The farm is located near the tiny town of Buchanan in Cedar County. There is an 1848 house known as Edgewood Hall, which we plan to restore and use for events in the future. The limestone foundation was completely re-mortared in 2010 and in 2012 the house was gutted, new siding and windows were installed. In 2013 we'll tackle another portion of the project - well, septic, electricity, and finishing the interior all remain to be done. We are fixing up the house so we can have a live-in caretaker and open it to the public for events. The barn will be straightened and the foundation shored up so this will also stand for years to come.
An exciting new development is the Althea Sherman Chimney Swift tower. We have partnered with the Johnson County Songbird Project and Althea Sherman's orginal Swift tower has been put up at the farm. We are lucky enough to have the original tower that Althea Sherman constructed for her groundbreaking ornithological studies. Preservation work will make the tower stable for maintenance and so that it will withstand our Iowa weather. Thanks to Bob Anderson (of Decorah eagle webcam fame) we do plan to put a webcam in it once we get a nesting pair of swifts!
A prairie restoration was planted on 11 acres in 2011, and 1.5 acres of trees were planted in 2013. It's a busy year, and these are all wonderful developments! Stay tuned for ways you can help.
The farm is private property, so please do not trespass. CCHS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, so this isn't a county park. Society members must call the museum before going out here; access is prohibitedwithout express permission. The site is leased most months of the year, and our renters have first rights during those times.
THANK YOU to our wonderful volunteers who helped with our 3rd annual Garlic Mustard Pull in 2013! We had a great time identifying the native woodland plants that we're saving by pulling this invasive weed. There were far fewer garlic mustard plants in this area than there have been - we CAN make a difference. We've selected an area that has yellow violet, false rue anenome, Bluebells, Maidenhair fern, Jack-in-the-Pulpit and other beautiful (and sensitive) plants, and we're waging a war on garlic mustard there. Keep an eye on this site's calendar so you can join the fun in 2014!
Directions for Bickett-Rate
600 -225th Street, Tipton
After turning onto 225th Street you will take the first and almost immediate left onto Walters Ave which is also the drive back to the farm.