Parson Weems Fable, by Grant Wood
"1142" was what Grant Wood, one of America's most celebrated regional artists, fondly called the home where he lived for the last seven years of his life. He bought "1142" in 1935, following the tremendous success of his painting American Gothic and his subsequent appointment to the Art faculty of the University of Iowa. The Anamosa native was a skilled craftsman as well as a painter, and spent the next two years extensively remodeling the house himself, inside and out, even designing and building furniture. Wood planted the junipers on the eastern lot line and created the current retaining wall out of Stone City limestone. He also rescued most of the original shutters, which a previous resident had fashioned into chicken coops behind the house, and restored them to their present condition. Although Wood's studio was in the loft of the carriage house, now the pool house/guest house, he painted the satiric Parson Weems Fable in what is currently the master bedroom.
Nicholas Oakes, a brick maker from Ohio, designed this Italianate-style home for his family and constructed it of bricks from his brickworks, 200 yards to the south. (See The Oakes Brickworks.) "1142" was completed in 1858. More widely known as the Grant Wood House, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and was named an Iowa City landmark in 1996.