So after visiting Ronald Reagan’s birthday and chatting with the petunia-petal-sweeping tour guide, we headed to Dixon and Arthur’s Deli for lunch.

My quiche

I had quiche. Roger didn’t.

Ok, for years (like ever since we’ve lived here), we’ve seen the sign for “John Deere,” but have never been there. I thought it was a tractor museum which would’ve been somewhat interesting, but not very.

Anyhow, we decided to go – and what a summer-afternoon-pleasant surprise.

This is John Deere’s homestead and is a pretty piece of property in a pretty Midwestern town.  Surrounded by a white picket fence, the property contains the house, the neighbor’s house (now the gift shop) the museum over the original blacksmith shop and the current blacksmith shop (more about that in another post).  For five dollars – this was a bargain!

John Deere was born in Vermont in 1804 and as a young boy, became an apprentice to the local blacksmith. Quickly, it was apparent that he had a gift and soon was making specialized hay forks and shovels. He married and had several children, but the economics of Vermont soon fell apart and he decided to listen to the men who were telling him about the great life “out west.” Leaving his family behind, he set off for an adventure, an adventure that ended in Grand Detour. The town was growing and they were in such desperate need of a blacksmith that within a few days, he had a job. After establishing himself, he sent for his family.

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