Farms, Markets and Tours, History and Heritage, Banquets and Meetings

Dillon Home Museum & Weddings

Sterling , IL

The Dillon Home not only functions as a museum, it is also the perfect backdrop for weddings. Take a tour and soak in this extraordinary opportunity to view examples of Italianate architecture, a popular choice of builders in the Midwest from 1830-1880. 

The beginning of Northwestern Steel and Wire Company (NWSW) can be traced back to Washington Dillon's move to Rock Falls, Illinois from Ohio. W.M. Dillon founded Northwestern Barbed Wire Co. upon his arrival in 1879. Then in 1892, Dillon devote himself fully to his own Rock Falls operation. In 1912, moved Northwestern Barbed Wire to Sterling.

Northwestern Steel used steam locomotives to move scrap metal to the furnaces and to transfer hot ingots to the rolling machines, long after the era of steam engines was bygone. Northwestern Steel's steam engines were among the last to operate in the United States. Old No. 73, as it was known, (a 1929 Baldwin locomotive) was the final steam engine to be used in America. NWSW last used the locomotive on Dec. 3, 1980 at 10 a.m. Its final run was made coupled to the technology that replaced it, a diesel engine. On Jan. 19, 1981, No. 73 was moved to the south lawn of the Paul W. Dillon Home. From tracks inside the steel mill complex, the locomotive was taken east along the Geneva Subdivision main line of the Chicago & North Western Railroad a mile and a half to a location which passes just behind the Dillon home. 73 was then lifted via four cranes and moved the last 75 yards to its final resting place as a memorial to Dillon, the man who kept the idea of steam engines alive for more than twenty years.

Dillon Home Weddings

The Dillon Home Museum is the perfect location to host your wedding or next meeting.  The beautiful, spacious grounds will complete you special day and the "step back in history" parlors will make your next meeting a memorable one. 

Contact Linda Heckler, Curator for tour times and wedding/meeting information.


Additional Info

  • What To Do: Farms, Markets and Tours, History and Heritage, Banquets and Meetings
  • Address: 1005 E. Third Street
  • City: Sterling
  • State: IL
  • Postcode: 61081
  • Telephone: (815) 622-6202
  • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Open to Public?: Yes
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