The Barn: History
History             Restoration             Future Plans
The Glidden red-brick barn quietly nestled on the Homestead site behind bustling business properties is one of the most historically significant barns in the country, according to architectural preservationist Roger Keys. It is the site where Joseph Glidden invented and initially manufactured the first practical barbed wire that became known as “The Winner.” After the house was built around 1861, Glidden constructed a rather unusual barn made totally of brick. Glidden's first barbed wire manufacturing office was located in the southeast corner of the barn.

The Glidden barn is also significant as one of the oldest barns left standing in DeKalb County. It's architecture reflects the German tradition and is built of local bricks with transverse frame and post-and-beam construction. The foundation is made of locally quarried limestone. There were fourteen eight-paned double-hung windows and seven single-pane windows for luxurious livestock lodging. Originally, there were two large arched entrances, seven stalls, a large haymow, gable, hayhood, and a dirt or wooden plank floor.

The Glidden barn has remained solid throughout its years of usage for livestock, horses, barbed wire manufacture, and storage. It provides us with a priceless link to our past and evokes images of our agricultural roots and the pioneer spirit upon which our communities are based today.barn

homestead blacksmith barn