Glidden Homestead Holiday Open House, Toy Show


Through the magic of puppets, the story of Joseph Glidden’s invention of “The Winner” barbed wire will be presented at DeKalb’s Glidden Homestead and Historical Center this Sunday, Nov. 21. The talented Salem Puppet Praise Team will perform as part of the Homestead’s annual Antique Toy and Doll Show, open from noon-4 p.m., at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy., between Copy Service and Burger King.

The Puppet Praise Team will perform an original skit at 1:30 p.m. Puppet Praise is a team of 15 youth and adults from Salem Lutheran Church of Sycamore who prepare skits and songs of faith for people of all ages. Rod-arm puppets are manipulated from behind a curtained stage to illustrate a message with varied puppet personalities. Salem Puppet Praise Team was established in 2000 under the direction of Associate in Ministry Carla Vanatta. It has been a successful intergenerational ministry due to the gifted puppeteers involved and the generous support of the congregation.

Pre-1950s toys and dolls of all types also will be featured at the annual Holiday Open House at the Glidden Homestead. You remember….marbles and jacks, trains and scooters, skates, toy soldiers, baby buggies and dolls of every description! Local residents will exhibit toys and dolls from their collections throughout the Homestead, including many items especially for boys.

bThe Holiday Open House also will feature tours of the festively decorated house, educational displays, music and refreshments. The Homestead’s Gift Shop will be open that day as well, featuring many unique barbed wire items unavailable anywhere else. Among items featured in the gift shop are “I love DeKalb” license plate holders, handmade items from the Homestead’s blacksmith, Chris Hubbard, a Glidden Homestead patch, barbed wirecap, and historical books and DVDs.

The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center is the site where Glidden invented “The Winner” barbed wire, for which he received a patent Nov. 24, 1874. It became the most widely-used type of barbed wire in the world. The Homestead is an emerging museum dedicated to preserving the house and barn on the site. Over the winter months, the Homestead’s garage will be repurposed as a Welcome/Education Center that will house office and meeting space, as well as the Gift Shop. For more information about the Holiday Open House Nov. 21, or Glidden Homestead, visit or call (815) 756-7904.

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