A 1903 barn now used as a workshop and a place to store the owner's Cub Cadet lawn mower collection.

An 1800s barn on an acreage sporting a beautiful, three-seat outhouse. That is to say the structure complements the Victorian farmhouse with decorative brackets and a color scheme of yellow, sage and burgundy.

An 1880s gable-roof barn on land that has only 11 more years to go before it becomes a centennial farm — one that's been in the same family for 100 years.

These are three of the 11 barns and other attractions you can see Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13, during the seventh annual Whiteside (Ill.) County Barn Tour sponsored by the county's Farm Bureau.

Also on the tour will be antique farm equipment, beef and dairy cows, horses and barn quilts. Fresh produce and lunch from the Whiteside County Cattlemen's Association will be available for purchase.

The purpose of the tour is to provide awareness, knowledge and resources to preserve the barns and agricultural history of the county.

The barn with the cupola now used as a workshop is owned by Richard Schmitt. The building last held livestock in about 1977. The cupola almost went by the wayside in the late 1960s when a windstorm damaged the barn and, in making repairs, Schmitt thought he'd take it down.

But Alice, his wife who passed away 3½ years ago, asked him at the time to save it because she liked to look at it out the kitchen window.

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In 1985, Schmitt had the barn covered with metal siding so he wouldn't have to keep painting it. The roof was shingled in 2001.

The other attraction at his farm will be his collection of Cub Cadets and 50 to 60 antique tractors.

"Most are Farmalls because that's what I grew up with, but others kept coming," he said. "About 10 are completely restored, and the rest are still in their work clothes."

The acreage with the fancy outhouse belongs to Tom and Robin Canode, a purchase they made because they keep horses.

Their 1800s barn has a stone foundation, pegged post-and-beam construction, vertical board-and-batten siding attached with square nails, a gable roof and a new red paint job, just for the tour. The Canodes use the building to store hay.

In addition to the outhouse and barn, they have an 1840s horse-drawn hearse, antique farm equipment, a non-functioning windmill that they moved to the place and many flower gardens, both formal and with wildflowers.

The going-to-be centennial farm is owned by Mark and Alissa Zeigler, who are proud of their family history and are committed to keeping the farm for many more years.

The barn has a new porch roof on one side to provide shade for cattle, but it retains the majority of its pre-1900s features and equipment. Those include a wooden hay trolley with forks, a granary with an oats chute, wooden milking stanchions, four horse stalls and a newly tuck-pointed foundation. The couple plans to rebuild the cupola.

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