Glidden Homestead opens for ‘A Treasure at 160′ season

DeKALB – Glidden Homestead and Historical Center will open for the programing season and visitor tours of the site on Sunday, June 13.

The public is invited from noon to 4 p.m. to Opening Day, Open Barn to see the new aspects of the 2021 season, tour Joseph Glidden’s Home and Homestead where barbed wire was invented, see a working blacksmith shop, and visit the 1870s brick barn.

This year’s theme is “A Treasure at 160” since 2021 marks the 160th anniversary of Joseph Glidden’s home. A National Register of Historic Place site, it is the home where Glidden lived when he invented barbed wire. The home was extensively remodeled in 1910 by a prominent architect and continued as a Glidden family residence until it became a museum in 1998.

“‘After more than a year, Glidden Homestead is welcoming visitors again,” Rob Glover, executive director of Glidden Homestead, said in a news release. “As we all start to get out to do things and have fun again, you can make that visit to Glidden Homestead that you’ve always been meaning to make.”

Joseph Glidden developed barbed wire in DeKalb in 1873 and went on to patent numerous other inventions. Barbed wire production continued at the homestead site through the winter of 1873 into the spring of 1874, when the operation moved into town.

Glidden built the Glidden House Hotel in downtown DeKalb that opened in 1877. In June 1879, J.F. Glidden Publishing bought the DeKalb County Chronicle that had been started earlier that year. Glidden was mayor of DeKalb from 1881-1883.

A tentative program listing for the 2021 season can be found at

The Glidden Homestead, located at 921 W. Lincoln Highway, is taking reservations for tours. Admission is $4 per adult and free for children younger than 14.

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