Barn Tour Comes to La Porte, Porter counties

Submitted photoIndiana Barn Foundation's annual tour on Sept. 28 will feature barns in La Porte and Porter counties.

La PORTE — For the sixth consecutive year, the Indiana Barn Foundation (IBF) has offered tours of historic barns to support their mission of saving Indiana's endangered barns. This year, the public is invited to get a close-up look inside five renovated barns in Northwest Indiana and to meet their owners.

On Sept. 28, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., visitors will be provided maps and driving directions for this self-guided tour. The cost of $10 per adult helps raise funds to support barn owners through education as well as through grants to make necessary repairs. Registration will take place at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum on the day of the tour, or in advance at indianabarns.org/events.

This year tour attendees will also have the opportunity to see the Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt, which will be on display at the museum for one day only. The quilt was created by quilters from across Indiana, and features 92 squares representing a barn from each of Indiana's 92 counties. The quilt was awarded the Outstanding Bicentennial Collaborative Project Award by Indiana Historical Society.

Some highlights of the barn tour are the 1855 Dinwiddie barn in the town of La Porte, which was recently renovated by renowned timber framers Trillium Dell. Two other turn-of-the-century outbuildings are also being restored on site.

The La Porte County Farm Dairy Barn is a landmark that graces the La Porte skyline. Its restoration was completed in 2018 through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, who will open the barn to tour attendees. The barn was part of the La Porte County "Poor Farm" that was established in 1886.

Also included in this year's tour is the Ledgemere barn, which was recently named as a recipient of IBF's Mauri Williamson Barn Preservation Grant. Learn from the barn owners what their plans are for renovation, and see some of the work that has already begun.

Two other barns on the tour include the beautifully restored 1856 Forrester Farm barn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Kosmatka barn which was chosen as one of Indiana's top Bicentennial Barns.

In addition to touring the barns, other points of interest along the route include Garwood Orchard, Indiana's largest orchard, where attendees can visit the farm store for local produce and treats, and the historic Carmel Chapel which will be open specially for the tour.

The Rumely Allis-Chalmers La Porte Heritage Center will be open for tractor enthusiasts to visit, and tour attendees can also visit the La Porte County Historical Society Museum at a discounted rate, and can view the famous nine-sided Door Prairie Barn from museum grounds. Indiana Barn Foundation will also have merchandise available including the Bicentennial Barn Quilt commemorative book.

Sponsors of the 2019 Barn Tour are Garwood Orchard, KW Garner Preservation, Consulting and Design, and the La Porte County Historical Society.

Tickets may be purchased at indianabarns.org/events or on Sept. 28 at the La Porte County Historical Society, 2405 Indiana Ave., La Porte. The tour will take place rain or shine. For more information, contact (574) 209-1443 or (260) 437-7800 or info@indianabarns.org.

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