Annual tour to feature Waterman, Shabbona barns

The fourth annual DeKalb County Barn Tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Livestock and grain farms, as well as repurposed barns, including a winery, are included in this year’s event.

This unique opportunity to tour local historic barns is sponsored jointly by the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and the J.F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center, DeKalb. This year the tour features barns in the Waterman-Shabbona area. The self-driving event includes a guided tour at each of 10 barns, with demonstrations, displays and family activities along the way.

The tour begins in downtown Waterman at the parking lot south of Route 30 with the purchase of a souvenir Guide Book with a map, which serves as your ticket. Tickets cost $25 per carload and are available online at or at each site the day of the event. The Guide Book contains hand-drawn sketches of each barn by Illinois artist David Allen Badger, a history of the barn, a map of locations, a list of activities at each site, and educational articles about barns.

“The entire tour encompasses about 30 miles, and there are unlimited photo ops along the way for photographers, like me,” Bob Myers, barn tour committee member, said in a news release. “I’ll be out again with my drone.”

Besides a guided tour of each barn, at the Tuntland’s repurposed barn – Waterman Winery – visitors can watch a rope-making demonstration and for a nominal fee enjoy a wine tasting. At Bock’s Honey Hill Orchard there will be refreshing apple cider. At the Brummel-Larson Barn, visitors can see the handmade bed quilt to be raffled off at the end of the day, and pick up some tickets.

Lunch will be offered at the Challand Barn site and at Red Home Farm, where mini cows, goats and pigs will be waiting to greet guests, too. Other stops with more activities include barns at the Ostfriesland Farm, Thomas/Todd site, Carroll Farm, Mitchell/Redmond Farm, and the Hart Homestead.

But the tour doesn’t stop there. Optional highlights include a tour of the Monsanto production facility and visits to the Waterman Historical Society Museum and the former Quilhot one-room school, now attached to Resource Bank in Shabbona.

For information, contact Glidden Homestead at 815-756-7904 or or visit, or contact DAAHA at 815-756-8737 or or visit Follow Barn Tour updates on Facebook at Barn Tour of DeKalb County IL.

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