Scale houses

Scale houses were common on farms decades ago but are a thing of the past. Look around as you travel rural roads and you will see scale houses of various sizes and shapes that still exist.

Blog #26 featured the Mills farm barns in Madison County. Here is a look at the farm’s scale house where grain or livestock was weighed. Note the high doors where wagons, a hayrack, or a livestock trailer could enter unobstructed. It was also a “drive through,” with doors on both ends. The scales inside, pictured below, are still intact, date back to the turn of the 20th century, and could be used today if needed. (2021 photos)

On a farm in Monona County one mile north of Blencoe is a scale house with the scale mechanism inside and the wooden platform outside that dates to 1936. (2015 photo)

Scale houses are very diverse in shape and size. North of Winterset along Hwy. 169 in Madison County is one that dates to 1917. The doors on the upper level provide access to bins for storage of grain, an unusual feature in a scale house. Originally there were also cribs on each side.