The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center’s Spring Open House-Open Barn this Sunday, May 19, from noon-4 p.m., gives visitors their one chance all year to see the inside of the historic barn where “The Winner” barbed wire was invented and first manufactured. The large brick structure is located on the Homestead property at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, behind Burger King and next to Glidden Florist.
Chris Hubbard, shown here, is the Glidden Homestead’s chief blacksmith at the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop.
The Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop at the Glidden Homestead also will be open and operating that day. Roger Keys is a historic preservationist who has done much work on the barn and house at the Homestead. He will help give tours May 19.
The barn is perhaps the most historically significant in the country, according to Keys, because it is where Glidden invented and manufactured the first practical barbed wire. The house was completed around 1861, and the brick barn was built between 1861-71. Glidden’s first barbed wire manufacturing office was located in the southeast corner of the barn.
Architecturally, the Glidden barn also is very significant. It is one of the oldest barns left standing in DeKalb County. It reflects the German tradition and is built of local bricks with transverse frame, post and beam construction. The foundation is made of locally-quarried limestone. There were 14 eight-paned double-hung windows and seven single-pane windows for luxurious livestock lodging. Originally, there were two large arched entrances, seven stalls, a large haymow, gable, hayhood and a dirt or wooden plank floor.
The Glidden barn has remained solid throughout its years of usage for livestock, horses, barbed wire manufacture and storage. It provides a priceless link to our past and evokes images for us of our agricultural roots and pioneer spirit upon which our communities are based today. Read more →
Annie Glidden’s former home on the DeKalb road now named for her, is one of the new stops included on the annual Barbed Wire Historic Sites Bus Tours as part of the Joseph F. Glidden Homestead’s Patent Day celebration this Sunday, November 4th. Anyone interested is urged to sign up now, as seating is limited. Tours begin at 11 a.m., and also at 2 p.m., and last for approximately 2 hours.
In addition to many historic sites around DeKalb, another new feature of the tour this year is a stop at the original Perry Ellwood home most recently occupied by Shirley Hamilton Nehring. The home at 417 N. First St., was recently donated by Mrs. Nehring to the Ellwood House Association.
The tour also will stop inside the former I.L. Ellwood Mfg Co. (sometimes referred to as the Red Shops), former home of Mooney Chevrolet at 204 N. 4th St. Built around 1877, this is the building where Isaac Ellwood, in partnership with the Washburn and Moen Company, began the next phase of barbed wire production in a way the world could not have imagined. A special exhibit will be on display there as part of the tour. Other sites on the tour include a drive through the NIU campus and downtown DeKalb, as well as Fairview Park and Evergreen cemeteries.
The Patent Day event Nov. 4, celebrates the 138th anniversary of the date Joseph F. Glidden received his patent for “The Winner” barbed wire—Nov. 24, 1874. Special displays, Homestead tours, and the working Blacksmith Shop also will be part of the day’s events, with the Homestead open from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday.
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Music boxes, toys and inventive fun with recyclables will be explored as part of Dave Miner’s exhibit on from noon – 4pm October 28th, November 4th and 18th, at the Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center, DeKalb. Miner’s DeKalb home is a Christmas wonder-land year-round, thanks to his ingenuity and inventive mind. His “hobby” started with one small motorized musical carousel and now fills three floors of his home, including Santa’s workshops and musical boxes of all types.
Miner has generously agreed to display some of his collection at the Glidden Homestead this fall, and will be present all three Sundays to help describe items from his collection. On Sunday, Nov. 18, from noon-4 p.m., visitors to the museum at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, can view music boxes and carousels, trains, dollhouses and much more. At 1 p.m., Miner will give a presentation and participants will be able to make a holiday item out of recyclables to take home. In preparation for the event, participants are asked to bring empty cereal boxes, round oatmeal boxes, round plastic bottle caps of all sizes, milk bottles and old Christmas cards. Activities will include making a holiday card holder, houses, trains and train cars from the boxes.
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This Sunday, September 9th, tour the site where Joseph Glidden invented and first manufactured the most widely used type of barbed wire, “The Winner” in 1874. View demonstrations of the blacksmith craft in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop. Both the 1861 home and brick barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kishwaukee Valley Barbershop Chorus will return to entertain at the Glidden Homestead & Historical Center also on Sunday for a 2 p.m. performance.
The Chorus includes 15 members, who range in age from teens-70. The group holds about 10 performances a year, usually at nursing homes and retirement centers, and performs at various events like the Glidden Homestead’s throughout the year. Director of the chorus is John Hansen, who has been a member since 1966. The local group is part of the Society of the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America Inc., which has about 30,000 members throughout the world. The society arranges music for its member organization. The concerts are supported with a grant from the Mary A. Stevens Concert & Lecture Fund.
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Family Fun Days
Celebrate another one of America’s Favorite Past-times eating ice cream during the Sycamore History Museum’s old fashion ice cream social this Saturday, August 11th from 1 – 4pm. Visitors can enjoy tours of the museum with our Junior Docents. The Museum is located at 1730 N. Main Street in Sycamore. Visit their website here: sycamorehistory.org.
