Glidden Homestead opens Sunday for the 2014 season

Published: Saturday, May 17, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Provided photo)
Blacksmith and Glidden Homestead board member Lucio Bortolin (left) and Martin O'Connor install a new sign on the historic barn where "The Winner" barbed wire was invented in 1874.

The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center will open for the 2014 season on Sunday. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Located at 921 W. Lincoln Highway, the home is where one of the most widely used types of barbed wire, “The Winner,” was invented in 1874.

The Glidden Homestead and barn were the first sites in DeKalb County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Opening day offers tours of the 1861 home, blacksmith demonstrations in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop and barn tours by local historic preservationist Roger Keys. Admission is $4 for adults and free for members and children younger than 14.

Opening day offers one of two opportunities to peek inside the historic barn. A second chance is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 9 during the first-ever DeKalb County Barn Tour. The homestead is partnering with the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association for a driving tour to visit six different barns in the area, the Glidden Homestead and a photography exhibit of barns at DAAHA, 111 S. Second St., Suite 204, DeKalb. Carload tickets cost $20 and include a tour booklet and map. Homestead and DAAHA members receive a $5 discount.

The homestead is open for tours May through November, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and noon to 4 p.m. 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.

For more information about the homestead, as well as volunteer opportunities, visit or call 815-756-7904.

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