People & Places

Plagman Barn Show Days kicks off this weekend in Garber

Event pays tribute to farming's past

Courtesy Dorothy Moser

The Plagman Barn in Garber was built in the 1920s for dances, and now hosts Show Days, an event  that focuses on farming heritage.
Courtesy Dorothy Moser The Plagman Barn in Garber was built in the 1920s for dances, and now hosts Show Days, an event that focuses on farming heritage.

The public once again will have the chance to learn about historic farming techniques this weekend in Clayton County.

Show Days takes place during the third weekend of September every year at the Plagman Barn in Garber. The Northeast Iowa Farm and Antique Association organizes the event, now in its 34th year.

The Plagman Barn was built in the 1920s for dances, according to Larry Moser, the association’s president.

“The people that started it up, they didn’t want to see the barn destroyed, so they started the antique association,” Moser said. “They rebuilt the barn, put on displays and showed how things were done back in the ’20s.”

Moser said more than 3,000 people from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota attended last year’s Show Days.

“They keep coming back because they want to see that old antique farming machine work,” Moser said.

Bill Niehaus, a member of the antique association, said his favorite part of the festivities is giving children the opportunity to learn about farming heritage.


“The kids get to see everything,” he said. “Kids go home and tell their parents about it, the next day you see parents there with kids again. It’s teaching kids old ways of doing things.”

Daily demonstrations include a horse pull, tractor pull, antique tractor pull, corn binding and a drag saw. There also will be a blacksmith shop, brick making machine, and steam-powered grist mill.

Rug weaving, butter churning and apple butter and bread making will take place as well, and antique machinery, household appliances and memorabilia will be exhibited.

Goods will be for sale at the country store and flea market. Live music will be performed by Dave Poggenklass on Friday, Keepin’ It Country on Saturday and Sounds of Nashville and Unstrung Heroes on Sunday.

Breakfast foods, sweets, hamburgers and fries will be served daily. A chicken dinner will be served beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.

There also will be children’s activities including a country school house tour, rope making and a petting zoo. Camping will be available on the grounds.

If you go

• What: Plagman Barn Show Days

• Where: 28384 Garber Road, Garber

• When: Various times, demonstrations daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday

• Admission: $6 for adults, free for children 12 and under

• For more information: Call (563) 252-2056 or to go



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