Iowa Barn Foundation Resources

Iowa Barn Foundation Resources

The Iowa Barn Foundation hopes that the following resources will aid you in your barn research and rehabilitation:

Ramsey Barn

Barn Preservation Organizations

Many national, state, and private organizations with Web sites are listed below. If you don't see a barn preservation organization for your state, try contacting your state's historical society. They can often put you in contact with barn preservation groups in your state that are not listed here.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
(Note: the BARN AGAIN! Program is no longer active).

National Park Service, Preservation Brief 20 - Preservation of Historic Barns


Barn Organizations listed by State


Preservation Iowa

State Historical Society of Iowa

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area

Iowa Barn Foundation (this website)


"This website has links to a variety of documents and websites that will assist you with the restoration and preservation of your historic barn." -- Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation: Barn Preservation Guidance


Connecticut's Heritage Gateway

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation

Historic Barns of Connecticut


McHenry County Farm Bureau Barn Association

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Illinois State Historical Society


Broesder Barn



Indiana Barn Foundation

Indiana Historical Society


Kansas Barn Alliance, Inc

Kansas State Historical Society


Maine Preservation


Michigan Barn Preservation Network

Historical Society of Michigan


Friends of Minnesota Barns

Minnesota Historical Society

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota


Montana Humanities


Nebraska State Historical Society


Nevada Humanities

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Preservation Alliance

New York

New York State Barn Coalition

Newark Valley Historical Society

North Dakota

State Historical Society of North Dakota


OSU Extension's "Barn Again in Ohio" program

Ohio Historical Society

Friends of Ohio Barns

South Dakota

South Dakota State Historical Society


Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation: Barn Preservation Guidance


Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program

Wisconsin Historical Society

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Barns and Materials for Donation

The Iowa Barn Foundation would like to see every barn and historical agricultural building preserved. Sometimes this is not always possible. Old barns and other structures are sometimes no longer wanted or are too deteriorated to economically repair. Still others collapse due to severe storms, neglect, and the ravages of time. Your old barn can live on, however, when you donate its pieces to other Iowans who are restoring their barns.

We encourage anyone planning to dismantle a barn to carefully reconsider their decision. Each year, over 1000 barns disappear forever from the Iowa landscape. Barns are precious historical buildings that are becoming very scarce in much of the state. In many parts of the midwest, barns that were once a common sight along the highways have disappeared entirely. If at all possible, please do not tear down, dismantle, or sell your barn!

Iowa Barn Foundation members who are restoring their barns are always looking for vintage beams, siding, hardware, cupolas, lightning rods, etc. to help complete their barn restoration project. Your donation of barn materials to these barn owners helps preserve the environment by recycling precious and often irreplaceable materials, and enables your barn to live on, if only in part.

Below is space for you to list your available barn materials. Your listing remains active for six months or until canceled, whichever occurs first. Your listing can be resubmitted after they expire.

For your listing, please provide the following information:

   ⚫ Description of the item you are donating, including dimensions, etc. You may include photographs.

   ⚫ City, state, and county where the item is located.

   ⚫ Your name, e-mail address, and telephone number.

   Contact: Roxanne Mehlisch, 641-487-7690,


Items Available for Donation:

Please contact the owners directly for more information

No listings at this time.


Other Farming-Related Available for Donation:

No listings at this time.


Items Wanted:

No listings at this time.

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Barns & Museums on the Web

Websites devoted to barn preservation, farming history, Iowa barns, and Iowa's farming/barn museums.

ISU Horse Barn

(Above) Photos and text about the ISU Barns. (Photo by Ken Dunker).

Three more photo essays on the IBF website

Five barns in Van Buren County, southeast Iowa.

Iowa barn photos taken during the 2013 All-State Barn Tour.

A bank barn in Lee County, Iowa.

Links to barns on other websites -

All about the Historic Barns of Iowa State Univ.

Photos by Lavonne House, Barns of Jackson County.

Dale Travis's website of Round Barns and Covered Bridges around the country.

The Ramsey Farm, an historic working farm you can visit at Lesanville, Iowa (Ringgold County).

Slayton Farms - Round Barn, Iowa Falls, Iowa (Hardin County).

Tyden Farm No. 6 Dougherty, Iowa (Cerro Gordo County).

