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New local history book revealed

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Stephanie Hickman – shickman@shawmedia.com)
Marcia Wilson looks on as Barry Schrader gives a presentation Thursday on the history of DeKalb County in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – The last 50 years have brought innovation, growth and other changes to DeKalb County, all of which are documented in a new book.

The DeKalb County Genealogical and Historical Society hosted a sneak peak of its new book “Acres of Change: A History of DeKalb County, Illinois 1963-2012” Thursday as part of the Sycamore History Museum’s monthly Brown Bag Lunch.

Contributing authors Marcia Wilson and Barry Schrader gave guests a glimpse into the chapters of the book at the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore.

A sequel to “From Oxen to Jets,” the 304-page book captures the last 50 years in photos and provides a plethora of historical information about DeKalb County. The book covers topics such as agriculture, religion, education and government.

Wilson said the book is a strong representation of everything the county has experienced the last 50 years. She said people often tend to focus on DeKalb and Sycamore, but this book gives a look into areas with which people may not be as familiar.

One of these hidden secrets is the Waterman Clock that sits across the street from the Clinton Township Public Library in Waterman. The library also is a historic site because it’s the smallest Carnegie library in the U.S.

“This county is just rich in history and heritage,” Schrader said.

Other sites featured in the book include St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Sandwich and the Glidden Homestead in DeKalb.

While many of the authors focused on writing their own chapters, Wilson said she has yet to read the other authors’ work throughout the book. She is anxious for the final product to be released.

“It’s so exciting to see the completion of three years of work,” she said.

Local foundations have helped fund the project, but Schrader said they still need more financial assistance. The society is offering sponsorships of chapters throughout the book, as well as a sponsors page. To become a sponsor, contact Terry Martin at (815) 756-4030.

“This is going to be something the county can be proud of,” Wilson said. “It will be a great resource for the county for decades to come.”

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