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Local History

Reflections – The Popcorn Stand

Sycamore’s popcorn stand has been popping for 128 years! James Elliott was the original owner of the popcorn stand in Sycamore, which he called the “popcorn and confectionary stand.” It was located on the northwest corner of State and Maple streets. Elliott was a farmer and carpenter who “lost his hand ...read more

Legends – What I’m Thankful For

As I finish my fifth year of writing the Legends column, I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my love of DeKalb County history. I was born and raised in DeKalb County. My family immigrated here in 1855. I’m thankful to be able to share the stories of my family ...read more

Legends – Road Trip!

The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) has created a great self-guided driving tour of DeKalb County which is perfect for a COVID safe outing. Who knew there were so many historical landmarks in the county? Not only a self –guided driving tour, but you can also go on a virtual ...read more

The Man Behind the Mural

Master Carver Joe Dillett reflects on his creation It’s been 25 years since The Seasons of Agriculture mural was completed and installed in the new DeKalb County Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture. Master Carver Joe Dillett remembers it like it was yesterday. “I felt honored to do it,” said Joe. “It was, and ...read more

Legacy of Love

They were that farm couple. Who worked together side-by-side on their family farm. Their entire married life. Leonard and Vivian Nelson were their own farm team – planting and harvesting their crops and raising livestock – for more than 65 years. Vivian particularly enjoyed the fall harvest as she drove the ...read more

Legends – Pride on the Farm

The Illinois Centennial Farm Program was established in 1972 to recognize the importance of agriculture to the economy of Illinois and the pride and determination of the generations who have labored to maintain the family farm. The plaque presented by the Illinois Department of Agriculture represents great pride in the family ...read more

Legends – History Lesson

Do they have Flat Stanley projects in school anymore? A few years ago Shawn, a young friend from Waterman, asked my husband and me to help with his Flat Stanley project; we eagerly accepted. What a wonderful way to explore your environment and learn the history of the area. Being the ...read more

A Tradition of Livestock Shows

The Sandwich Fair has a longstanding tradition of having one of the best livestock shows in the Midwest dating back to 1888. At the first fairs, there were 4 kinds of livestock shown: cattle, swine, sheep and horses. In addition to these, other livestock shows were added to include: dairy cattle, ...read more

Labor of Love

Diehl Brothers Farm Together Over half of the farmers today have a primary occupation other than farming.The U.S. Census of Agriculture shows 52% of American farmers have full-time jobs and farm part-time. Part-time farming means putting in long hours of farm labor around 9-to-5 jobs.The Diehl Brothers, whose farm is based ...read more

Show Days

The Suddeth Family has been showing pigs since 1923 Joe Suddeth remembers his show days like it was yesterday.The thrill of following his black and white belted pigs into the show ring was the highlight of his youth. His daily work of raising pigs at his Shabbona farm and picking the ...read more