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"Angie of Garfield Farm" Book Signing March 28

   Every spare moment, many a vacation day over the last 15 years have brought Ann Brack-Johnson to her first book signing at Town House Books in St. Charles, IL this Saturday March 28 from 11 am – 1 pm. The historical novel “Angie of Garfield Farm” relives 1840s daily life of this 174 year old northern Illinois prairie farmstead and country inn now a 375 acre museum in Campton Hills, IL.

   As seen through the eyes of 9 year old Angie Garfield, life in 1847 on her parent’s farm and inn provide for a fictional account reflecting the era of a young America as the prairies of Illinois were being turned into the nation’s breadbasket. The promise of the new and excitement of a nation is reflected in young Angie’s anticipation of her first dance her father is holding in his new brick inn on the well travelled St. Charles–Chicago Road. However Angie soon learns of responsibilities that come with growing up both for her and her community at large.

     Although the account is an imagined tale, the known facts of Garfield Farm, its family and neighbors are incorporated into the story reflecting the era. The book is a serious attempt to capture and encourage the next generation’s interest in the region’s history.  Written to be enjoyed by all ages, it opens a dialogue for parent and child to learn about life before the coming of the railroad, an era whose promise was tarnished by the institution of slavery and a growing national divide.

    Town House Books at 105 N. 2nd Avenue is a wonderful setting for this book signing as it is in a historic 19th century brick house in Century Corners. Illustrator Pamela Hamilton will also be on hand to autograph copies of the book as her book cover work and chapter heading illustrations capture the feel of the farm.

    Brack-Johnson is a volunteer at the museum since the early 1990s assisting with interpretation, period clothing, special projects, photography, fundraising and governance. A graduate of Medill School of Journalism and Knox College, she is a Chicago native who moved to the Fox Valley in the late 1980s. She hopes her book will bring further attention to Garfield Farm and Inn Museum which is the only surviving historically intact farmstead of the period which is being saved and restored for future generations.

    Town House Books, owned by David Hunt, is an exceptional independent book store adjacent to Town House Café. The Café specializes in homemade specialty sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts prepared by Doug Bella.

 Call the museum at 630 584-8485 for further information or e-mail Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. The 375-acre site is a historically intact former 1840s farm and teamster inn being restored as an 1840s working farm museum by volunteers and donors from around the country.