Heartland REALTOR® Organization honored the state’s 200th birthday by partnering with Powers-Walker House, Harvard Milk Days festival, Petersen Farm, Colonel Palmer House, and McHenry’s Cider Fest for events throughout 2018. As part of their bicentennial legacy project, they aided with promotional materials, tent, banners and publicity to help drive traffic to these local treasures and bring awareness to their community about the historic bicentennial year.
“We were proud to celebrate and honor the state’s history throughout the year and thrilled to see hundreds of people turn out to the five different events,” said Jim Haisler, Heartland REALTORS® CEO. “There was great conversation had at the events with the public, informing them of the historic bicentennial year—most had no clue about the state’s anniversary.”
Living History Open House at Powers-Walker House
On April 22nd Powers-Walker House hosted the community for an open house to share the history about the resident families that called this area home. This historical house is a Greek-Revival style home built in 1854 and located in Glacial Park Conservation Area in Ringwood, Illinois. Restoration of the home began in 1998 after once being slated for demolition and found to be a great example of Greek-Revival architecture that had been unaltered after 140 years of use. The landmark today hosts public programs and events and is still resource for research.
Harvard Milk Days
This annual hometown festival began in 1942 and is known as the longest running town festival in the state of Illinois. Honoring the dairy industry, huge crowds gathered June 1st-3rd to enjoy a parade, milk, food, rides, games, shopping and entertainment, cattle show and much more!
A Day at Petersen Farm
On June 24h, Petersen Farm highlighted “McHenry County farm life in 1916” with demos, hayrides, farm animals, music, games, a 100 year-old steam-powered tractor and more! The farm is a five-generation farm, tracing its origins to the 1840’s when Page Colby of Vermont settled here. The brick Greek Revival Home, horse barn, dairy barn, wooden stave silos, and oak savannah, represent a Midwestern family farm at its historical best. Today, the farm has been preserved as an agricultural museum and resource center to depict McHenry County life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Colonel Palmer House
Heartland REALTORS® celebrated the history of the Colonel Palmer House on August 12th. The home, located in Crystal Lake, was built in 1858 and first owned by Gustavus A. Palmer and wife Henrietta, who were early settlers of McHenry County. The Colonel Palmer House was built mirroring a combination of Greek revival and federalist styled architecture and features cobblestone crafted by a New York stone mason. The Colonel Palmer House, now open to the public for tours, special events, and research of local history, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McHenry County Historical Society & Museum’s Cider Fest
McHenry County Historical Society & Museum hosted Cider Days October 7th, where the community gathered for live music, a traditional blacksmith, a barn-raising demonstration and an old-fashioned cider pressing demonstration through the day. McHenry County Historical Society has been preserving and promoting McHenry County history since the mid-1960s. On July 4, 1976, the society officially opened the museum in Union, Illinois as a place for family-oriented entertainment and education, and now houses a vast collection from preserved buildings to education programs and artifacts.
REALTORS® across the state worked with heart in their communities to complete projects like this to commemorate the Illinois Bicentennial. The project is one more than 35 legacy projects supported by local REALTOR® associations.
Projects included fundraising for local historic home improvements and community murals or promoting local historical properties and societies. Illinois REALTORS® donated land in downtown Springfield next to its headquarters and built Bicentennial Plaza – a REALTOR® Community Partnership, which is a signature project of the state bicentennial celebrations.
The association was an official endorsed partner with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which oversaw the state’s plans for the milestone birthday that was celebrated on December 3, 2018. Learn more.