Endangered: Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn

Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered List: Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn, Cedar County

Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn (Preservation Iowa 2019 Most Endangered List)

The Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve Barn is located near the unincorporated village of Buchanan. It is a structure on property associated with the 1854 Hannah Morse Fowler Hall House which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. The red painted barn was built in 1922 by the Stoltenberg Brothers of rural Tipton to replace the original barn destroyed by fire the previous year.

The gabled barn has a centrally located sliding door for access of hayracks, etc. in both the north and south elevations. The barn also includes a passage door for the farmer on the east end of the north side and a smaller hinged access for animals on each corner of the south side. A central driveway provides access to the interior for the storage of hay, machinery, grain and other varied typical uses of a farm barn.

The property was continuously owned by the Hall/Rate family from 1848 until they deeded it to the Cedar County Historical Society in 1995 with the purpose of establishing the Bickett-Rate Memorial Preserve. From 1891-1995, the site operated as an agriculture tenancy, a cooperative with the owner and tenants utilizing a shared rental agreement.

Since 1995 the farm land has been cash rented and the farm buildings left vacant. The 1922 barn has significant foundation, roof and siding problems partially caused by raccoons and groundhogs requiring rehabilitation before plans can move forward for it to become a working museum displaying small agricultural equipment that tell the story of what a farm was like 100 years ago. The Cedar County Historical Society plans to work with Cedar County Conservation and FFA to develop conservation education and Ag in the Classroom events with animals for elementary students in the barn.

Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us.  In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Most Endangered Properties includes: