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An old barn, like many across the Iowa landscape, recently was moved from the home it had known for a century to a new home roughly three miles away.

The effort required the coordination of several groups – Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), Linn County REC and ITC to move wire along the roadways; the Iowa Barn Foundation for help funding the move; heavy haul movers; and the barn’s owner, Lucille Goodson of Swisher.

The barn – located along Derby Avenue NW and estimated to be at least 100 years old – was slated to be burned with the demolition of the Bisticky farmstead where it sat, the property having been purchased by Wendling Quarries and planned for development.

“These old barns and houses were built to last and with the craftsmanship of an antique piece of furniture,” Goodson says. “You can’t replace them. The beams are all mortise and tenon done by hand.”

Goodson had taken steps to help save a barn on her own property that was in very poor condition and eventually blew down in a windstorm. When she saw a hand-painted sign advertising the Bisticky barn, she again contacted the Iowa Barn Foundation and began working with board member Dwight Hughes. With his support, she was successful in securing grants from that organization to help offset the cost to move the barn to her property.

“The pieces of the move were many and complicated,” she says. “But it was successful. Ron Aylsworth House Movers, moved it and ITC, Linn County REC and CIPCO dropped the power lines. In fact, the utilities worked with such precision and speed that the actual move only took a little over an hour.”

“It’s not unusual to involve utilities with overhead wire along the route of a major building move,” says CIPCO’s Tim Root, area supervisor, Integrated Operations. “It had many moving parts, but we were able to quickly and safely move our lines with minimal disruption to utility customers in the area.”

The Bisticky barn will soon find new life as it is restored and used for horses. Clive-based McClure Engineering contributed a percentage of the fee to develop as built drawings to document the renovation. With Iowa Barn Foundation involvement, expect to see this barn open to the public during the organization’s annual regional barn tour.

“A neighbor brought over a bottle of wine the day it was moved,” Goodson says. “It was labeled, ‘Barn Dance Red,’ so of course, once COVID is over, we will celebrate with a party!”  

Sarah Heggen is the communications content supervisor for CIPCO.

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