Glidden Homestead and Historical Center in DeKalb has been awarded a community needs grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation.
The grant will help fund signs for the restored historical prairie at the Homestead. The signs will allow visitors and those on foot in the area to better understand the historical importance of the prairie and its location in the West Lincoln Highway area.
The prairie has been restored and continues to grow through the support of generous donors and represents the way the land appeared when Joseph Glidden settled here in1845. Laura DeMink Kessel designed the restored prairie. She is a Glidden relation and a landscape architect with the Chicago firm of Terry Guen Design Associates.
J. F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center is the National Register of Historic Places home where Joseph Glidden and his family lived when he created his most famous invention.
Visitors can see the 1870s brick barn where barbed wire was invented, visit a working onsite blacksmith shop, and walk where Glidden walked. Joseph Glidden developed barbed wire in DeKalb in 1873 and went on to patent numerous other inventions.
He built the Glidden House Hotel in downtown DeKalb that opened in 1877. In June 1879, J.F. Glidden Publishing bought the DeKalb County Chronicle that had been started earlier that year. Glidden was mayor of DeKalb from 1881-1883 and village supervisor for many years before that.
A full season of programs highlighting “Digging Up the Past” continues at the Glidden Homestead in 2016. A tentative program listing can be found at www.gliddenhomestead.org/events.html.
The Glidden Homestead, located at 921 W. Lincoln Highway, is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by special arrangement. For more information, visit www.gliddenhomestead.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-756-7904.