U-Barn in Trimble-Parker Historic District in Bloomfield, Iowa (Davis County)

Episodes from television station websites

From IPTV/PBS Online - Death of the Dream: Farmhouses in the Heartland

From Wisconsin Public Television - Wisconsin Barns: Stories in Wood and Stone.

Articles about Barns in Iowa

A variety of issues associated with historic barns - The Old House Web.

Sears barns manufactured by the Gordon-Van Tine Company of Davenport, Iowa - The Barn Journal.

From the New York Times - If Barns Could Talk, 06-03-12.

Slide show for above article - If Barns Could Talk, NYT, 06-03-12.

From the New York Times - Vanishing Barns Signal a Changing Iowa, 09-07-2008.

From the NYT Interactive Maps series - Going Down the Road, 09-06-2008.

Iowa Museum Websites

Maasdam Barns

Maasdam Barns Museum in Fairfield, IA
(Jefferson County), three restored barns & museum.

Amana Colonies The Barn Museum in South Amana, Iowa (Iowa County)

The Heritage Farm Park incorporates the 1890 Appleman Barn into this historic and recreational area in Clermont, Iowa (Fayette County).

Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa (Polk County)

Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum in Oskaloosa, Iowa (Mahaska County)

Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Shelby, IA (Shelby County)

German Hausbarn in Manning Heritage Park, Manning, IA (Crawford County)

Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum (Floyd County)

Norman Borlaug Boyhood Farm (Howard County)

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Barn & Iowa-Related Agricultural Books

The following list of barn books has been prepared by the Iowa Barn Foundation.  Many of the books listed below can be purchased through your local independent book seller, Barnes and Noble,, or eBay.  In addition, the Barn Journal Web site has an extensive list of books and articles about barns.

Barn Bibliographies

Cable, C. Adaptive Reuse: Barns. Monticello, Illinois: Vance Bibliographies, April 1982.

Calkins, Charles F. The Barn as an Element in the Cultural Landscape of North America: A Bibliography. Monticello, Illinois: Vance Bibliographies, 1979.

Carlson, Alvar W. Bibliography on Barns in the United States and Canada. Pioneer America, vol. 10, no. 1. 1978.

Dyal, D. An International Bibliography on the Architecture of Agriculture. Monticello, Illinois: Vance Bibliographies, March 1982.

Schultz, Leroy G. Barns, Stables and Outbuildings. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1986.

General Works

Arthur, Eric and Witney, Dudley. The Barn: A Vanishing Landmark in North America. Galahad Books, 1988.

Caravan, Jill. American Barns: A Pictorial History. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Courage Books, 1995.

Dregni, Michael, editor, foreword by Roger Welsch. This Old Barn: A Treasury of Family Farm Memories. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyager Press, Inc., 2002.

Engler, Nick, Renovating Barns, Sheds & Outbuildings. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Books, 2001.

Fitchen, John. The New World Dutch Barn. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001.

Gabler, William G. Death of the Dream: Classic Minnesota Farmhouses. Afton, Minnesota: Afton Historical Society Press, 1997.

Halberstadt, April. Classic Barns. New York: Michael Friedman Publishing Group Ltd., 2001.

Halberstadt, Hans. American Family Farm. Osceola, Wisconsin: Motorbooks International, 1996.

Harker, Michael P. Harker's Barns. University of Iowa Press, 2003.

Johnson, Curtis B., and Thomas D. Visser. Taking Care of Your Old Barn, (a book on a website), Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT 05633-1201

Larkin, David, Elric Endersby, and Alexander Greenwood. Barn: The Art of a Working Building. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992.

Larkin, David, Elric Endersby, and Alexander Greenwood. Barn Preservation and Adaptation. New York, New York: Universe, 2003.

Larkin, David. The Essential Book of Barns: Discovering the Design, Function, and Form. New York: Universe Publishing, 1995.

Leffingwell, Randy. Barns. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Company, 2001.

Leffingwell, Randy. The American Barn. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company, 1997.

Leik, Charles. Barns. New York: Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 2000.

Mohr, Nancy L. The Barn: Classic Barns of North America. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2001.

Mohr, Nancy L. The Farmhouse: Classic Homesteads of North America. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Courage Books, 2002.

