A hidden treasure

AYRSHIRE — If one didn’t know it was there, a person would drive right past the acreage of David C. Loomis.

West of Ayrshire on the Highway to Heaven (420th St), you can find a quarter-mile long lane that, when the corn is tall, seemingly goes nowhere.

Follow that lane and you will come upon the secluded acreage where David Loomis and his wife, Nuesa call home.

Loomis purchased the acreage in 2007 from the Wilbur Wernimont Trust.

“I was gone from the area 49 years,” Loomis said. “I joined the Air Force right after I graduated in 1958.”

He spent almost 23 years in the U.S. Air Force. Loomis lived in Anchorage, Alaska, for 35 years with his first wife, Lynn, where they raised three children, Ian, Heather, and Andrew.

Loomis and his first wife, Lynn, met when he was stationed in England. Both are from Ayrshire. Loomis is from Ayrshire, Iowa, and Lynn is from Ayrshire, Scotland, which is the sister city to Ayrshire, IA.

Purchasing the acreage was a no-brainer for the couple. They had just come from a state still considered by many to be the last unexplored county, so a secluded acreage was just what they were looking for.

“The acreage has a lot of room for animals,” Loomis said. “When I first saw the place, especially the barn, it reminded me of the first part of Proverbs 12:10 “The righteous care for the needs of their animals…”

The acreage was part of a farm known as the Nolan place when Wilbur (Bill) Wernimont purchased the farm in 1947. According to Loomis, Wernimont had replaced the foundation of the barn and put on new siding.

Researching property records, it was discovered that Nolan, the original owner the property, built the barn in 1900, assumingly. It measures 32 feet wide by 40 feet long. The primary use of this new barn was for livestock and feed.

When they took possession of the acreage in 2007, they put on a steel roof.

“The windows need replacing, but you can buy windows at Menards for $20 or so,” Loomis said. “The windows are the next project. Very little work has been done on the interior and eventually we will get to that also.”

By the 1970s, ten buildings occupied the acreage. Of those 10, seven of them were built in 1900, including the barn.

Hay and straw have been stored in the haymow at one time or another. And also like most barns of the time, there was at least one small storage area for grain, more than likely for corn or oats.

After Lynn passed away, David stayed on the acreage and continued to make improvements to the house and outbuildings and took care of things that needed tending until he met Nuesa. After they got married, they got a rescue dog named Bane. Bane takes care of the acreage at night making sure that coyotes, fox or other wild animals that roam the area eat none of the chickens.

Bane also keeps other undesirable animals away from the building site and alerts David and Nuesa when someone is coming.

Someday, the 119-year-old barn in Palo Alto County, may once again be filled with animals and feed, but for now the barn will stand guard until it is put to use once again.