Cedar County Historical Society & Museum

 1094 Hwy 38 * Tipton, IA * 52772

Bickett-Rate Farm

Directions for Bickett-Rate

          The farm is located near the tiny town of Buchanan in Cedar County.  There is an 1848 house known as Edgewood Hall, which has been restored. The limestone foundation was completely re-mortared in 2010 and in 2012 the house was gutted, new siding and windows were installed. From 2013 through 2018 extensive work was done to restore the house to its finer days in the 1920's. Wiring, plumbing, floors, walls, ceilings, new fixtures, appliances - nothing was left untouched in the restoration of the house. A caretaker has been selected to ensure the house is properly maintained and ready for tours to the public. Tours are free and can be scheduled by contacting the museum office at 563.886.2899.  Scheduled open hours are not yet available, but we hope to have them in the future.  

          An exciting new development is the Althea Sherman Chimney Swift tower.  We have partnered with the Johnson County Songbird Project and Althea Sherman's original 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.  You can see photos of it getting set up at the Bickett-Rate farm in our gallery. The tower has been restored and preserved to last many more years in Iowa's ever changing weather.  Thanks to Bob Anderson (of Decorah eagle webcam fame) we have been able to install video cameras to observe the chimney swifts from nest building to flight of the new chicks.  We are working and making the video available to the public. To learn more about Althea Sherman and the chimney swift tower watch this IPTV Video and visit althearsherman.org.

          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 prohibited without express permission. The site is leased most months of the year, and our renters have first rights during those times.


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.

Althea Sherman Tower Today
(Courtesy Linda & Robert Scarth)