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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!

The website for BARBED WIRE WEEKEND IS LIVE! Click HERE to check out the latest updates. Join us this September to celebrate the 150th anniversary of "The Winner" here in Barb City!

We are open EVERY Sunday, 12-4 PM. See the "Calendar" tab for programs. Call 815-756-7904 or email jessi@gliddenhomestead.org for more information.

We're looking for sponsors for our SNAG! event this September during Barb City's Barbed Wire Weekend. Learn more here

Announcement: We're working on something big...and barbed!
Mark your calendar NOW for September 28 & 29, 2024… a barbed wire show is coming to town next year!
The Glidden Homestead is excited to host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Glidden’s “The Winner” patent!
This event will be held at Altgeld Hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University. We are excited about this location because it is part of Glidden’s original land donation for a school, and it’s near the site where Glidden, Haish, and Ellwood were inspired by an exhibit by Henry Rose of Waterman.
We have barbed wire collectors from across the country who are excited to “bring it back to DeKalb” and show off their collections at this expo. We also have the support of the Antique Barbed Wire Society.
This event will celebrate the DeKalb story, Glidden’s impact, local history… and the love of barbed wire! You won’t want to miss it.
We’re looking for sponsors to partner with us and help offset the costs of this event. We’re also building our official planning committee. Contact us if you’d like to be involved in some way!

Become a Glidden Homestead member today and help preserve history for generations to come. Benefits include free admission to the Homestead throughout the year, a quarterly newsletter, and the satisfaction of being a caretaker of two National Register of Historic Places sites. Membership information 

Thanks for making the 2023 DeKalb County Barn Tour a great success!

See you August 10, 2024 with a new selection of great DeKalb County barns -- Our TENTH Barn Tour!


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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homestead blacksmith barn