Noble, Allen G. and Cleek, Richard K. Geib, M. Margaret, illust. The Old Barn Book; A Field Guide to North American Barns and Other Farm Structures. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Plowden, David, The American Barn New York, NY, Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., 2003.

Rawson, Richard. Old Barn Plans. New York: Bonanza Books, 1979.

Schense, Deb M. Eastern Iowa's Historic Barns and Other Farm Structures: Including the Amana Colonies, Raleigh, NC,, 2006.

Schense, Deb M. Barns Around Iowa: A Sampling of Iowa's Round Barns, Penfield Books 2008.

Sloan, Eric. An Age of Barns. Voyageur Press, 2001.

Soike, Lowell J. Without Right Angles; The Round Barns of Iowa. Iowa State Historical Department, Office of Historical Preservation, Historical Building, 1983.

Sommer, Robin Langley. The Ultimate Book of Historic Barns. Advanced Global Distribution, 2000.

Vlach, John Michael. Barns. W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.

Witzel, Mark Karl. Barns: Styles and Structures. St. Paul, Minnesota. Motorbooks International, 2003.

Iowa-Related Works

Artley, Bob. Book of Farm Chores. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2002.

Artley, Bob. Cartoons: From the Newspaper Series Memories of a Former Kid. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1989.

Artley, Bob. Cowtoons; Living with Cows. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 1996.

Artley, Bob. Living with Pigs. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2003.

Artley, Bob. Memories of a Former Kid. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2002.

Artley, Bob. Seasons on the Farm. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, 2003.

Artley, Bob. Once Upon a Farm. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2000.

Bennett, Mary. An Iowa Album: a Photographic History, 1860-1920. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1990.

Bristol, Larsh k., Curt Maas, Tom Bean, James Blank. Iowa Simply Beautiful. Helena, Montana: American & World Geographic Publishing, 2000.

Foerstner, Abigail. Picturing Utopia, Bertha Shambaugh and the Amana Photographers. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2000.

Harker, Michael P. Harker's Barns (Bur Oak Book Series): Visions of an American Icon. University of Iowa Press, 2003.

Henry, Lyell D. Jr. Was this Heaven?: A Self-Portrait of Iowa on Early Postcards. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1995.

Loveless, Leslie A. A Bountiful Harvest: The Midwestern Farm Photographs of Pete Wettach 1925-1965. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2002.

Orngard, Shellie and Jan Joannides. Renewing the Countryside: Iowa. Ames, Iowa: Sigler Printing and Publishing, 2003.

Playle, Ron. The Iowa State Fair In Vintage Postcards. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

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Some of the barns on our Barn Tours are included in the Barn Raisers Movie.

See the Barn Raisers website for more.

Go to the Iowa DOT map, then click on a County.
Iowa State Map

Check our Message Board.

Kenneth Ruegsegger, Mount Pleasant

There are those who give their lives trying to make a better society. Kenneth Ruesegger, Mount Pleasant , was one of those. His passing last week was a loss to Iowa, to barns, to America. He was one of those hard working people generous of spirit.

He and his wife, Marilyn, attended a barn tour and saw that signage was minimal. An expert in carpentry, the offered to make signs and take them around the state. So, for many years, Joe created the beautiful directional signs, and he and Marilyn drove from corner to corner of the state personally delivering the handmade signs to owners of barns on tour. It was a huge job--a labor of love.

These were special people who gave time, talent and effort to enrich the Iowa Barn Foundation--to enrich Iowa.

We'll still see some of those lovely signs. And, we will still stop and think of the wonderful couple who dedicated so much time to make the tour, Iowa, even better. We will always be grateful. Thank you, Marilyn and Ken.

Jacqueline Andre Schmeal, President Emeritus

Jason Zabokrsky, Troy Mills, wrote:

"Barns symbolize the agricultural heritage of those who founded the state of Iowa. That agricultural heritage is synonymous with important values. These values include dedication to hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community...

...As barns are destroyed a valuable part of our heritage is also lost. If Iowans lost these historic barns from the landscape, one may posit that Iowans will begin to lose sight of the important values of hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community which they represent."

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© 1997-2021 Iowa Barn Foundation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from the Iowa Barn Foundation. Updated 05-22-21.
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