Barber HouseHistory

Fairfield is the home to 22 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, it hosted the 1st Iowa State Fair, and it is the birthplace of a major U.S. agricultural industry. Come enjoy the rich tapestry of our past.

Heritage Trails

Fairfield has a rich foundation in cultural history, and has many historic and architecturally interesting buildings. For instance, the first and second Iowa State Fairs were held in Fairfield in 1854 and 1855. Come visit Fairfield and experience the historic Heritage Trail which includes:

  • An architecturally distinctive Barry Byrne-designed prairie style home (one of the best in the Midwest).
  • The first of a total of 1,689 Carnegie Public Libraries.
  • A dwelling built in 1838 (the birthplace of Fairfield).
  • And even an early Dairy Queen store.

Walking Tour of the Fairfield Cultural District

Come explore the rich past of our town through a virtual tour. Click here to start your tour.

Louden Buildings

The Louden Machinery Company has had a substantial impact on the farming industry and has made major contributions in this field. The company is no longer manufacturing their products in Fairfield, but you can take virtual tours online. The Broadway Building which formerly housed the offices and manufacturing plant is a must see. If you go inside the building today you will find a gourmet restaurant, coffee shop, apartments, a yoga/dance studio, and other businesses.

Carnegie MuseumCarnegie Library Museum

The Carnegie Historical Museum in Fairfield was recently recognized as an Iowa Century Museum, as one of Iowa's 10 oldest museums. The museum is located on the third floor of the former Fairfield Public Library, which was funded by Andrew Carnegie and built in 1892. This marked the first time that Carnegie had funded a library in which he had no personal ties, and initiated the funding model used by Carnegie for thousands of additional libraries.  A branch of Indian Hills Community College is currently housed here.


Johnny ClockJohnny Clock Museum

711 W. Main
Lockridge, IA
319-696-3711
9-5 Mon.-Fri., May-Aug., or by appointment.

The Johnny Clock Museum features over 55 hand carved clocks and is located 11 miles from Fairfield. Being born with dyslexia, clock artist John R. Mclain, is unable to draw his vision on paper, but was able to carve them in wood. To this day there are no blueprints for the clicks. Several of the Museum's visitors have sent pieces of wood that have been incorporated into many of the clocks. This is a unique one of a kind collection in the world and is a must see.


Massdam BarnMaasdam Barns

The historic Maasdam Barns at the Evergreen Ridge Stock Farm are a significant illustration of an early 20th-century draft-horse breeding business. From 1910 until 1938 award-winning Percheron draft horses were raised and sold by J. G. Maasdam. The two 1910 barns were apparently designed by the Louden barn design division. They used modern barn construction methods, such as poured concrete walls, and featured Louden barn products.


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Fairfield Iowa Convention & Visitors Bureau
200 N. Main • Fairfield, IA 52556 • (641) 472-2828