A typical visitor at Farm House will enter the museum through its south-facing front door. Rarely does that visitor stumble upon the beautiful arbor on the east of Farm House. With thousands of burgeoning concord grapes spilling over the Osage orange and eastern red cedar wood structure, the arbor is a quiet spot to cool off in the shade and uncover some campus history!
The arbor gate was originally designed circa 1925 by Helen Curtiss, the youngest daughter of Dean of Agriculture Charles F. Curtiss, as a senior class project. She and her family lived in Farm House from 1897 through 1947 - the longest stay of any other residents! The family was known to be kind and approachable, so many students at Iowa State during the Curtiss era referred to Farm House as the "Curtiss House" instead.
Helen was born at Farm House on September 14th, 1901 in the second floor's southeast bedroom. She quickly grew into the "mischievous and vivacious" woman she is remembered as by her friends today. Playing with paper dolls in the Farm House parlor, riding the elevator in Agriculture Hall (renamed Curtiss Hall in October of 1947) up and down with her friend Marie Mortensen, riding horses through campus, and hosting waffle parties on Sunday evenings were among her most favorite things.
|Helen, Edith, and Ruth Curtiss, October 1908|
|Helen holding two piglets, ca. 1912|
Farm House Museum will close on Friday, July 29th at 4 PM until Monday, August 22nd at 12 PM. We hope to see you soon!