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DeKalb County barn tour to feature Paw Paw area barns

The DeKalb County Barn Tour plans to stretch far and wide this year – into the Paw Paw-Earlville-Leland area.

The fifth annual event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in southwestern DeKalb County. Highlights of this year’s tour include an octagon barn as well as an octagon corn crib.

This unique opportunity to tour local historic barns is sponsored jointly by and benefits both the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and the J.F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center in DeKalb.

The self-driving tour includes a guided tour at each of eight barns: the H&J Svendsen Farm, Goble Round Barn, Sanford Barn, Willard-Kern Farm, Callison Family Farm, Quinn Farm, C&A Svendsen Farm and the Sanderson Farm.

Barn tour committee member Jeff Marshall said the Goble octagon barn first drew the committee to the Paw Paw Township area. Marshall said the Goble barn is one of the most unique octagonal barns in the county.

“From there, we were getting a lot of positive response from the [barn owners] in that area,” Marshall said in a news release. “It’s also probably a part of the county most people don’t go through that often. It will be a good experience.”

But the tour doesn’t stop there. Besides a guided tour of each barn, demonstrations, animals, family activities, and more will provide a full, family-friendly day in the county.

“In past years, activities have included Drive-a-Tractor, a petting zoo, milking Brindle the fiberglass cow, a garden market, a barn pegging demonstration, and lots more,” Committee member Marcia Wilson said in the release. “Those interested should periodically visit and ‘like’ the barn tour’s official Facebook page to keep abreast of the latest plans for this year.”

Tickets cost $25 per carload and can be purchased at the starting point, the Rollo Town Hall on Suydam Road, the day of the tour. The souvenir Guide Book, which serves as your ticket, also will be available online at or at each site the day of the event.

Illinois artist David Allen Badger has provided hand-drawn sketches of each of the eight barns for the Guide Book, which also contains a history of each barn, a map of locations, a list of activities at each site, and educational articles about barns.

To celebrate the five-year anniversary of this event, a special edition book will include Badger’s sketches of all the barns featured over the past five years as well as sketches and histories of other interesting county sites. This special edition will be available for purchase the day of the event.

Additional information is available by contacting Glidden Homestead at 815-756-7904 or or DAAHA at 815-756-8737 or

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