Glidden Homestead offers virtual tour of Haish sites

DeKALB – Take a tour of Jacob Haish sites and landmarks.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Glidden Homestead, Jessi Haish LaRue will give a virtual tour on inventor, manufacturer and DeKalb benefactor Jacob Haish. She will show some landmarks in DeKalb and beyond that tell Haish’s life story and show his philanthropy.

LaRue, a Haish family descendant, is a writer who blogs regularly about Jacob Haish at The blog shares photos, interviews and news articles that relate to Haish's life. LaRue has been documenting her fourth great uncle's story since early 2016 in an attempt to spread the story of the "underdog of barbed wire."

“Jessi has spent great effort and care finding, visiting, and documenting Haish sites,” Rob Glover, executive director of Glidden Homestead, said in a news release. “Her ‘virtual tour’ will help you see these sites more completely and leave you wanting to see them in person.”

Haish is renowned for his “S barb” patented in 1875. He was born March 9, 1827, in Germany and came to America in 1835 when he was 9 years old. In his youth, he learned the carpentry trade from his father and “possessed natural mechanical ingenuity and displayed ready aptitude in the use of tools.” At 19, he moved to Illinois and then to DeKalb in 1853 where he entered the lumber business. He built many of the city’s most notable buildings, past and present, including the Glidden Homestead.

His first barbed wire patent is dated Jan. 20, 1874. His “S barb” was patented Aug. 31, 1875. He followed these with many later designs for wire and other innovative devices.

Also on Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m., visitors can tour the home where Joseph Glidden and his family lived when he created barbed wire and see a working onsite blacksmith shop.

Programs at Glidden Homestead are made possible in part by the Mary E. Stevens Concert and Lecture Fund.

The Glidden Homestead, located at 921 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays or by special arrangement. Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14.

For more information, visit, email or call 815-756-7904.