Groups Work to Preserve the Barns of Iowa, Increase Tourism

Counties with
Barn Quilt Projects
Buchanan County
Butler County
Clay County
Greene County
Grundy County Extension and Quilt sites
Hamilton County
Hancock County
Humboldt County
Plymouth County
Pocahontas County
Sac County
Washington County and
Extension

Barn Tours (2007)
All State
Muscatine County

In the News
(2008)
Sac County GPS Mapping
(2007)
Agritourism and Quilts
Extension and Quilts
Enthusiasm for Quilts
• See Washington Quilt
ISU Sesqui' Gifts
(2006)
• 4-H Barn Projects
National Award
Barn Huggers
• USA Today Column
(2005)
Preserve Iowa's Barns
GPS Mapping

Organizations
Iowa Barn Foundation
IHPA
Silos and Smokestacks

Publications (online)
• The Barn Journal

 

 

Perhaps fewer than 60,000 barns remain of more than 200,000 originally built in Iowa. You can be a part of efforts to save and document Iowa's remaining barns for the use and enjoyment of future generations. The various lists on this page link to websites of barn-related projects that are being pursued across the state, from the purely historic to primarily economic.

Tracking the Barns
The Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance (IHPA) estimates that Iowa has been losing approximately 1,000 barns per year, a number that is accelerating. The IHPA has a goal to photograph and count the surviving Iowa barns over the next few years. The alliance wants to get an accurate picture of barn numbers, descriptions and condition. This count includes not only typical rural barns but also urban barns, carriage barns, etc.

Preserving the Barns
Another organization, the Iowa Barn Foundation, works to preserve Iowa's rural buildings, symbols of Iowa's early heritage. Founded in 1997, the Foundation seeks to educate the public about Iowa's vanishing barns and to provide barn restoration matching grants to help property owners restore their barns. The group showcases restored barns during various tours, including an All-State Barn Tour each year (Sept. 20-21, 2008).

Touring the Barns
Each year, beginning in 2001, the Iowa Barn Foundation has offered an All-State Barn Tour. Many photos can be seen at the foundation website, including the 2007 All-State Barn Tour.

Restoring the Barns: Counties with Barn Restoration Sites
Listed below are Iowa counties with owners who have restored barns. See also Counties with Barn Quilt Projects, listed at the left. Counties listed there have owners who have added barn quilts to their restored barns. Many sites give tour information.

Allamakee County
Boone County
Bremer County
Buena Vista County
Calhoun County
Carroll County
Cerro Gordo County
Chickasaw County
Clarke County
Dallas County
Davis County
Decatur County
Delaware County
Des Moines County
Emmett County
Floyd County
Franklin County
Guthrie County
Hardin County
Harrison County
Howard County
Jackson County
Johnson County
Kossuth County
Louisa County
Madison County
Marion County
Mahaska County
Marshall County
Mills County
Mitchell County
O'Brien County
Osceola County
Page County
Polk County
Pottawattamie County
Ringgold County
Scott County
Shelby County
Sioux County
Story County
Taylor County
Van Buren County
Wayne County
Winnebago County
Winneshiek County
Woodbury County
Worth County

Add To This Site
We wish to promote barn restoration and tourism efforts throughout Iowa and welcome submission of other online sites to be listed on this page. Send suggestions to couverso@iastate.edu.

 

   

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Last update March 10, 2008
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