Decorah Farm Draws Visitors with Creative Lodging Options

DECORAH,Iowa- Jim Dotzenrod’s farm north of Decorah is a place to raise horses. He pulls horse and carriage in local parades, he’s even had his horses in the Citrus Bowl Parade.

His farm has an old silo and barn. One day he had an idea, to convert the silo into a cabin. He thought he would be able to attract hunters and fishermen who come.

“Just started the silo four years ago, had an option of tearing it down, and wanted it turned into something,” said Dotzenrod. “Found a roof for it, found a couple of barns to tear down to line the inside, made it into a bed and bath.”

He listed the Silo on Airbnb.

People started coming to stay, but not necessarily all hunters and fishermen.

“A lot of people travel across the country and this is their midwest stop,” said Danielle Dotzenrod, Jim’s daughter. “They think whats more country and farmer, than to stay in the barn.”

After the success of the silo with a barn board interior, Danielle proposed an idea to her Dad, bring in a rail caboose to the farm.
So they found an old caboose for sale in a nearby town. A huge truck brought it out and a crane unloaded the huge car. It was mounted on tracks, and it’s wheels.

‘This thing is all iron, I’m not designed for iron. I don’t have tools for cutting, a lot of sawmill blades, a lot of torch work,” said Dotzenrod. “Once I had it gutted, then Danielle came up with the idea of how to do it.”

Danielle helped in the remodeling doing the interior design. She even put the tiling in the shower.

“Dad’s a carpenter by trade, so between the two of us I have some ideas, when he sets his mind to it, he can build whatever he wants,” said Danielle.

Since the caboose opened, more people have come to stay from many states, Canada, Russia, and Argentina.

If you could like to check out the Dotzenrod Caboose, click here.

If you would like to check out their Silo click here.