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Joseph Farwell Glidden's invention 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. His Homestead in DeKalb, IL, is being preserved and restored by a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995. Both the home and the barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We welcome your visit and encourage your membership!

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Join Us for  2017: "Digging In"
See 2017 Calendar HERE.
Regular hours: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 
And by special arrangement.
Call or email for details.

Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
WWI and Modern War with Bill Cummings
2 p.m.

Find out about DeKalb’s connection to World War I and modern war.


Join us on Sunday, October 22 at 2 p.m. for a one hour program on WWI hosted by Bill Cummings. He will provide a historical overview of the WWI as the first "modern war," including the use of tanks, weapons of mass destruction, air power, and, of course, barbed wire. 


Bill Cummings is a retired NIU professor of accounting and has convened a class about WWI in the NIU LLI program. His talk comes at the midpoint of the centennial commemoration of the war, between the 1917 American entry into the Great War until the end of fighting in 1918.

Open For Tours noon to 4:00 p.m. 
Tour Glidden Homestead! See the National Register site where barbed wire was invented, visit the museum, and tour Joseph Glidden's 1861 house. Working on-site blacksmith shop in action the whole day!
Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14.
New research by NIU History student and Glidden Homestead intern Jeanette Volintine on Glidden Family Heraldry. This is an important read for understanding heraldry in America and your own family's heraldry. Read it HERE.

2017 DeKalb County Barn Tour
August 12, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Thank You for a GREAT Tour!
See you in August 2018 with a new selection of great DeKalb County barns.

The DeKalb County Barn Tour is a one-day driving tour of barn sites within DeKalb County hosted by the JF Glidden Homestead & Historical Center and the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association.
Plan your visit: 2017 Barn Tour Map pg 1 Barn Tour Map pg 2 

Buy 2018 tickets at the starting point or at any barn site.
See the Facebook page.
Click here for the 2017 Barn Tour brochure.
921 W. Lincoln Hwy.
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 756-7904
Map It!

homestead blacksmith barn