Seed House Opens Window onto the Past

Steve Kenkel’s museum isn’t the only historic exhibit showcasing corn production in Shelby County, Iowa. An authentic seed house will be moved this summer from the Pingel farm, where it was originally erected, to a nearby living history farm, Carstens 1880 Farmstead in Shelby. The Pingel seed house will pay tribute to Pingel’s All-around Seed Co., which operated in Shelby County from 1935 to 1975. The building houses numerous tools and implements used when the business was active.

“Inside the building, it looks like they turned out the lights at the end of the day and just walked out,” Steve says. “The main building was constructed in the 1930s and is a prototype of the building design Iowa State University promoted when Iowa’s seed houses were being developed. An addition was added quite a few years later.”

Inside the Pingel seed house visitors will find large overhead seed graders, an overhead bin used for ungraded corn storage, a Mist-O-Matic seed treater and bagger, a Hart Corn Grader, an Oliver Mfg. Co. fanning mill and a wall thermometer complete with Pingel’s “On the Rise” slogan. FC

Tentative plans call for the seed house to be opened to visitors in 2013.

For more information, contact Carstens 1880 Farmstead, P.O. Box 302, 32409 380th St., Shelby, IA 51570; (712) 544-2341; email:

To read more about the history of corn in Shelby county, Iowa, check out the article Hybrid Corn Pioneers.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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