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    The exterior of the John Deere Blacksmith building

    John Deere Historic Site

    Relive history!

    Hear the clang of the hammer. Feel the heat from the forge. Watch the iron melt and take shape. Stand in the spot where John Deere created the first commercially successful steel plow, and relive the experience of his original blacksmith shop. Discover where our story began at the John Deere Historic Site!

    Children watching a live demonstration of the John Deere Blacksmith


    Watch live blacksmith demonstrations in a replica of John Deere’s original shop. Learn how he created the first commercially successful steel plow — and changed the world of agriculture forever.

    The interior of the John Deere family home


    Tour the original John Deere family home and get an intimate glimpse of pioneer life in 1836. Explore rooms as the Deere family would have known them, furnished with household items that show how pioneers cooked, cleaned, bathed, and spent their leisure hours.

    Man and woman looking at John Deere Blacksmith artifacts


    Stand in the exact location where John Deere forged the first self-scouring steel plow. Explore the site, view excavated artifacts, and listen as Deere himself describes how he built a thriving manufacturing business.

    While you’re here

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    Free admission

    Because we’re proud of our heritage and encourage everyone to share in our storied history, each John Deere Attractions Site is open to the public and completely FREE.

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    Regular hours:
    Monday: 1pm–5pm
    Tuesday–Saturday: 9am–5pm
    Sunday: Closed

    Holiday hours:
    Closed New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve

    The John Deere Historic Site is open March through December.

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    To plan your trip, please
    Check the map.

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    Contact us

    John Deere Historic Site
    8334 South Clinton Street
    Grand Detour (Dixon), IL 61021
    Email Us

    Boy wathching the blacksmith intently

    School group tours

    Show your students how life on the prairie led to major innovations in farming. Tour the original Deere family home, a working replica of John Deere’s original blacksmith shop, and a preserved archeological dig site. Tour guides lead all school group tours. The entire tour takes approximately 1.5 hours and can be scheduled year-round.

    While you’re in the area

    Exterior of the Childrens Museum of Illinois in Decatur, IL

    Children’s Museum of Illinois – Decatur, Illinois

    Children’s Museum of Illinois is a hands-on, interactive experience for children ages 2 to 12, with exhibits and activities that complement and enhance their educational opportunities. The museum is located on the shores of Lake Decatur in Scovill Park, adjacent to Scovill Zoo.
    Directions to Children’s Museum of Illinois

    Exterior of the Byron Forest Preserve in Byron, IL

    Byron Forest Preserve – Byron, Illinois

    This landmark glass building on the banks of the Mississippi River, with expansive galleries and intimate rooms, is a premier art exhibit and education facility.
    Directions to Byron Forest Preserve

    Exterior of the Ingersoll Wetland Learning Center in Thomson, IL

    Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center – Thomson, Illinois

    The Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center promotes environmental education and the conservation of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Conveniently located within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, the facility is packed with interesting, hands-on exhibits and provides a dramatic view of the world's most majestic and celebrated river.
    Directions to Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center