Local History

Legends – The Kishwaukee Airport

In its heyday, Electric Park was the entertainment center in the DeKalb/Sycamore area. At Electric Park there was a huge dance pavilion, baseball diamond, a theatre, and other attractions. One such attraction, in 1912, was Bud Mars, the great aviator. At a Knights of Columbus picnic at Electric Park, it was more

Legends – Mother of Inventions

DeKalb County has always been in the forefront of patented innovations. The most famous patents from DeKalb County were the barbed wire patents. Joseph Glidden, Jacob Haish, and businessman Isaac Ellwood are the “big three” that competed to produce the best barbed wire in the business. However, it was actually Henry more

Legends – Busiest Corner in DeKalb

The corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb has always been a prime location. The southeast corner of the intersection was originally purchased in 1849 by Dr. Basil Ruby, who was “an old-time root and herb doctor.” On that location, Dr. Ruby and Jackson Hiland started a drug store more

DeKalb Students Experience Ag History Expo

DeKalb County has a history as rich as its soil. From barbed wire to the winged ear, DeKalb County history revolves around agriculture. There is no better way to teach students about local history than to give them a hands-on approach to inventions and innovations that shaped our county. Nearly 600 more

Legends – Celebrating the Bicentennial

The Joiner History Room is proud to be celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial in 2018. History is our passion and we like nothing more than to share our knowledge of Illinois and DeKalb County history. Since 1818 when Illinois was admitted to the Union, this area has had a rich history of more

Legends – The Lace Curtain Jail

Helena Dolder was the kind of woman all little girls want to be when they grow up, a loving wife and mother. Then the unthinkable happened. In 1928 her husband Fred, who was the sheriff of DeKalb County, died. Helena had worked side by side with her husband carrying out his more

Legends – Terrible Fire!

A fire on January 27, 1902 was one of the worst that DeKalb had experienced. Early morning fire whistles sounded around 8:45 a.m., alerting firefighters to the location. The South School was on fire!  Located at the corner of Third Street and Prospect, the school, which was built in 1861, contained more

Legends – Lover’s Lane

The name Lover’s Lane conjures up thoughts of a secluded area without much traffic where young folks can be alone. Lover’s Lane, a spot between DeKalb and Sycamore, is anything but that. Described in 1899 as a pretty drive through a grove of trees, it became a rendezvous place and campground more

Legends – The Narrow Cement

In the early 1900s, Illinoisans were tired of the struggles with muddy roads and looked for a solution to the problem. At the same time, automobiles were becoming the mode of transportation, making the problem much worse. By 1902, the State of Illinois founded a state highway commission, which required automobiles more