The Farm House Museum (Iowa State University)
Home of agriculturist and teacher Seagram A. Knapp and of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson, now located on Iowa State University's campus. The Farm House is the oldest building on campus. It is a two-story building with 14 rooms. It was built in 1860 through funds from the state and members of the surrounding community to become the State Agricultural College and Model Farm. It cost $25,500 to build and was completed in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. Under the Morrill Land Grant Act, the college opened in 1869 providing students with a free education. The Farm House was home to Adonijah Welch, the first president of Iowa State Agricultural College. Over the years, the Farm House continued to house deans of the college as well as students in the 1940s. The Farm House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1965 and was turned into a museum in 1976.
Backstory and Context
In 1970, the Farm House was in danger of being demolished but was saved by a committee that formed to restore it to it’s original state. Federal grants and donations allowed the structure to undergo a large renovation. The Farm House Museum opened on July 4th, 1976.