NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodSouthwest Iowa

Actions

Treynor farmer finishes grain-bin guesthouse project he started with late wife

DSC00032.JPG
Posted at 7:26 PM, Jun 12, 2024

TREYNOR, Iowa (KMTV) — Penny's Landing is a one-of-a-kind guesthouse made from SUKUP grain siloes outside Treynor. It was a passion project for Craig and Penny Buckingham. When Penny passed away, almost two years ago, Craig carried out his wife's vision. The guesthouse accompanies the event venue they built from a 90-year-old barn.

  • Craig was going to farm forever. The event space and boutique guesthouse on the farm was his wife, Penny’s project.
  • “You know, she was my best friend. I mean, I didn’t expect her to go. I figured I’d go first,” said Craig.
  • “I tell people, that I want to be on a Hallmark movie, one of their Christmas specials..."

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Grain bins are just about everywhere you look outside Treynor, Iowa and a few years ago, farmer Craig Buckingham was shoveling grain out of his when he got an idea.

“I was up, cleaning up my grain bins one day and I got my tape measure out and started measuring and thought, ‘I think I can do this,” he said.

Craig was going to farm forever. The event space on his farm, called The Palace, was his wife Penny’s project.

“She had a big heart and she loved what we were doing here. And I was too, I was excited.”

In 2018, the Buckinghams converted their 90-year-old barn into a venue that has hosted everything from weddings to presidential candidates. But something was missing.

“At the wedding, you’re drinking a little bit of alcohol and it’s easy to walk 150 feet ... they want to stay and not travel back to Council Bluffs or Omaha.”

The Buckinghams started to plan Penny’s Landing, a high-end guest house across from the event space. Penny poured herself into the details.

“This was going to be hers and I was still farming.”

But then, tragedy.

“You know, she was my best friend. I mean, I didn’t expect her to go. I figured I’d go first.”

Penny, who spent decades working in a hospital when she wasn’t farming, was injured in an accident and passed away several months later. Craig said he had no choice but to quit farming.

“It’s been tough, it’s been a tough couple of years. I’m glad I got the Palace because if I hadn’t had that it’d been even tougher...”

Not long after Penny passed furniture and linens started to arrive.

“And I didn’t even know she bought it until after she was gone and, all of a sudden, they started shipping me this stuff.”

Details, in this one-of-kind, boutique guest house, planned by Penny for Penny’s Landing.

“And she’s still here. I feel her here a lot because there’s days I do something stupid and I know she's, she’s here watching me do something stupid.”

He says it can be hard sometimes: helping others start their lives together as he remembers his marriage.

“...Some days I have left and went back up to the house because it was tough.”

Treynor City Manager Mike Holton told me, as this bedroom community grows, the town needs more amenities like Penny’s Landing. The community, he said, is “100% in love” with this project.

And Buckingham is sharing the love he had for the farm, for Penny.

“I tell people, that I want to be on a Hallmark movie, one of their Christmas specials ... Once we’ve done that, I feel like Penny and I have accomplished what we started.”