Annual tour to show off some of Iowa's most historic barns - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Annual tour to show off some of Iowa's most historic barns

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

On Saturday and Sunday, farms all over the state of Iowa will welcome visitors and give them a chance to see some of the barns that help make up Iowa's agricultural heritage.

Jason Neises and his family will be showing off their Dubuque County barn, which was built int he 1800's, on the annual All-State Barn Tour, sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation.

While it's no longer used to milk cows, you can still see a lot of the unique features that make them proud to have this barn around.

"Some of the large beams still have the bark on them from when they harvested them right here on the farm. A lot of the stone was probably quarried right here on the farm," Neises said.

Neises and his children are now the 6th and 7th generation to inhabit their farm.

They're excited to show it off during the barn tour.

"I like the opportunity for people to get out and explore these barns, especially because they're disappearing. It seems like every year  you're driving down a road where you used to see an old barn, and then it kinda disappears," said Neises.

About 20 minutes away, Jack Smith and his family are celebrating the 100th year of their beautiful red barn.

Old grain bags hang from the ceiling, some even bearing the name of Smith's grandfather.

"They all have stories to tell about all the work that was done inside of it. Like this barn was witness to so many births over the years," Smith said.

Neises says opening up these barns and showing off this history is vital to keeping our connection to Iowa's storied past.

"Even a place like Dubuque, where it's a larger town, we're still very connected to our agricultural community. So to keep celebrating that, and making sure people understand what farm life is like and get them out in the countryside to see these things and celebrate it...I think it's really important," he said.

Smith and his family hoping their barn can inspire others to fight to save their own.

"Barns are probably the best symbol of Iowa's agricultural heritage heritage. Just because some of them aren't functional anymore doesn't mean we need to be bulldozing them and knocking them down," Smith said.

The All State Barn Tour is Saturday and Sunday from 8:30-5:30.  The tour is free and self-guided. 

For a full list of barns on the tour, visit http://www.iowabarnfoundation.org/tours/2017all-state-intro.htm

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