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Settlers’ Farms & the Railroad Talk
at Garfield Farm Museum

CAMPTON HILLS, IL      On Sunday, April 28th at 2 pm, Garfield Farm Museum will host an afternoon session on how railroads impacted the development and growth of northeastern Illinois that we know today. Kenneth Carlson will discuss how Kane County led to the growth and development of Chicago and northeastern Illinois and the impact the region on the national and global scenes. 

    Kenneth Carlson is a volunteer at the Spring Valley Heritage Farm in Schaumburg, Illinois. Ken grew up in a farm town with a railroad family. His grandfather, father, and uncle worked on the railroads. Ken is also a musician and a model railroader. He is a member of the National Model Railroad Society and the British Train Society of Illinois. Ken has been photographing railroads since 1958. 

      Ken has been interested in the history of northern Illinois, and especially how the growth of the railroads changed the early pioneer farms. Ken and his wife are currently helping to organize the history of Hanover Park, Illinois.

    William Ogden was instrumental in having a railroad built through LaFox on the way to Freeport in the early 1850's. He will talk about how farms benefited from the new technologies of this era.

    Early settlers banked on the growing agricultural commodity, wheat, which had numerous implications in local, national, and international growth, food stuffs, and international sustenance as early as the 1850’s. Northeastern Illinois and Chicago were instrumental with its fertile soil and its location on the Great Lakes and other transportation networks that boosted the area and its economy on to the national and international scene. There is a $6 donation for the lecture. Reservations are preferred and can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or

    Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL, off of Illinois Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Garfield Farm is a historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn that is being restored as a working 1840s farm.