Naturalist Pam Otto to appear at Glidden Homestead Sunday

DeKALB – Frequent readers of Pam Otto and those who just love nature can meet the naturalist and columnist at Glidden Homestead.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, Otto will present “The Good Natured Hour,” looking at recent events in local nature as well as other fun items like reader emails.

Otto writes the column “Good Natured,” which appears in the Daily Chronicle and other northern Illinois newspapers. Otto has a master’s degree in outdoor education from Northern Illinois University and has worked in the naturalist department at the St. Charles Park District since 2007.

Otto’s column covers a wide range of topics – everything from fungi to plants to animals, including insects and spiders.

“Pam Otto is a favorite columnist of many readers of the Chronicle,” Rob Glover, Glidden Homestead executive director, said in a news release. “Fans can meet and hear Pam live and new fans will discover new ways to see and love nature.”

Also, from noon to 4 p.m. that day, visitors can tour Joseph Glidden’s Home and Homestead where barbed wire was invented, see a working blacksmith shop, and visit the 1870s brick barn.

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

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.

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.

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.