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Local History

Legends – Coltonville

DeKalb County is dotted with historical places, but only one location can boast of three important events taking place. The area known as Coltonville is that historic spot. Coltonville was located north of DeKalb, at the intersection of North First Street and Rich Road, later known as Coltonville Road. It was ...read more

Legends – Making America Great

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) or Work Projects Administration as it was later called, provided jobs and income for the unemployed during the Great Depression from 1935 to 1943. The 1929 market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment and poverty, resulting in an economic depression like no ...read more

Travelling Farm Finds a New Home

After almost three decades, the Traveling Farm is traveling to a new home. In October of 1990, the DeKalb County Ag in the Classroom News & Notes newsletter announced the availability of a Traveling Farm with this description: “The Traveling Farm consists of four buildings, a barn, a farmhouse, a machine shed, ...read more

Holiday Traditions at Ellwood House

The Ellwood House is all decked out for the holidays. Revered as one of DeKalb County’s most elegant mansions, Ellwood House continues its holiday traditions with its festive décor. For more than a half-century the three-story mansion has been adorned with Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, garland and other trimmings in each ...read more

Legends – The Christmas Postcard

It’s fun to be popular, but at Christmastime it can be very expensive. The tradition of sending out Christmas cards has become a permanent line item in the budgeting process. This tradition dates back to the mid-1800s when a British man named Sir Henry Cole had so many friends to send ...read more

50 Years of Kishwaukee College

Ag classes return with renewed community interest They’re back! Ag classes at Kishwaukee College. This fall Kishwaukee College began offering classes for those interested in agribusiness. The new program includes a two-year Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.), a Certificate in Foundations of Agriculture, and a Certificate in Precision Agriculture. Agriculture programs played a ...read more

Legends – Our Girl Donna

Her name is Donna, and she was the pride of the city of DeKalb. She replaced a huge honor-roll board and a World War I German siege gun, which was disassembled to be used in the war effort in 1942. She arrived in 1949 by railroad, resting at the city garage ...read more

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 ...read 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 ...read 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 ...read more