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Glidden Homestead seeks volunteers

Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
Glidden Homestead head blacksmith, Lucio Bortolin, heats up the forge in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop on the grounds of the Homestead. Volunteer blacksmiths are welcomed for the coming season.

Glidden Homestead opens for the season on May 18 and can use volunteers in many areas. From teaching to technology and archives to restoration, the homestead can put your talent or passion to use.

A volunteer orientation will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 13 at the Homestead, 921 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb. The orientation will last about 90 minutes and will include a tour and history of the Homestead, future plans for the site, and details about how volunteers can contribute to the continued development. In addition to docents, help is needed with gardening, building maintenance, technology, collections processing, special events and general office assistance.

A rather unusual volunteer position is that of blacksmith. Both experienced blacksmiths and those interested in learning the trade are welcome. The Glidden Homestead blacksmith club meets twice a month to learn techniques and hone skills. Club members provide demonstrations to the public on Sundays during the Homestead’s regular tour season, make handcrafted merchandise for the gift shop, and craft tools and other items to be used at the Homestead. 

Glidden Homestead is the site where Joseph F. Glidden invented “The Winner” barbed wire in 1874. His home and nationally significant barn were the first sites in DeKalb County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Homestead is open for tours on Tuesdays from May through November and also the second and fourth Sundays of the month. The site is manned and maintained entirely by community volunteers, with the exception of a part-time executive director. 

Those interested in learning more by attending the orientation, should RSVP to 815- 756-7904 or info@gliddenhomestead.org. More information about Glidden Homestead is available at www.gliddenhomestead.org. 

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