921 W Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115
Mid-May through mid-November:
2nd & 4th Sundays noon-4:00
Children under 14: Free
Marcia Wilson, Executive Director
Tour the site where Joseph Glidden invented and first manufactured the most widely used type of barbed wire. View demonstrations of the blacksmith craft in the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop. Both the 1861 home and brick barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center is dedicated to telling an American story of migration, innovation and philanthropy at the site where Joseph F. Glidden invented "The Winner" barbed wire. The mission is to restore and preserve the site; to collect and preserve relevant materials relating to the Glidden family, the invention of barbed wire and its broader impact on the nation's development; and to educate the public by establishing a museum and innovation center at the site.
The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center at 921 W. Lincoln Hwy. in DeKalb, Illinois, is dedicated to telling an American story of migration, innovation, and philanthropy at the site where Joseph F. Glidden invented and first manufactured "The Winner" barbed wire.
The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center was established as a nonprofit corporation in 1998 after the last Glidden to live in the home gave the site to the nonprofit group. This historical treasure includes the original brick barn where barbed wire was first manufactured by Glidden in the mid 1870s, as well as his brick farm home constructed in 1861. Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as DeKalb Landmarks.
In 2010 the Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop was opened in the former mill house to preserve the history of the DeKalb blacksmith who collaborated with Glidden on development of tools for manufacturing barbed wire. The Homestead?s blacksmith club provides living history demonstrations of the smithy craft periodically during the tour season. In 2011 a Welcome Center was opened in the former garage space attached to the home, which provides a welcoming entrance and enhanced visitor services.
Open House/Open Barn: third Sunday of May--the only day all year to tour the historic brick barn.
Barbed Wire Bus Tour: Tour DeKalb's barbed wire sites; annually, first Sunday in November; fee & reservations required.
See website for other special programs and details.
Board of Directors and part-time Executive Director
- 1=Bi-monthly newsletter, "The Winner"
- 2=Annual report
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