Long-awaited local history book hits shelves

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society’s new book, “Acres of Change: A History of DeKalb County, Illinois 1963 – 2012” is expected to arrive in DeKalb County this week. A book-signing event by chapter authors is planned for Dec. 14.

The book picks up in the year a previous history, “From Oxen to Jets,” left off, and chronicles the changes, growth, and important events that have occurred during the past 50 years.

“One of the functions of the the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society is to chronicle the local history for future generations,” said DeKalb County Historian Sue Breese, who served as president of the society for the bulk of the book’s production. “It’s been 50 years since the last history of record and we felt it was time, and we had the right group of volunteers, who could best capture the last half-decade of local history.”

The DCHGS formed a committee in 2009 that included community leaders and history enthusiasts from different walks of life, and charged that group with writing the book. Led by book committee chairman Terry Martin and editor Kate Schott, the group enthusiastically dug in to detail the history of DeKalb County.

“After more than three years of planning meetings and writing, our 50-year update of the history of DeKalb County has reached fruition with the release of ‘Acres of Change,’” Martin said. “I’m delighted that it has arrived and eager for readers to enjoy the book.”

Chapter authors have spent more than three years researching, interviewing, writing, and rewriting their respective chapters. The chapters explore the intricacies of agriculture, arts and entertainment, education, government, industry, law, libraries, media, medicine, religion, service organizations, and the townships and communities that make up the county.

“Readers will find each chapter reflects the unique voice and style of its author, which to me is one of the best parts of this book,” Schott said. “Readers will be able to learn about the history of DeKalb County from people who have a vast personal knowledge and history with their topic.”

The book would not have been possible without contributions of many people and organizations. Hundreds of people were interviewed or provided information. Shaw Media, which owns the DeKalb-based Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek, and the Joiner History Room supplied the majority of the 350 images seen in the book. In-kind donations were provided by Blackhawk Moving and Storage in Sycamore, Nelson Multimedia, Shaw Media and the Sycamore-based law office of Klein, Stoddard, Buck, and Lewis, LLC.

The DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society, the Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation, and the DeKalb County Community Foundation each provided substantial grants, while businesses, organizations and residents from throughout the county stepped up as chapter sponsors.

'Acres of Change: A History of DeKalb County, Illinois 1963 – 2012'

 The book costs $39.95, plus tax. It is expected to arrive before the end of the week and will be available for purchase at the local businesses below. Books will also be available for purchase at a book signing event from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Little Theater at Oak Crest-DeKalb Area Retirement Center, 2944 Greenwood Acres Drive in DeKalb.


Books can be purchased at:

• Inboden's Market, 1106 N. First St., DeKalb

• Joiner History Room, second floor of Sycamore Public Library

• Kirkland Heritage Society, 309 S. Fifth St., Kirkland

• Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society Museum, 622 Park Ave., Genoa

• Victoria's Crossing, 220 W. Main St. Genoa

• Klein, Stoddard, Buck, and Lewis, LLC, 2045 Aberdeen Court, Sycamore

• Lehan Drugs, 1407 S. Fourth St., DeKalb

• Leo's Trophies, 16 E. Railroad St., Sandwich

• Sycamore History Museum, 1730 N. Main St.,  Sycamore

• Sycamore Antiques, 320 W. State St., Sycamore

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