Jacob Haish Mansion Presentation

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Haish House

Go beyond imagining or remembering a seemingly lost DeKalb landmark.

At 2 p.m. on September 9 at the Glidden Homestead, Jessi Haish LaRue will give a presentation on inventor, manufacturer, and DeKalb benefactor Jacob Haish’s ornate mansion. She will explore the house from construction to demolition and where some items ended up.

LaRue, a Haish family descendant, is a writer who blogs regularly about Jacob Haish at http://www.jacobhaishstory.com/. The blog shares photos, interviews and news articles which relate to Haish’s life. LaRue has been documenting her 4th great uncle’s story since early 2016 in an attempt to spread the story of the “underdog of barbed wire.”

The scale model of the home from NIU’s Regional History Center will also be on view. People who remember the house are invited to come out and share their memories.

“The Haish house was an important historical site that seems lost to us,” says Rob Glover, Executive Director of Glidden Homestead. “But Jessi offers a rare chance to go beyond imagining or remembering the house. Visitors will be able to examine photos of the house over time and see the model of it to get a 360 degree view.”

Haish is renowned for his “S barb” patented in 1875.

Jacob Haish was born March 9, 1827, in Germany and came to America in 1835 when he was nine years old. In his youth, he learned the carpentry trade from his father and “possessed natural mechanical ingenuity and displayed ready aptitude in the use of tools.” At 19, he moved to Illinois and then to DeKalb in 1853, where he entered the lumber business. He built many of the city’s most notable buildings, past and present, including the Glidden Homestead.

His first barbed wire patent is dated January 20, 1874. His “S barb” was patented August 31, 1875. He followed these with many later designs for wire and other innovative devices.
Also on Sunday, you can tour the home where Joseph Glidden and his family lived when he created his most famous invention, see a working onsite blacksmith shop, and walk where Glidden walked. Joseph Glidden developed barbed wire in DeKalb in 1873 and went on to patent numerous other inventions. Glidden’s brick barn, where an archaeological excavation has taking place, can be considered the monument for the invention of barbed wire, a symbol of innovation in the Midwest, the workshop of an iconic inventor. Programs at Glidden Homestead are made possible in part by the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture Fund.

A full season of programs highlighting “Time Machine” continues at the Glidden Homestead in 2018. A program listing can be found at http://www.gliddenhomestead.org/events.html. The Glidden Homestead, located at 921 W Lincoln Hwy, is open Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or by special arrangement. Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14. For more information, visit www.gliddenhomestead.org or e-mail info@gliddenhomestead.org or call (815) 756-7904.

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