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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!

His Land is Our Land Fundraiser on Oct. 15
His Land is Our Land…The railroad, a university, a school, a hotel, a hospital...a legendary legacy from a local landowner.
Operations of the Homestead are funded through events like our annual dinner fundraiser and are critical to the continued preservation and development of the Homestead, recognized with two National Register of Historic Places sites.
Tickets to this event are $40 per person, $75 for 2, or a table of 8 for $300. Tickets can be purchased by calling 815-756-7904, emailing info@gliddenhomestead.org, or stopping by the museum, 921 W. Lincoln Highway, on Sundays between 12-4 PM.
Dinner will be catered by Country Store & Catering in Sycamore, and there will be a variety of raffle items and a cash bar. Live music will be provided by local musician Jim Kanas.
At the Hopkins Park Terrace Room, 5:30-9 PM. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

2022 Season "Great in the Land"
We will be open every Sunday, June through November, from 12-4 PM.
Programs will be held on the second Sunday of each month at 2 PM.
Blacksmith demonstrations are held the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month during open hours.
Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14.

Upcoming programs and events:
Held at 2 PM at the Glidden Homestead, 921 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

November 13: Crane House
Early in 1880, Frederick Crane had an especially pretentious Italianate-style brick farmhouse constructed for himself and his family on Airport Road, between Barber Greene and Pleasant Street Roads. While the ornate exterior has dominated the surrounding countryside for just over 140 years, it has sat empty and deteriorating since March 2008. Learn who Frederick Crane was, the story of his house and farm, and why it has been allowed to become a "white elephant."
At 2 PM on Sunday, Nov. 13, local historian Steve Bigolin will share the research and photos related to this house that he has acquired.
The Glidden Homestead museum will be open for tours, and The Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop will be open and operating that day while volunteer blacksmiths provide demonstrations of the craft.

December 11: Holiday at the Homestead
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.
**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.
$4 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.

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
Map It!

homestead blacksmith barn