Hotvedt barn

The Janice Hotvedt barn, 1996 County Road A 14, in Decorah, is on the Iowa barn tour in Winneshiek County. The barn is a mile west of Hesper, Iowa, which is on the Iowa-Minnesota border on County Road A 14. (Contributed photo)

An annual self-guided barn tour sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 and Sept. 29.

The tour, which attracts visitors from throughout the country, has been held for 19 years.

Historic barns throughout the state will be on the tour. The barns, many built in the 1800s, have been awarded restoration grants by the Iowa Barn Foundation because of their importance historically or architecturally, or both. Other restored barns that have received awards of distinction are also on tour.

Some of the barns are very near the state line with Minnesota, including a barn now owned by Janice Hotvedt at 1996 County Road A 14, Decorah.

The barn was built in 1906 for livestock on land originally purchased by John McMullens in 1852 for $1.25 per acre. The  barn has its original stanchions, a haymow that still houses a granary, and there is a lean-to crib. A milk house was added to the southeast corner of the barn in 1954.

The McMullens farm was the original setting of what now is Mabel Steam Engine Days. The farm remained in the McMullens family until 1990. 

At many of the barns, owners will talk about the history of the barn and the families who lived there.

The Iowa Barn Foundation, a non-profit group, raises money to give grants to property owners to restore their barns.

For information about the tour, go to or call Roxanne Mehlisch at (641) 487-7690.

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