Historic Site to host annual festival

GRAND DETOUR – The John Deere Historic Site is celebrating the harvest season with its second annual Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13.

From 9 a.m.-4 p.m., guests to the Site are invited to decorate pumpkins, bob for apples, play a variety of old fashioned kids games and of course, tour the grounds and exhibits. This year’s event will also feature covered wagon rides throughout the day and a chance to interact with alpacas. The Historic Site offers free admission making this an exceptional family outing.

In addition to these special activities, the Historic Site will feature a colorful fall photo opportunity area. Guests are encouraged to bring cameras to capture seasonal photos of the kids and family. Staff at the site will also be dressed in Pioneer-era costumes, adding to the historic ambience experienced while strolling through more than six acres of John Deere’s original Illinois homestead. 

 “We are very excited to offer this free family event again this year as fall is a beautiful time of year at the John Deere Historic Site,” said Kristen Veto, manager of the John Deere Historic Site. “In addition to all of our Fall Fest activities, our blacksmith will also conduct demonstrations throughout the day and our guides will offer tours throughout the site. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about where the legend of John Deere began.”

 For more information, please contact the John Deere Historic Site at 815-652-4551. The Site is located five miles north of Dixon on Hwy 2 (Between Dixon and Oregon).

 About the John Deere Historic Site

The John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour is the original Illinois homestead of John Deere and is the location where he built his first commercially successful “self-polishing” steel plow. The Historic Site was designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, and a Historic Landmark of Agricultural Engineering by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. It was recently named one of the top historic sites in the state according to the Bicentennial Commission. The home Deere built still stands and is now accompanied by a replicated blacksmith shop, an exhibit of Deere’s original tools unearthed during an archeological dig, and a visitor center and gift shop. In the atmosphere of a friendly 19th century village, informed tour guides provide an entertaining and educational perspective of life on the prairie.  The John Deere Historic Site is a free attraction and open to the public May through December. For more information, please call 815-652-4551 or visit www.VisitJohnDeere.com.