New stops planned on Barbed Wire Sites Bus Tour


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.

The Barbed Wire Bus Tours depart the Glidden Homestead and will be led by local historian, Steve Bigolin, with additional insight from Glidden board member, Jeff Marshall. Cost for the approximately two-hour tour of DeKalb’s historically-significant barbed wire sites is $12 (or $10 for Glidden Homestead members), with limited seating on a TransVAC bus.

For reservations, call the Homestead at (815) 756-7904; or email Be sure to indicate which tour you prefer, and include your name, the number of people in your party and a phone number. Payment by check (can be mailed in advance to 921 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb), credit card or cash will be collected prior to the bus tour’s departure on Nov. 4. For more information, visit


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