All of the barns, except the Klodt barn, are (or were) bank barns - the Finney barn was a bank barn before 2016.
The Finney barn is located in Van Buren Township. Van Buren County, Iowa, on the east side of Highway 1, north of Mt. Zion. It is believed to have been built sometime between 1898 and 1904 by owners Charles S. & Bessie L. (Barker) Bogle. Although the builder of the barn is unknown, there is evidence in the barn that the lumber came from the Streeter Lumber Company, which operated in Keosauqua and Douds about that time period.
The following information was noted in An Architectural & Historical Survey of the Bank Barns in Van Buren County, Iowa, conducted in 1996...
"This barn is somewhat larger than the others noted, being 38' x 48'. It features the wagon doors on the west elevation, reached by an earthen and wood ramp, with the lower doors opening to the east. These English barns were basically a variation on the three bay threshing barn, but built into a slope with lower level for livestock. An interesting feature of this barn is the use of windows on all elevations, with two windows in each gable end as well. This use of windows is unusual in the barns surveyed. The construction is similar to many others in the survey, combining log, hewn, and milled lumber, with wooden pegs used in some places. The beams, both hewn and milled, measure 8" x 8". Construction of bank barns allowed for hay and grain storage on the upper level while sheltering livestock below. This was economical because there were two levels under one roof."
Faced with imminent collapse due to a deteriorating foundation, substructure support, and floor, and limited use of 21st Century needs, the barn was moved on a new foundation by Enos Mullett of rural Milton in 2016. Plans are to restore the old foundation as a way to bridge its former location and use with the new. With proper care, the barn is now poised to be a useful structure for another 125 years.
See more photos of the Parson on the 2017 All-State Tour page.
Another photo is on Wilford Yoder's photo page (scroll down to see it).
The barn originally was built in 1895 in Germanville, a small area north east of Fairfield, Iowa. Most of the white oak frame-work beams are sawn but some have been hand hewn, and originated from 1895. The original dimensions of the barn remained per 1895 specs. The barn was built mainly for loose hay storage and to house a few animals.
It was given to me in the winter of 2000 and dismantled in the winter of 2001 by a local Amish contractor and his crew whom are also neighbors. Each beam was tagged and corresponding blueprints made. On December 31, 2001, I received a phone call stating the crew planned on starting on the barn the next day. Reassembly started on January 1st and finished by the end of the month. What an amazing process!
Since the bottoms of the upright posts were cut off because they had rotted from manure and such, the height of the barn would not be the same as the original. So to compensate for this, short concrete piers were molded into the new concrete floor prepared for this barn, in addition to the sill around the perimeter. You can see these in a few of the photos.
The sheathing boards on the roof were no longer safe, so they were replaced with modern boards. A metal roof replaces the original shakes. The cupolas were assembled on the ground, but had to be taken apart in order to get them up to the roof using ropes and block and tackle, all by hand.
Most of our English neighbors thought we were nuts for putting this much effort into an old barn.
As the last day of assembling the frame came to a close, it was found that all of the original pins that held the barn together had been used and there were not enough to finish. The original pins had been driven out with a 3/4inch shaft and several had shattered in the process. The next morning one of the fellows came to work carrying a five gallon bucket of new pins. As his father had built and repaired buggies for years, he had an ample supply of old wooden buggy wheels laying around so he made pins out of the old spokes!
We had a portable sawmill come to the farm and we cut lumber for the hay mow floor, gates, and interior walls. All of the original siding had been removed before I obtained it, so new rough-cut pine siding was used. Parts of the barn that would deteriorate due to use or the elements, were replaced. Others, re-used.
The barn was moved and preserved using all original material that could be used. We were able to reuse the Loudon hay track and trolley.
The barn is open for special events and barn tours sponsored by The Villages of Van Buren. The people always love it when I point out the buggy spokes! And it is due for a new coat of paint. - Brad Klodt.
Photos by Jeffrey Fitz-Randolph, July 10, 2013, Oct 11, 2014 (Klodt Barn), and Oct 15, 2017