John Deere has a presence around the world, but it all started right here in Illinois. When you step foot on the Grand Detour grounds, it will feel like taking a step back in time. Hear the floorboards creak as you walk inside John Deere's home. Take in the beauty of the picturesque landscape. And feel the heat of fired steel inside the replica blacksmith shop. Whether you're a school group, a John Deere fan or a history buff, it's an experience you just can't miss.
In 1962 the University of Illinois Archeological Department started an archeology dig on the site to unearth the origins of John’s original blacksmith shop. Today you too can see the artifacts that were unearthed and stand over the very location that John started a business that bared his name.
Inside the working replica Blacksmith shop a John Deere blacksmith still operates the double bellows and forge just as the company founder did over 176 years ago. Watch how he works with glowing hot metal between his hammer and anvil, and tell you a story about the craftsman’s trade where one man, with one anvil, made one plow that changed the world of agriculture.
Come visit the John Deere Historic Site and take in one of their guided tours. Bus tours are welcome and off-season tours can be scheduled with advance notice.
Hours of Operation:
Open daily, March – December
Mon. – Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun. – Noon – 4 p.m.
Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve
Close at 3:00pm: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day
Special group tours can be arranged January and February. Admission to the John Deere Historic Site is free.