Pickaway Homestead

View of Pickaway Homestead today (2002) looking North from Cemetery

    Named after Pickaway Co. Ohio, this homestead was bought by Josina Van Metre on December 13, 1855.  The 275 acre farm was located 25 miles west of Cedar Rapids, Iowa on the south side of the Lincoln Highway, then called the Cedar Rapids - Toledo road.  A large log house built by members of the Van Metre family under the supervision of Uncle "Jeb".  The 18' X 54' house was one and two-thirds story, built from hewed logs, covered with neatly sawed weather board.  No paint was used, the kitchen was built back of the east side on the south and in front was a little porch with trellised sides and two seats.

    In the front yard at the gate stood a magnificent elm tree that was the pride of the family, visible from a point 15 miles east. The house was surrounded on the south and west by a beautiful grove of elm, and oak interspersed with wild plum and cherry trees.  This grove sheltering the home, consisted of about 10 acres with a gentle slope from the south towards the highway.  There was also another 20 acre grove of trees on the southwest side of the farm consisting of hardwood timber, small fruits and grape arbor.  It was know as Van Metre's Grove.  There was also a barn for twelve head of horses, with bins for wheat, oats and a crib for corn with hay-mow above.  It was built entirely of sawed hard lumber.

    The hospitality, good food, and cleanly conditions soon came to be known far and wide, prompting it to be called Van Metre's Tavern.

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