Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center | Midwest Living

Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center

2773 290th St.
Orient  Iowa  50858
United States
756 Sixteenth St.
Des Moines  Iowa  50314
United States
(641) 337-5019
(515) 243-7063
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Midwest Living Review

Laura Billingsley
A picture-perfect country farm, and birthplace of local Henry A. Wallace, transports visitors back in time.

The Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center is what many think of as the quintessential small family farm: simple white buildings, a charming garden and green fields all around. Not a lot on the property is original (the barn housing the Gathering Table restaurant was built in 2003), but care has been taken to ensure authenticity, and the location is on the National Register of Historic Places. Henry Wallace, often called the most influential Iowan of the 20th century, was born here in 1888. Through the course of his political career, he served as vice president of the United States, secretary of agriculture and secretary of commerce.

Visitors can tour a large vegetable garden supplying produce for farmers markets and an on-site restaurant. The gift shop carries crafts and artwork from local artisans, and the sculpture walking path lets wanderers view creations evoking the ethos of prairie life. Other features include a restored prairie, themed flower gardens and orchards. While a visit here may not provide thrills-a-minute entertainment, it does make for a relaxing country experience, especially if paired with a meal at the Gathering Table restaurant.

Self-guided tours offered daily; admission is free, but goodwill donations are welcome.

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