Iowa hosts biggest barn tour in country

Pictured is the Friedlein Round barn in Guttenberg, part of the 2023 Iowa Barn Tour. (submitted photo)

Mark Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17, on the calendar this year for a great multi-generational fall family adventure. 

The Iowa Barn Foundation (IBF) is holding its annual All-State Barn Tour, highlighting several Driftless-area locations amongst the 72 historic barns statewide open for touring inside and out. A special feature this year is a record eight round barns, the most unique and rare type of barn, representing just 0.13 percent of all barns built.

Many owners and family members will be on hand to share the stories behind their barns, which served as the central hub of activity on the farm. The self-guided tour is free and open to the public.

Driftless area barns

Boeding Barn/Milk House, 2173 Madison Road, Decorah. Boeding has restored a stone milk house and barn on both farms on Madison at his own expense. He received the Award of Distinction for one of the stone milk houses.  (Award of Distinction).

Borlaug Barn, 20399 Timber Avenue, Cresco. The 1915 barn is located on his grandparent’s farm where Norman Borlaug was born on March 25, 1914. The gable roof-style barn housed their dairy operation and space for their draft horses and young stock. The upper loft area was used for storage of loose hay. Norman spent his first eight years helping with the barn chores at the site. The barn size is 26 feet by 60 feet. 

Hinsenbrock Barn, 1477 Norske Road, Decorah. Pegged barn (36×70) was built into a hill in 1878 by Peder Bakke, an original Norwegian settler in the county. Barn retains original wooden hay drop for loose hay and has unusual double support rafters. There are hand-hewn timbers, and pegs are the same condition as when made.

Steve Mikesh Barn, 2714 County Road A14, Decorah. Steve and Jolyn Mikesh bought the farm in 1979. The barn was remodeled with new concrete, gutters, and barn cleaner with 28 dairy cow stanchions and tie stalls. In 1993, a shed was attached to the barn. Dairy operations continued in the barn through Sept. 2004.

Toad Hall (new in 2023), 919 E. Main St., Waukon. This gambrel roof bank barn was built in 1912.  The owners have worked to preserve the barn with foundation repair in 2014, window/door replacement 2012 and paint in 2020. The barn was originally built for general farming operations with a dirt floor (Award of Distinction).

Slifka Barn, 1371 175th St., Postville, west of Frankville in Winneshiek County.

Hardt Pioneer Barn, 26152 Kayak Road, Farmersburg, Clayton County.

Friedlein Round Barn, 35273 Hwy 52, Guttenberg, Clayton County.

Full tour details can be found online at Email with questions.

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