Movie line: (815) 895-3549
Although the Sycamore Public Library did not open its doors until 1892, we can trace its roots back to 1875 when a Chautauqua Scientific Circle was formed in Sycamore. Once members had completed the course, they established the Athena Literary Society in order to form a public library.
In 1902, Andrew Carnegie offered the City of Sycamore $10,000 for the construction of a library, provided an acceptable site could be secured and that the Sycamore City Council would annually appropriate at least 10% of his donation for maintaining the building. Mr. Frederick B. Townsend donated the property where the library stands today. Miss Dow received the honor of placing the first trowel of mortar on the cornerstone on May 24, 1905. The library opened to the public on Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1905.
North Grove School, 3 miles northwest of Sycamore, was built in 1878 by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church as a parochial and Sunday school. Pupils of diverse ethnic backgrounds learned their lessons in Swedish, even several years after the DeKalb County public school system purchased the school in 1880. The Sycamore unit district acquired the school in 1949, and it continued as a school until 1952, when it was closed. The North Grove community continued to lovingly maintain the building and used it as a neighborhood social center for many years.
In 1970 North Grove School at 26745 Brickville Road (Map) was listed in the Illinois Directory of Historical Buildings. Today the school is still owned by the Sycamore School District but is leased to and lovingly cared for by the North Grove School Association, whose goal is to preserve this educational icon for future generations.
The Joiner History Room is the DeKalb County Archives. The historical materials date back to the hand written minutes of the first session of the County Commissioners in 1837. As there has never been a fire to destroy any of the county valuable historical files, they have been meticulously preserved to meet the needs of today’s researchers. The collection includes Civil War papers, newspaper files, old photographs and numerous boxes of manuscript materials.
The DeKalb County History Center has a large archival collection. Most requested resources include genealogical materials, information about property, general business records, but there is much more.
The Museum houses a significant artifact collection which reflects daily life and special events in DeKalb County history. Highlights include textiles, sports memorabilia – including the 1984 Olympic torch, marketing materials
from local businesses, agricultural and Pumpkin Fest items.
Blue Moon Bikes owner Rod Griffis has been an antique bicycle collector for more than a decade. He actively collects antique bikes, and Schwinn Stingrays are his specialty. Rod’s collection is word-renowned for its completeness and authenticity. His extensive collection features Schwinn Stingrays from 1963 through the 1980s.
Rod curates an exhaustive collection of Krate series bicycles, owning one of each model from every year produced (1968 – 1973). The collection includes both the five speed and coaster brake models. The collection is comprised of other vintage rarities as well: Balloon Tire Bikes, Pre-War Bikes, a Rideable High-Wheel Bike, Monarch Bikes, Advertisements, Propaganda, and Accessories. Blue Moon Bikes opened in 2002 and has been serving collectors and biking enthusiasts, as well as casual bikers ever since.
KVAL provides exhibit opportunities for members at several area venues including the Northern Illinois Art Show held yearly in June on the Sycamore Courthouse Lawn, Holiday Arts and Crafts Market in November at the old Train Depot in Sycamore, an Affordable Art Sale held in September, year round displays at both the Sycamore and DeKalb Libraries, a website gallery, select general meetings and various local art shows.
KVAL is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with over seventy members dedicated to encouraging the practice, promotion and appreciation of the arts in all media, and providing art education opportunities for all citizens of our community.