German Hausbarn

This German Hausbarn, originally built in 1660 in the village of Offenseth in Schleswig-Holstein, is located in Manning, which was founded in 1881 by German immigrants from that state.

This barn was dismantled, shipped to Manning and re-assembled in the 1990s by German craftsmen, and is now the focal point of the Hausbarn-Heritage Park. The thatch came from Germany, dried before being shipped to Iowa, and was installed by the artisans. The photo of the thatch below reveals the thick layers of reeds effective in repelling water.

Hausbarns are still found in Germany. Sometimes the animals and family both live on the lower level, but often the family lives on the upper level and the animals on the lower level. This provides ease in caring for the animals, especially in wintry conditions. This design also helps to provide heat for the farm family, assuming they can endure the odor.

A few hundred feet to the south of the barn on top of the hill is Trinity Church, prominent in the area for over 125 years. After the congregation realized they could no longer survive financially, funds were raised by the Manning Heritage Foundation to move it to the Hausbarn-Heritage Park where it stands today.

In addition to the Hausbarn and church, the Leet-Hassler farmstead nearby has a gambrel barn, a 1915 Craftsman bungalow, and several other buildings that preserve an aspect of Carroll County’s farming heritage that is rapidly disappearing. Check the website for open hours to the Hausbarn and farmstead.