September 26, 2016

Backstage at the Egyptian: An Interview with David Barrow

The DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association recently hosted a screening of the film “Barbed Wire Pioneers” at the Egyptian Theatre on September 22.  There was a fantastic turnout from the community representing generations of young and old.  We sat down with David Barrow to discuss the event and their organization.

David Barrow is on the Board of Directors for the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, Inc. (DAAHA). The DAAHA was officially incorporated on September 25, 2010 with a mission of collecting, preserving and sharing with people of all ages the storied history of agriculture and its innovators in northern Illinois.

Image result for daaha nehring gallery

In the spring of 2009, the DeKalb Park District contacted the DAA and asked if there was an interest in using the Nehring Gallery for an exhibit showcasing the DeKalb Ag Items. Their answer was a resounding, “Yes”! The exhibit ran from February 7, 2010 to May 29, 2011 as “DeKalb Ag Memories”. The first sixty hours the exhibit was open, the gallery hosted over 900 people from nine different states and three foreign countries!

Pleased with the response, the DeKalb Park District, which is responsible for the Nehring Gallery, has entered into agreements with DAAHA for their continued use of the Gallery.

Interview conducted by Jessica Hicks (Egyptian Theatre marketing intern).

Jessica: Who are the Barbed Wire Pioneers? Image result for barbed wire pioneers

David: Isaac Ellwood, Jacob Haish, and Joseph Glidden were the first successful manufacturers of barbed wire. All were citizens of DeKalb, and NIU was located in DeKalb due largely to their efforts.

Jessica: Why is the story of the DeKalb County and northern Illinois’ contribution to agriculture so important?

David: Many important agricultural innovations originated or were furthered in the DeKalb area, including hybrid corn, safe milk, poultry and swine breeding, precision planting, the Marsh Harvester, among others.

Jessica: What other upcoming events do you have planned?

David: Participation in the DeKalb/NIU Artwalk, Ag Challenge (FFA scholarship competition), our annual meeting, featuring distinguished speakers in the field of agriculture.

Jessica: Why did you choose to host your event at the Egyptian Theatre?

David: It is a beautiful historic venue and an iconic piece of history in DeKalb.  What better venue in DeKalb than the historic Egyptian Theatre to showcase a documentary on the history of DeKalb.

For more information on DAAHA visit their website.