Thirteen restored barns in the Quad-City region will be open for free, self-guided tours Sept. 22-23 as part of a statewide tour sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days.
The foundation is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to encourage barn preservation, teach people about Iowa’s agricultural heritage, and to renew pride in this unique heritage.
Of the area barns, three are in Scott County, two are in Muscatine County and eight are in Jackson County. The three in Scott County are:
• Frye barn, 11150 New Liberty Road, Maysville. This dairy barn was built around 1921. It originally was white but was painted red about 10 years ago. All siding is original. The interior, including the hay mow, is essentially unchanged.
An aspect that makes the Scott County farmstead belonging to Susan Frye and Michael Kienzle unusual is that not only does it contain this restored dairy barn, but it has seven other restored farm buildings as well: a garage, chicken coop, granary/corncrib, tool shed and pump house, all built between 1918 and 1933.
Intact, old-fashioned farmsteads are increasingly rare, and preservation of the Frye farmstead is very intentional.
Frye and Kienzle made careers in law and cardiology. But about 10 years ago, they returned to Scott County from Iowa City to restore the place where Frye grew up.
To get there: From Exit 292 of Interstate 80, go northwest on Iowa 130 toward Maysville.
• Zelle barn, 1503 Holland St., LeClaire.
As new housing subdivisions gobble up former farms and woods, this big white barn stands as one of the last of its kind in the city limits.
It was built about 1880, and owner Steve Zelle grew up on the farm. After the last family members had moved off the property, he and his wife, Lisa, bought the farm and its buildings from his parents in 1998 to keep it in the family.
The barn has mortise-and-tenon construction (in which beams are joined by pounding wooden pegs, or tenons, into holes called mortises) and milking stanchions in the lower level.
To get there: On Interstate 80, take Exit 306. Turn left at the stoplight (north) and go through LeClaire. Turn left on Holland Street. Continue uphill for 1½ miles until the blacktop ends. The drive is 100 feet on the right.
• Schneckloth crib, 23553 200th Ave., Davenport. Herbert Schneckloth, prominent Iowa farmer whose family emigrated from Germany in 1854, built this landmark round crib in 1926.
Work on the 50-feet diameter structure was done with hand tools. The foundation was dug and poured by hand using a shovel and one-third of a bag of home mix at a time.
The ventilation block tile (akin to bricks) and matching solid tile were brought from Adel (near Des Moines) by train and horse-drawn wagons.
To get there: On U.S. 61, take Exit 127. Go east on LeClaire Road three miles. Then go south on 200th Avenue a half-mile.
For a complete list of all barns on the tour and their addresses, a bit of their history and specific directions, go to the website iowabarnfoundationorg.
The foundation encourages barn restoration by raising money from individuals, foundations, and corporations to give matching grants to property owners to restore their barns.
Most of the barns on the tour have been restored with matching grants from the foundation. Other property owners received awards of distinction from the foundation for restorations they undertook themselves.
At many of the stops, owners will be present to discuss the history of their barns.