Homestead hosts talk on Glidden women and gardening

DeKALB – Glidden Homestead and Historical Center will host a talk by Glidden women on Glidden women and their relationship to the land and gardens.

“A History of Glidden Women and Gardening” will be presented by Sarah Glidden DeMink and Laura Demink Kessel at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27. From noon to 4 p.m. that day, visitors can take guided tours of the gardens and grounds as well as tour Joseph Glidden’s 1861 home, visit a working blacksmith shop, and see the 1870s brick barn.

In 1896, Mable Carter Glidden married John Glidden, Joseph Glidden’s nephew. They owned the Glidden home after 1910, significantly remodeling the structure. Mable Glidden developed extensive gardens on the property and, in 1936, started Glidden Florist there.

Sarah Glidden DeMink grew up in the Glidden home. She is an avid organic gardener and Laura Demink Kessel is a landscape architect and managing partner of Tgda Landscape Architecture in Chicago. Both serve as Homestead board members and are direct descendants of Mabel Carter Glidden.

“For generations, people remember the gardens at Glidden Homestead and recall the occasions marked by flowers from Glidden Florist,” Rob Glover, executive director of Glidden Homestead, said in a news release. “This program offers the chance to hear the stories of the gardens and the women who made them and to see how the gardens will continue to grow into the future.”

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.

A full season of programs highlighting the theme “A Treasure at 160” will run at the Glidden Homestead. A tentative program listing can be found at

The Glidden Homestead, located at 921 W. Lincoln Highway, is now 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.