Work continues to restore the dairy barn at c Corron Farm
Work continues to restore the dairy barn at historic Corron Farm in Campton Township
When Dave Corron says the Corron Farm Dairy Barn in Campton Township "hasn't had cows in there since 2002," he makes it sound like that was yesteryear.
Just 17 years ago may not qualify as distant history, but 1875 does -- and that's when the dairy barn was built at this historic farm setting. It had some additions over the years, but something built not long after the Civil War tends to show signs of wear and tear some 144 years later.
That's why the barn is in the middle of a major upgrade as the Corron Farm Preservation Society seeks donations to continue the momentum that has resulted in completion of interior work, a new metal roof and the start of structural work on the barn's south side.
"The upstairs part of the barn will become a museum, where we will put antique farm equipment in there," Corron said. "People will be able to walk through and see it, and there will be signs explaining what the pieces are."
Corron grew up on the farm, which had been in his family's hands since 1835. He worked on it right up until it was acquired by Campton Township in 2002 as part its first open space program. It has since been included on the National Register of Historic Places, and Corron serves as the property caretaker and host for visitors.
Rebuilding the structure is one thing, but making it handicap accessible is also mandatory for the township and preservation society.
"Once we get the building straight and sound, we will work on the top level to give it that flat floor and accessibility," Corron added. "Everything takes time and money."
The dairy barn was "in the worst shape of any building on the farm," Corron said. "But it also got the most use of any building, with cattle in there day and night, and that takes its toll."
But things are shaping up quite nicely now, with interior repairs to the tune of $126,000 completed through donations from supporters, Campton Township and the Kane County Grand Victoria Riverboat Fund.
Those donations also went toward the metal roof at $94,000; a fix Corron suggests "should last another 50 or more years."
Getting the building structurally sound was important, Corron noted, because it otherwise didn't make sense to put a new roof on a barn "that could fall down."
Currently, the rotting wood and crumbling flagstone foundation on the south end of the barn is targeted for work.
The preservation society will continue to oversee the project until it is completed, creating the need for supporters to donate if they can.
Those interested in donating to the preservation society, which is a 501 (c) (3) organization, can do so online from the Corron Farm Preservation Society website or through the organization's Facebook fundraiser page.
Board members are matching donations, up to $10,000.
It's for Big Hearts:
Minor and Jennifer Mobley, owners of Excel Automotive Repair in St. Charles, deserve our applause for the volunteer work they have done in helping underprivileged kids in St. Charles School District 303.
They could have taken their bow and left it at that. But they had a bigger goal in mind, based mostly on having bigger hearts seeking to help even more.
Thus, they created the Big Hearts of Fox Valley organization to keep momentum going beyond the Christmas gift sponsorship program they've spearheaded for the past five years.
The organization gets its first boost from a local business from 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, July 20, when owner Marwan Taib will donate 20 percent of sales that night at his Spotted Fox Ale House restaurant/bar, 3615 E. Main St. in St. Charles.
"When coming up with the name of the organization, we thought of how this really is such a community effort and how everyone has big, caring hearts," the Mobleys wrote in a note about the fundraiser.
"It is our desire to help even more local children throughout the year, and we are working on becoming an official not-for-profit," they added.
When the Waubonsee Community College course schedule for the fall of 2019 came in our mail, it reminded me of the excellence of both Waubonsee and Elgin community colleges.
Going to Waubonsee got my son on the right track to his career after four years of high school that no one would characterize as stellar.
I was far worse. Any of my high school teachers taking bets on whether I would succeed in life were surely taking the "no way" bets. But I did write for the high school paper, so that was something to lean on.
It didn't take long for College of DuPage community college to totally straighten me out. A journalism teacher there convinced me to pursue a newspaper career and quit my night-shift job at Jewel stocking grocery shelves.
So I did. For 40-plus years now, journalism has worked out quite well for me.
In looking at the current WCC course schedule, I was curious to see what kind of writing courses were offered. It was comforting to find more than two pages of classes focusing on all types of writing.
Overall, the book had some type of class for every field or occupation you can imagine.
That's the community college system. And it's a wonderful component of our educational landscape.
Historic Happy Hour:
If history, happy hour and the outdoors represent three things you enjoy, then the St. Charles Park District and St. Charles History Museum have something fun for you.
They will partner to host a "History Happy Hour" cruise from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, on the Fox River Queen paddle wheel boat on the Fox River.
Those onboard will hear about the river's connection to the growth of our communities and the various historic locations along the route, including Al Capone's famous hideaway.
Tickets are $35 each and include appetizers and two drink tickets.
Registration is taken at the museum website, stcmuseum.org, or by calling (630) 534-2334.