford Henry, the original owner, obtained the property through a trade agreement. In 1917, Henry’s parents owned a Victorian home in Storm Lake; the land (which was originally 80 acres) was sold to the Henry family as a trade for the Victorian.

Buford used the barn for dairy cows. Once a year, he would herd Poland China pigs into the building and auctioned each hog off to the highest bidder. The attendees of the auction sat on stacked hay bales placed in the bottom of the barn specifically for the auction.

Bill Henry, Buford’s son, sold the property to Jim and Jeanette Frambach in 1977. The Frambach’s continued to use the barn for livestock until the mid 1980s. The barn has two floors- the lower level was used for livestock while the upper level was used mostly for hay storage.

The Frambach’s noticed that the roof was rotting and the floor was in bad repair. Their original intent was to only repair those two projects on the barn. Clint Young Construction of Emmetsburg completed the roof in 2001, and the two ends of the building were completed in 2005. Jim and his son, Boyd, worked together to repair the floor saving most of the original flooring. Frambach’s daughter, Holly, announced that she was getting married, Jim and Jeanette decided to focus on making the barn an overflow space in case the weather at the October wedding was inhospitable. The barn was completed before the wedding in fall of 2014.

The barn is filled with antiques many of which are unique to Emmetsburg. Jim Frambach spent some time working at the Emmetsburg transfer station. He was able to save many treasures from being destroyed including a rather valuable toy car for children. The chairs that are used for large events were rescued from destruction when the Emmetsburg Country Club became The Shores at Five Island. One of the most notable antiques in the Frambach barn is an old cash register that once belonged to Wigdahl’s Hardware of Emmetsburg.

Jeanette’s mother, Betty Jane Hough, passed away in July 2017. In honor of her memory, the barn includes many different items salvaged from her property, which was located only a quarter of a mile away. Steel that was rescued from the Hough’s cattle barn was used to build the bottom of the bar as well as the walls for the storage closet in the barn. They were also able to save a solid redwood shed door along with the rail and rollers from the Hough farm. The bar and storage closet were built by Boyd Frambach with help from his wife Lindsay.

The Frambach barn features a balcony, indoor and outdoor seating, and a bar. This barn has hosted many special events including birthday parties, wedding receptions, graduation parties, and a surprise retirement party. The most recent event the barn accommodated was Jeanette’s 50th high school reunion. The Frambach’s do not rent the building, as there is no running water or bathroom facilities.