Christian Herschler Historic District Winery And Stagecoach Stop – Franklin, Iowa

Christian Herschler Historic District Winery And Stagecoach Stop – Franklin, Iowaherschlerphoto.jpg
This area is located in a small town known as “The City of Stones," Franklin, Iowa. Here visitors will see a limestone home, barn, and several outbuildings. This is the only standing registered stagecoach stop in Lee County—part of the Fort Madison to Farmington line. 

The structures were built around 1860. The home has been restored to its pre-Civil War condition. While researching how to do the restoration, six murals with borders were discovered behind some painted walls. The covering has been removed by the owners and the murals restored. One enters the house on the original brick sidewalk that had been laid in a herringbone design.

Often visitors can see the winery in process. The wines are made from local grapes, cherries, berries, and other fruits. The wines are all natural since no chemicals, flavorings, or preservatives are added. Oak barrels are used. (A limited supply of wine is being made each year.)

The barn has been restored. One can see the hand-hewn beams made from notched and doweled timbers that are up to forty feet in length. A rare wooden hay track and trolley still exist. A lean-to attached on the left has a wooden floor and arched doorways. This incorporates a two-hole outhouse. Nearby is a smokehouse room. In it one will find an attached fireplace when the owner rendered lard to make soap while he was smoking the town’s meat. (Smoked meats are being made available once again.)

Work has begun on restoring the gardens. Already visitors can sit or walk by a waterfall and pond. The gardens will be added to each year.

The owners bought this old abandoned house in 1993. It has now been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Jarvis did most of the restoration in one year, making it liveable while preserving its historic integrity.

Admission – None

Directions – take US Highway 218, turn east on County Road J56 to Franklin, turn south on 6th Street to the corner of 6th and Green Street.

Hours – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Thursday – Monday (May – December); by appointment only (January – April)

Phone – (319) 835-9432  


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