Marion and Mahaska Counties Barn Tour and Picnic - 2004
A tour of eight unique and historic barns in Marion and Mahaska Counties, along with a Dutch-flavored picnic, highlighted the Iowa Barn Foundation's spring barn tour and picnic. The barns on this free, self-guided tour were open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 6, 2004.
Rob Vos, Pella, the Iowa Barn Foundation's Marion County representative, worked for months to organize the out of the ordinary picnic and tour. He researched and photographed the barns for us.
The picnic was held at the Nelson Pioneer Farm in Oskaloosa, Iowa on Sunday, June 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Directions: From Oskaloosa, travel north on Highway 63 for 1.5 miles. You will see signs guiding you to the historic farm.
The cost of the authentic Dutch lunch, with Dutch spiced beef and Dutch apple pie, was $10 per adult and $4 per child. The cost included food and a donation to the Nelson Pioneer Farm.
The barns on the tour are listed below:
Young Barn 708 Rutledge Road, Knoxville, Iowa. Directions: From Knoxville, travel south on Highway 14 for 7.5 miles to G 76. Turn west 2.8 miles to 80th Avenue, and then north 1.5 miles to Rutledge. Go west ¾ miles.
A rare round barn owned by Amy Young and Marlys (Young) and Jack McMeanes. The barn, built in 1911, is 76 feet in diameter and houses a 14-foot cement stave silo. The barn features feed bunks, grain cribs, and a wing shed for horses. The barn was bought by J. Thomas Young in 1958 for use in his feed and grain business, Marion County Produce, Knoxville. A photo of the barn, taken by Ken Dunker, is shown on the right (click the photo to enlarge it).
Vos Barn 541 Highway T 14, Pella, Iowa. Directions: From the northeast corner of the Pella square, travel north 3.5 miles on Main Street/Highway T 14. The acreage is on the west side of Highway T 14.
The Vos family barn was built in 1929 by the De Kock family of Pella. It was constructed with commercial milled lumber, round nails, and factory-made windows-modern materials at the time. The barn featured a 10-stanchion milking parlor with cement gutter, stalls for four draft horse teams, and a large hayloft. The barn was purchased in 1992 by Rob and Teri Vos. A photo of the barn, taken by Ken Dunker, is shown on the right (click the photo to enlarge it).
Slycord Barn 408 Vermeer Road, Pella, Iowa. Directions: From the northeast corner of the Pella square, drive east on Washington Street. This becomes Vermeer Road. Go 1 ¾ miles to 408 Vermeer Road.
The Slycord barn, which housed Garden City Dairy, is a landmark in Pella. Once two clay block silos separated the barns. These were later removed, and the two barns were joined by a breezeway, now a workshop. The Langstraat family built the south barn in 1909 and the north barn in 1925. The south barn is pegged and has a limestone foundation, The north barn has a clay block foundation. Don and Marcia Slycord own the barn which was purchased by Donimg class="rght" srcs grandparents in 1944. The Slycords use the barn for Simmental cattle. Artist Frank Miller, long-time Des Moines Register cartoonist, once painted a watercolor of the barn. A photo of the barn, taken by Ken Dunker, is shown on the right (click the photo to enlarge it).
Grandview Farm Barn, 1856 Highway 163, Oskaloosa, Iowa. Directions: From Oskaloosa, travel four miles northwest on Highway 163.
Grandview Farm barn was built in 1861 by Miles Prine who purchased the 95 acres from the James Pomeroy estate in 1861. The farm had been homesteaded in 1849 by the Pomeroys. The name G.S. Prine is painted on one of the grain bin doors. George was a son of Miles who died in 1900. In 1905, Gerrit and Cornie Dykstra purchased the farm and owned it until Pete Vos, father of the present owners, Marion and Dorothy Vos, purchased it in 1945. The beams of the barn are oak and pine. Hand-hewn pegs can be seen in several areas. The ropes that were used for lifting hay to the loft are hanging where Marion placed them in 1953 after the last load of hay was raised. A photo of the barn, taken by Ken Dunker, is shown on the right (click the photo to enlarge it).
Nibbelin Barn 1459 Highway 102, Pella, Iowa. Directions: From the northeast corner of the Pella square, drive east 10 miles on Washington/Vermeer Road/G 5T. Turn east on paved highway. If you arrive in Peoria, Iowa, turn around and drive south one mile. Turn east and then travel one mile. The barn is on the north side of the highway.
John and Doris Nibbelinimg's barn was built in the 1840's and has been in the family for 95 years. The wooden track is still in the peak of the barn. John's father once had a team of horses on the second floor, which was accessed by the earthen ramp on the north side. One horse lost its footing and fell down while hitched to its teammate. (Ask John to tell you the story when you visit the farm.) A photo of the barn, taken by Ken Dunker, is shown on the right (click the photo to enlarge it).
Oldham Barns Eddyville, Iowa. Directions: From the grade school on Highway 63 in Eddyville, turn east on 340th Street. Travel 1.5 miles to 330th Street; then turn north and follow the road 1.5 to two miles. The barns are on the north and south sides of the road.)
Chuck and Barbara Oldham's historic barns near Eddyville will be on tour. A barn built by Robert Oldham in 1851 is still used by his great-great grandson, Charles. It was hand-hewn of oak and is on a foundation of rocks cut at a quarry cross the Des Moines River from the farm. The wooden floor was pegged. The barn was used for the family's dairy, Eddyville Dairy, beginning in 1915. The "younger" barn was built by Robert's son in 1885. It is believed oak timbers were taken from a previous barn torn down on the site. Photos of both barns, taken by Ken Dunker, are shown on the right (click the photos to enlarge them).
Nelson Pioneer Farm Oskaloosa, Iowa. Directions: From Oskaloosa, travel north on Highway 63 for 1.5 miles. You will see signs guiding you to the historic farm.
The Nelson Pioneer Farm barn was built in 1855 by A.J. Jewell for Daniel Nelson who arrived in Iowa in 1841. There is a central drive through the barn and a granary on the left side. A storm in 1946 did some damage to the barn at which time a cement floor was added. The Nelson family donated the farm to the Mahaska County Historical Society in 1963. You can view photos of the farm at the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum Web site.