Historic restored barns located throughout Iowa will be opened to the public during the Iowa Barn Foundation's free, two-day, self-guided, all-state barn tour on Saturday, September 22 and on Sunday, September 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The tour, the only one of its kind in the country, attracts visitors from around the United States and other nations as well. Changes in agriculture have lessened the role of the American barn, long a symbol of hard work and the American dream. Partly because of the Iowa Barn Foundation's preservation efforts, Iowa is one state where barns can still be enjoyed and their important history remembered.
Most of the 90 barns on tour -- many built in the 1800s by farmers or barn builders -- 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.
Owners of these beautiful barns will be on hand at many of the stops to talk about them and answer your questions
The Iowa Barn Foundation is an all-state, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization founded in 1997. It raises money from individuals, foundations and corporations in order 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 so that the barn remains standing.
Some 119 matching grants totaling over $1,300,000 have been awarded by the group since its inception. The foundation also sponsors a spring "area" tour and publishes the semi-annual Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine.
Purpose of tour is to encourage barn preservation and teach young people about Iowa's agricultural heritage
The purpose of the all-state tour is to encourage barn preservation in the state and beyond, to teach young people about Iowa's rich agricultural heritage and to renew pride in this unique heritage. Owners of these beautiful barns will be on hand at many of the stops and will discuss the barns and their histories.
Many barns were built before houses and were the center of activities contributing to the livelihood of the farmers who owned them.
The tour is free although donations to support the foundation's work are appreciated. Donations should be sent to the Iowa Barn Foundation, c/o Community Bank, Nevada, Iowa 50201. For information about the tours that will be held at various locations of the state, go to www.iowabarnfoundation.org. The website contains other information about the Iowa Barn Foundation, including information about how to donate.