The Iowa Barn Foundation: Helping to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage one barn at a time.

Barns of Ida County

Originally published in the Fall 2004 issue of the Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine.
Written by Don Poggensee, photographer and Ida County representative to the Iowa Barn Foundation.

Ida County is home to some special barns including:

The Waveland Barn, believed to have been built with lumber from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The barn was built on the farm Carsten and John Henrichsen bought in 1911, which is presently owned by Carsten's son, Albert. No one knows why "Waveland" was painted on the barn. "We guess it was because of the lay of the land," suggested Evelyn Henrichsen, Albert's wife. It is the last wooden round barn in Ida County. Directions: Go two miles west of Cushing on US 20 to Timber Avenue. Then travel 1.5 miles north. Barn is on the west side of the road.

The turn-of-the-century Conover horse barn was used by C.B. Conover and his son, C.B., Jr., for their outstanding Belgian draft horses. Harry Linn, distinguished secretary of agriculture in Iowa, gave demonstrations and workshops at the farm. The barn was recently restored with an Iowa Barn Foundation matching grant. Directions: From Holstein, travel 1.5 miles west on US 20. Turn south on L 67 and go three miles. Turn left on 190th.

The Grell barn on Ron Grell's farm near Holstein has been an important part of his life since he moved onto the farm in 1943. The barn, over 100 years-old, is unique in that it is tiered on both sides. The cupolas became "old and mellow" and sadly a storm took them, but Grell has re-roofed and restored the barn which he cherishes. Directions: Barn is 1.5 miles west on Holstein at 1431 Eagle Avenue.

The Bresnahan barn overlooks Ida Grove. The farm has in the Bresnehan family since 1882. Completed in 1928, the barn was the pride of Ray and Hilda Bresnahan, parents of the present owners, Don, Roger, Carol, Linda and, also, the Leonard Bresnahan Estate. The original wooden shingles were dipped in creosote and lasted until 2004 when they were finally wore out. That's 76 years! Directions: The Bresnahan barn is at 612 Father Daily Drive, one-half mile northeast of Ida Grove.