SYCAMORE – The DeKalb County History Center and DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association are partnering to explore the history of corn – and its many connections to DeKalb County.
About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass growing in Mexico possessed of a strange trait known as a “jumping gene” transformed itself into a larger and more useful grass – the cereal grass that we would come to know as maize and then corn.
Nurtured by Native Americans, this grain would transform the Americas, building cities and inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. Learn more about this amazing tale as Cynthia Clampitt, an Illinois Roads Scholar, shares this story at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sycamore Library, 103 E. State St.
Clampitt is a writer and food historian. She has pursued her love of culture, history and food in 37 countries on six continents, but in recent years has focused her studies on the American Midwest. She is the author of "Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland," published by the University of Illinois Press, and "Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs: From Wild Boar to Baconfest," published by Rowman & Littlefield.
Her program is part of the several presentations connected to the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” on display at the DeKalb County History Center until June 22.
The program is free and open to the public through a grant from Illinois Humanities.
For more information, visit dekalbcountyhistory.org or call 815-895-5762.