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Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley Awards  $20,000 Grant for Barn Restoration

    The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley has awarded Garfield Farm Museum a $20,000 grant towards the 1842 Hay and Grain Barn Restoration. This grant has been given in light of the great opportunity for the museum to receive a $115,000 Barn Restoration Challenge Grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, WI.  The $20,000 Community Foundation grant will be matched by $10,000 from the Jeffris Foundation once the museum has raised a total of $230,000.

    Since its days when it was known as the Aurora Foundation when it gave funds to establish the Burr House Visitors’ Center in 1992, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley has joined the cause to restore the museum’s oldest building, the 1842 Barn. These funds will be used towards the Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant and are to be spent by June 2015. The monies will help pay for the initial work to prepare for a new foundation for the barn. Before demolition of the 1912 foundation can begin, archaeological studies must be made to reveal any pertinent information around the building’s footprint.

    In recent years, the Community Foundation of the Greater Fox Valley has also administrated Garfield Farm Museum’s Historic Administration Scholarship underwritten by a generous donor of the museum. This new grant for the restoration puts the museum within $50,000 of its targeted goal.

     “This grant and all the great help from Garfield Farm Museum’s friends are making a 38 year old dream a near reality. It is possible by the summer of 2015, this barn and its great history will return to its original appearance”, stated Jerome Johnson, executive director and co- founder of Garfield Farm Museum. “Having lived with this dream on a daily basis for so many years, the great community support is fantastic.”

    Garfield Farm and Tavern Museum is the only historically intact 375 acre former 1840s Illinois prairie farm and inn being restored and preserved for use as a living history museum. Donors and volunteers from over 37 states and 3800 plus households have given over $10,000,000 and tens of thousands of hours of labor to help preserve and restore the site. Ultimately an additional three million dollars will complete the building restoration and construction needs of the 18 plus historic structures.

    To help in this fundraising effort or to obtain more information about the museum, contact or call 630 584-8485. The museum gives tours year round by appointment and hosts special events.