Corn: 1840’s Agricultural Snapshot

Chuck Bauer,
Volunteer at Garfield Farm Museum,   
3N016 Garfield Road. LaFox, IL (or St. Charles, IL), 630-584-8485

Early arrivers: Tour at 12:30 PM of Garfield Farm and Inn

Podcast courtesy of WBEZ’s Chicago Amplified

Chuck Bauer, will lecture on the history of corn.  There will be discussion of the type used in the 1840’s and how farmers manipulated corn to create the variety we have today. 

Garfield Farm and Tavern, listed in the National Register of Historic Sites, is a 281-acre farmstead and former 1840s teamster inn 40 miles west of Chicago and 5 miles west of Geneva, Illinois.  When Timothy Garfield and his family built the brick inn on the family farm in 1846, it became a center for community activity.  It was an inn for hundreds of teamsters and travelers, a ballroom for jubilant 4th of July Dances, a meeting place, and a place to drop in for good company and a mug of hard cider.

The coming of the railroads ended the inn-keeping basis for the Garfield’s, and they continued to till the Kane County soil.  The last Garfield family owner, Elva Ruth Garfield, founded the museum in 1977 to teach about America’s prairie farm heritage.

The museum brings together the farming experiences of the past 150 years with an appreciation of the natural environment that the Garfield’s found when they came to Illinois.

You will be twenty minutes away from Elburn, Illinois.  There is Gould’s Cider Mill, 2S230 Green Road east of Route 47, near Elburn.  Nationally acclaimed Ream’s Elburn Meat Market at 128 North Main Street in Elburn.  Randy Ream has spoken at Culinary Historians and Greater Midwest Foodways Allliance.

Public Transportation via Metra’s $5 weekend pass:  From Ogilvy Transporation Center: Metra West Line to Elburn, take 10: 40 AM train arriving at 12:06 PM to La Fox.  If there is advance notice to us, Garfield Farms will arrange a van to pick up and return visitors.  Return trip:  La Fox  4:29 PM arriving Chicago at 5:46 PM.  If people choose to offer a ride, we will advise them of people hoping to share a ride.

Directions:  Garfield Farm is on Garfield Road just north of Illinois Route 38 between Geneva and Elburn, Illinois.  It is about 3 miles west of Randall Road, which is at the west edge of Geneva and St. Charles.  From Illinois Route 38 turn north on Garfield Road and go about 1/4 mile to the Garfield Farm and Inn.