To celebrate the State of Illinois’ Bicentennial in 2018, the Illinois REALTORS® Bicentennial Task Force is planning projects across the entire state — from Rockford and McHenry in the north, throughout Chicagoland, Central and Southern Illinois. Some of the projects of our local associations include supporting the Egyptian Theater in DeKalb, and preservation of real estate records for the Arlington Heights Historical Museum. IL REALTORS® has begun work on the new Bicentennial Plaza which will be a pedestrian walkway that connects Lincoln’s Home, the Illinois Executive Mansion (which is currently being restored), and the State Capitol in Springfield.
The IL Bicentennial project was given to the RAFV Community Outreach Committee, led by chairperson, Julie Kellenberger of Preferred Homes Realty and vice-chair, Tracey Carlstedt of First Federal Savings Bank in Elgin. The committee searched all over the Kane County area for viable projects for over 6 months. Finding a historical monument or organization that needs help in the way we can provide it is not an easy task. Garfield Farm was mentioned in a committee meeting and the commitee knew immediately this was a place that RAFV could help.
What is Garfield Farm?
Garfield Farm and Tavern, listed in the National Register of Historic Sites, is a 366-acre farmstead and former 1840s teamster inn 40 miles west of Chicago and 5 miles west of Geneva, Illinois. In 1841, Timothy Garfield bought the property and opened the log house as an inn. In 1846 the brick inn was built and it became a center for community activity housing hundreds of teamsters and travelers. Garfield Farm hosted jubilant Independence Day Dances in the ballroom, served as a meeting place and a place to drop in for good company, food and respite before starting the 3-day journey to Chicago to sell the fall’s harvest.
What Will RAFV Be Doing With Garfield Farm?
The committee visited Garfield Farm and met with the staff to determine how RAFV could help support this incredible 1840’s treasure, hidden right in our own backyard. We learned that their signs were in desperate need of repair and repainting, as well as lighting to direct those attending functions at the farm after dark. We also agreed that making RAFV members aware of the events at Garfield Farm would help drive traffic to it and in turn help it thrive. The committee also felt that having a REALTOR® Event at Garfield Farm would be a great way to introduce RAFV members and their families to this wonderful piece of American history and showcase its story and charm. Armed with the knowledge of how we could help with the preservation of Garfied Farm, the committee, along with the Board of Directors voted on “Shedding the Light on Garfield Farm” as RAFV’s 2018 Bicentennial Project. Soon after, the committee applied for and received a $1,000 grant from Illinois REALTORS® to help fund their efforts.
Look for more information in the next months about “Shedding the Light on Garfield Farm” as well as events happening at Garfield Farm, such as the Candlelight At The Inn, their most special and biggest event on December 2nd & 3rd. This is a great way to celebrate the holidays in the ways of days gone by. We hope you will visit.
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