Saturday, October 12, 2013

John Deere Historic Site

Since this is our last weekend here, Dad told Mama she needed to find something fun for them to do today.  She came up with a few things, but decided on visiting the John Deere Historic Site.   In all honesty, Mama didn't know if would be fun, but they did it anyway.

The John Deere Historic Site is located near Dixon which is where Ronald Reagan's boyhood home is located.  They visited there in August.  You can read about it here

The folks said that the John Deere Historic Site was fun and educational.  The tour includes the archeological site.  In 1963, college students found the exact location where John Deere built his blacksmith shop. This is where he made the self-scouring steel plow. The plow did not have to be wiped off constantly like other plows. The first year he sold one, the second year he sold two.  Business picked up after that. 

This is the original blacksmith shop. This area is behind glass. The area is marked so that visitors can see what was in each "hole".
A short film is shown in the old blacksmith shop about John Deere.  It was very interesting.

The next stop is a replica of the blacksmith shop where a blacksmith does a very good demonstration. 

The next stop on the tour is the house that John Deere built for his family.  It started out as a three room house.  The only part of the house then was the portion on the left hand side.  He added the rest of the house later.
Mama did not take any photos of the inside of the house because 1) she only had her cell phone and the battery was running low and 2) none of the furnishings inside the house belonged to the Deere family.  The furnishings are not even what they would have had because the furniture was from the East and not from here.  The only thing that Mama wishes she would have taken a photo of was a doll that was found inside one of the walls of the house.  It was a very small doll that must have belonged to one of the Deere girls.

The final stop on the tour was the gift shop.  The folks bought a magnet that was made by the blacksmith.

Handmade magnet
 You may be asking yourself  "Where are the green tractor?"  Well, John Deere was dead for 30 years before the tractor was invented.  The blacksmith said that if John Deere had been run over by a tractor, he would have asked what it was.  When Mama was planning the trip to the site, it never occurred to her that there would not be any tractors there.  She said when she thinks of John Deere, she thinks of tractors and not plows.  She didn't get to ask her question which was "Why are the tractors green?"  BOL!   I guess she will have to Google it.

Mama didn't think there would be many people at the John Deere site, but it was packed.  Their tour had 50 people in it.  A tour bus full of people showed up as they were leaving, so it seems to be a popular place to visit.

The price of the tour is $5.  The folks were probably there for two hours or more. The folks are very happy that they went.

FYI:  Did you know that John Deere's wife's maiden name was Lamb?  Mama thought it was cute that her name was Lamb and his was Deere.

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