DeKalb County Barn Tour arriving

The DeKalb County Barn Tour plans to stretch far and wide this year — into the Paw Paw-Earlville-Leland area. The fifth annual barn tour will take place Saturday, August 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in southwestern DeKalb County. Highlights of this year’s barn tour include an octagon barn as well as an octagon corn crib.

This unique opportunity to tour local historic barns is sponsored jointly by and benefits both the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) and the J.F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center, DeKalb.

The self-driving tour includes a guided tour at each of eight barns, including the H&J Svendsen Farm, Goble Round Barn, Sanford Barn, Willard-Kern Farm, Callison Family Farm, Quinn Farm, C&A Svendsen Farm, and the Sanderson Farm.

Barn tour committee member Jeff Marshall said the Goble octagon barn first drew the committee to the Paw Paw Township area. Marshall said, “the Goble barn is one of the most unique octagon barns in the county.”

“From there, we were getting a lot of positive response from the [barn owners] in that area,” Marshall said. “It’s also probably a part of the county most people don’t go through that often. It will be a good experience.”

But the tour doesn’t stop there. Besides a guided tour of each barn, activities include a hay lifting demonstration, barn raising activity, drone flying demonstration, various food trucks and lunch options, as well as local vendors and antiques.

Admission is still only $25 per carload. The souvenir Guide Book, which serves as your ticket, can be purchased at the starting point, the Rollo Town Hall on Suydam Road, the day of the tour or in advance online at Illinois artist David Alan Badger has provided hand-drawn sketches of each of the eight barns for the Guide Book, which also contains a history of each barn, a map of locations, a list of activities at each site, and educational articles about barns.

To celebrate the five-year-anniversary of this unique and popular event, a special edition book will include Badger’s sketches of all the barns featured over the past five years as well as sketches and histories of other interesting county sites. This special edition will be available for purchase the day of the event.

This year’s event will also feature a raffle, with the winner taking home a handcrafted, wooden “Big Boy” locomotive built by Bob Myers, a barn tour committee member. The detailed wooden replica was made completely by hand using a scroll saw, various sanders, and Dremel tools for shaping the wood parts. Approximately 20 different types of wood were used. This model is guaranteed to be one of a kind. Raffle tickets can be purchased at various barns during the barn tour or online, and proceeds will benefit both the Glidden Homestead and DAAHA.

Barn Tour information is available by calling, The Glidden Homestead at: 815-756-7904 or or DAAHA at 815-756-8737 or

Photo: Octagonal barn located at 240 South Paw Paw Rd, Earlville, belonging to Jon and Betty Goble.(Barn Tour stop #2) Photo by Bob Myers


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