Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Iowa Barn Tour

I like Iowa, old barns, and history so it was easy to find the 2012 Iowa barn tour by doing a recent google search. Sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation this one was held near the Iowa City and Amana Colony areas late June of this year. The online info said to meet at a bank and pick up a map and begin the self guided tour of a dozen or so barns of different styles and uses and so that is what we did. It was a Saturday morning and we were not the only folks from out of state on this tour. First up was this very cool barn known as the Robert's barn and it was in mostly original unrestored condition. The owner met us when we drove up and asked her guests to sign in and she and her dog were friendly.
The barn was a gem...and in fact the whole place looked like a living history museum to me.

The horse and cattle stalls were as left a few decades ago and had not been cleaned or changed for this occasion and that was fine.
I found three Oliver tractors on the property and I always like to see them.

A couple of corn cribs were full and picturesque as well.

And I liked this old belt powered buzz saw that used to cut firewood for the farm home...
Mrs. PF posed by the barn door and seemed to approve of the place as well...
And I even stood in for a photo opp in the same place as her...
I tried to get a shot of the herd of beef cattle in the corral but they spooked and ran away from all the visitors...

and the last photo of this nice old barn....
Then we moved a couple of miles away down the dusty white gravel roads to a neighbor's farm to see this very old barn.

The owner showed us around but there were so many people I couldn't hear much of what he said. I really didn't document much info on this trip but instead I enjoyed the moment and imagined the scenes of the past. This was a hay barn and on one side was a nice stack of perfectly preserved clover hay that had been put up loose many decades ago. 

A swing hung by two very long ropes was in the middle of the barn and it was a fun place for kids of the past and present to play.

and in another barn on the same property I found some unshorn sheep in a pen and took a photo of them.

The next barn on our tour was not in good shape but represented history and we enjoyed it and their old wooden water tank as well...

Next up was Amish farms and as we drove past their farms we could see teams of horses, tractors on steel wheels, and families on the road in buggies pulled by horses. This big barn was Amish owned and a small flock of sheep called it home. It was part of the tour but there was no one there to tell us anything about it so I just roamed around.

Next up was the old County Poor Farm in Iowa City that had an old barn on the tour. Still owned by the county this farm houses some offices and highway department shops and equipment and so forth.
And at first glance this building near the barn looked like a school house but a peek inside the windows of this padlocked building showed it to be a place where criminals and perhaps the mentally insane would have been housed when not working for their room and board on the county farm many years ago....
A lone pot belly wood stove was the heat source in this open floor plan with wooden cell blocks of no frills as seen in this photo taken thru the window from outside...

Maybe that wasn't part of the tour but no one was around and I found it to be interesting. 
And the next stop on the tour was a beauty of a barn owned by the same family since built new. The whole farm was perfectly groomed and home to many fancy horses used for competitive jumping. We loved this place known as the McNutt barn near Iowa City.

The owner was a busy veterinarian so his hired man showed us around and answered questions and was very pleasant and showed us photos from when the barn was new. It has been converted to mostly horse stalls now but was originally multi purpose with cows and horses.

And not far away was another horse barn of the same approximate age and also housed some nice show horses.

These folks were real friendly and nice to us and we also enjoyed petting their friendly dog "Buster" who seemed to think we were there to see him.

Like many other places we saw that day this one had a nice farm pond nearby that was used for camping and fishing and were pleasant to look at too.
We looked at other places throughout the day and enjoyed them all and I have to say it was a very relaxing way to take a weekend vacation without spending alot of money. I hope to do another one of these tours again someday and hope you have enjoyed riding along with us...


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  2. Great stuff, as usual! Thanks!

    Also, in your 12/26/2011 "more random road trip photos" you photographed a nice Ford cabover out in the country. Where is that located? I love it!