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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!

We have "closed" for the winter, and will be open only for the following programs, or by appointment. Call 815-756-7904 or email info@gliddenhomestead.org for more information.

November 30: DeKalb Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting, 5:15 PM at the Glidden Homestead
As new members of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, please join us for our ribbon cutting event! A short open house will be held immediately following the ribbon cutting. Enjoy light refreshments and learn more about upcoming events and opportunities at the Glidden Homestead and Historical Center.

December 11: Holiday at the Homestead 12-4 pm
Please join us in the west parlor of the Glidden Homestead for a holiday celebration! The home will be decorated and musical entertainment will be provided by a string quartet and harpist from DeKalb High School Music Boosters. There will be a craft station for children and light refreshments provided. A great opportunity to get acquainted with this treasured local landmark.
**This event will be located on the second floor of the home, only accessible by a flight of stairs. Please contact us if you have questions.
$5 per person, free for members. All proceeds support benefit the J.F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the historical home and barn.

Jan. 8: Soup-er Sunday: Author Sally M. Walker on “Underground Fire,” Cherry Mine Disaster
12 PM, Glidden Homestead Welcome Center
Enjoy soup and a program at Glidden Homestead!
Local author Sally M. Walker will present on her latest book: “Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster.”
Program begins at 12 p.m. $5 general admission, free for Glidden members. Soup is included.
On November 13, 1909, the coal miners of Cherry, Illinois, went to work, just like any other day. By late afternoon, smoke and fast-moving flames fill the mine’s underground tunnels more than 300 feet below the land’s surface. Hundreds of men were trapped underground. Over eight days, a tragic story unfolds. Alternating with aboveground rescue efforts and belowground terror, it is a tale of heroic rescue attempts, sacrifice, and a group of miners’ hope and absolute will to survive. Underground Fire is rich with archival photographs, primary source documents, and follow-up information about survivors, rescuers, and families.
Program is $5 per person, free for members.

Jan. 22: Soup-er Sunday: Bob Myers' "DeKalb County by Air"
12 PM, Glidden Homestead Welcome Center

Enjoy soup and a program at Glidden Homestead!
Local drone pilot Bob Myers will discuss his experience with drone photography, and share some favorite images of “DeKalb County by Air.” You may have seen some of his very popular images shared on Facebook. Program begins at 12 p.m. $5 general admission, free for Glidden members. Soup is included.
Bob Myers is a professional drone pilot for the past ten years. He has completed more than 4,500 drone flights, which have had numerous purposes, including search and rescues, both for people and lost animals, river surveys, and over construction sites for “in progress photos.” He has also completed countless flights for area police departments, including traffic accident scenes, area parades, and more. He also enjoys “low and slow flights” over wetlands, seeking out wildflowers, rural farms and sunrise photos.
Myers is a licensed drone pilot through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and has completed numerous drone related training courses from the FAA and the National Fire Protection Agency. He has also completed a multiple day course on aerial photography using drones and has taught classes at two area colleges, teaching everything from basic drone flight to preparation for students to get their drone license from the FAA.
Program is $5 per person, free for members.

Become a MEMBER today.
Or JOIN online: HERE.

Research by NIU History graduate student and Glidden Homestead intern Hannah Palsa over Joseph F. Glidden's Percheron horses. Glidden owned and bred Percheron horses for many years which allows for a greater understanding of Glidden's horse husbandry and impact on the Percheron draft horse. Read about the impact HERE.

Thanks for making the 2022 DeKalb County Barn Tour a great success!

See you August 12, 2023 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.

See the Facebook page.
921 W. Lincoln Hwy.
DeKalb, IL 60115
(815) 756-7904
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