President's Barn | Cattle Barns | Horse Barns | Judging Pavilions | Sheep Barns | Hog Barns | Dairy Barns

Sheep Barns
During the period 1865 to 1898, several structures were built to house the College sheep flocks. The first was developed as a model sheep house to accommodate six breeds of sheep and included a fattening pen for mutton sheep. This small facility was located where the Food Science Building is presently located. Sheep sheds were constructed in 1911 north of the Chicago Northwestern Railroad track and used until destroyed by fires in 1938 and 1959.

Early Sheep Barn.

Photographs in the Iowa State University Archives that were made in 1917 show a sheep barn of wood frame construction. At the time the photographs were made the building appears relatively new; thus, construction was probably accomplished a few years earlier. No records have been located to establish the architect or builder. The building was beautiful in architectural detail with eyebrow-shaped dormers built into the roof. How or when the building was destroyed is not established.

Picture of 1st Sheep Barn Before 1917Picture of Razed 1922 Sheep Barn
Sheep Barn, 1922-1925 to 1969.

In 1922 a substantial sheep barn was built where the National Soil Tilth Laboratory now stands. This building was designed by Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson of Des Moines and constructed under supervision of Thomas Sloss (Iowa State College). Walls were of clay tile. The roof style was gambrel with turned up eaves characteristic of the other barns in the area. The roof had shed dormers with windows for ventilation of the mow and metal ventilators as well. The two wings formed an L-shape design. The first wing was constructed in 1922 and the second was completed in 1925. The interior provided large group housing as well as small pens for breeding and lambing. The building was razed in 1969.

Hog Barns

Minutes of meetings and annual reports indicate that discussions relative to need for hog houses and pens were common as early as 1858. Various hog facilities were constructed in 1866, 1867, 1868, and 1880; and, 1886 notes indicate that a hen house was remodeled to accommodate hogs. The major hog house constructed in 1886 was called Piggery.

This was the primary headquarters for swine production until destroyed by fire. Records are not available to indicate if the building was replaced as such.

Picture of The Piggery Hog Barn and Pavilion, 1921-1922 to 1969-1976 (south farrowing wing razed in 1969 and the balance of the barn and pavilion razed in 1976).

In 1922 a major swine facility was developed for producing animals and for teaching. The development of the barn and pavilion was part of a plan to develop a "New Purebred Hog Plant" at Iowa State College. The facility was located south of the site presently occupied by the National Soil Tilth Laboratory. The building, constructed of clay tile, consisted of two wings for swine housing and a pavilion for teaching swine management and visual appraisal of animals. The design included varied and extensive skylights and windows to evaluate the advantages of natural light and sun exposure in swine production. Cost of the new barn and pavilion designed by Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson of Des Moines and built by Thomas Sloss (Iowa State College) was about $20,000. Removal of the building provided a building site for the Swine Genetics Laboratory and the Seed Laboratory.

Experimental Feeding Sheds (Hogs and Cattle), 1902 and 1916 to 1957.

During the period 1902 to 1928 numerous sheds and pens were built and expanded to accommodate feeding research with cattle and hogs. These were modest, open-front sheds with outside pens. The location of these facilities, which were expanded in 1916, was in the general area presently occupied by the Physical Plant and adjacent to Pavilions 2 and 3. In 1928 a part of these facilities was moved to a site south of campus on Beech Avenue. Dr. Wise Burroughs used these experimental facilities in the 1950s for beef cattle nutrition research. It was at this location that Burroughs's work led to the idea of including stilbestrol in the diets of cattle to enhance growth and efficiency of feed utilization. The idea was patented by the Iowa State University Research Foundation and for many years most beef cattle finished in the United States were produced using this technology. In 1957 the Beef Nutrition Research Farm northwest of campus was completed and beef cattle nutrition and related management research was moved to that location. The feeding sheds were removed soon after to clear the site for construction of the Iowa State Center.


September 2000