50 Men Who Cook
50 Men Who Cook is an annual fundraiser presented by KishHealth System to benefit the children of DeKalb County (thru the Family Service Agency and CASA DeKalb County). It will be held this Saturday, August 11th, beginning at 6pm. Prominent men from DeKalb County will once again be cooking their favorite dishes for you to enjoy including appetizers, salads, side dishes, entrees and desserts. The evening will include dinner (sampling of all dishes), cash bar, entertainment and a silent auction. Tickets are $40 each. 50 Men Who Cook will be held at the NIU Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center, 231 N. Annie Glidden Rd., DeKalb. Visit their website to learn more
Blacksmith Demonstration at Glidden Homestead
Tour the site where Joseph Glidden invented and first manufactured the most widely used type of barbed wire, “The Winner” in 1874. View demonstrations of the blacksmith craft in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop. Both the 1861 home and brick barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sunday, Aug 12, 2012, from noon – 4pm. Admission: adults $4; children under 14, free. The Glidden Homestead is located at 921 West Lincoln Hwy, in DeKalb. More information here.
NIU STEM Cafe: Star Gazing
Join NIU STEM Outreach and astronomy experts, who will discuss telescopes and the annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks August 12. These fast, bright meteors radiate from the Perseus constellation and appear throughout the night sky. They will be meeting at the Acquaviva Winery at 47W614 Route 38, in Maple Park at 7:30pm Sunday, August 12th. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. At 8:00pm speakers will discuss astronomy and the Perseids; 9:15pm guests can view the meteor shower and use NIU’s telescopes to view the night sky. Free to attend. www.niu.edu/stem
The Village of Maple Park will hold their annual garage sales this Friday and Saturday, May 18th and 19th, from 9am to 4pm. The Lucerne Lane area in DeKalb (across from the old high school off South 4th St.) will be having garage sales on Saturday May 19th. Multi- family Garage sales in North Grove Crossings neighborhood in Sycamore ( Northeast corner of Peace / Plank Rd & Rt 23)Friday 8-3 and Saturday 8-12. For even more garage sales, follow the DeKalb-Sycamore Garage Sale group on Facebook.
DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport is hosting jet warbirds from throughout the northern Midwest this weekend . This event is open to owners and operators of vintage jet aircraft only but it should provide a great show over our area this weekend. See Classic Jet Aircraft Association website for more information.
Saturday May 19th is Stock Car Racing – All Classes. Looks like great weather for the Speedway this weekend! Great family fun! Visit the Speedway’s website now!
Open House/Open Barn
This Sunday, May 20th, visit the J.F. Glidden Homestead, 921 West Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb between noon-4:pm. Open House/Open Barn. Architectural preservationist Roger Keys will give tours of the Glidden Homestead brick barn, considered by some historians to be the most historically significant barn in the United States. This is the only day all year when the barn is open to visitors because it is still under restoration. Tours of the Joseph Glidden home and blacksmith demonstrations in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop in the old mill house will also be presented. Admission: adults $4; children under 14, free. More info at www.gliddenhomestead.org.
Yorkville Big Band
On Sunday May 20th join them at the Timber Creek Inn & Suites Convention Center and enjoy dinner, dancing lessons and live music presented by Chicagoland’s premier big band, The Yorkville Big Band. Don’t forget your dancing shoes! Remember to bring your ticket stub to the front desk to receive a guest room at $69.99 on Sunday, May 20th.
The annual Holiday Open House at the Glidden Homestead is this Sunday, November 20th, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the home built for Joseph F. Glidden in 1861. The Holiday Open House will run from noon-4 p.m., and also will feature a collection of antique toys. The Open House will also feature ornament-making, tours of the festively decorated house, educational displays and a special 150th anniversary cake and refreshments.
The Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop will be open and operational that day. The Homestead’s Gift Shop will be open that day as well, featuring many unique barbed wire items unavailable anywhere else, in addition to holiday and other items perfect for gift-giving.
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St. George Greek Orthodox Church is hosting a Greek Food Festival this Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, from 11am-9pm at Hopkins Park in DeKalb. The public is invited to come eat Greek food, pastries and listen to live Greek music. Live dance performances on Saturday at 1pm, 2pm and 4pm. Free admission. Hopkins Park is located at 1403 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.
Hinckley Garage Sales
Hinckley will be having it’s town-wide Garage Sales this Saturday, June 25th. There will be no fireworks this year. For more information please visit www.hinckleyil.com.
Rockin’ for the Reptiles
Enjoy an afternoon of music, food, games, live reptiles, and family fun, benefiting the live animals with the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore this Saturday, June 25th, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. Enjoy games, live music, live animals, food, a moon bounce, and more. Adult day pass: $2, Child day pass: $6, Family day pass: $20. Pass covers all games, live music, animal visits, and more. The event will be held in the parking lot next to Riccardi’s on the corner of W. State St. and California St., in Sycamore. Visit their website now for more information.
Glidden Homestead Tours
The Glidden Homestead will be open for tours from noon-4 p.m. this Sunday, June 26th. Joseph Farwell Glidden’s invented of one of the most widely-used types of barbed wire in 1873, helped change the history of the American West and had far-reaching impact throughout the world. Glidden Homestead is located at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Visit their website.
Volunteer tour guides and other volunteers are needed at DeKalb’s Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center. The Homestead is expanding its hours this season (May-November) to be open every Tuesday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and also the second and fourth Sundays of the month (noon-4 p.m.) and could use more help.
Orientation will last about one hour and will include information about the history of the Homestead and plans for future development of the museum and education center. In addition to docents, help is needed with gardening, building maintenance, special events, fund-raising, general office, and for the furnishings and other committees. The Glidden Homestead is the historic site on West Lincoln Highway where Joseph F. Glidden invented “The Winner” barbed wire, for which he received a patent in 1874. If you are interested, please RSVP to attend the orientation session planned for this Wednesday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. Call (815) 756-7904 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.gliddenhomestead.org.