The Aldeen family farm was off Spring Creek Road for more than 50 years before being transformed into a championship-level, challenging and upscale public golf course, opening in 1991.
The historic barn was once the horse stable and milk house on the farm of G. W. Aldeen, father of businessman Norris Aldeen. Today, the wooden barn still stands as a landmark and is used for storage of golf course equipment. The barn structure is sound, but the exterior has deteriorated to the point where painting isnt enough.
We cannot let this happen. Too many beautiful barns that have been a part of our landscape have disappeared from view as we see more urban development, said Park Board President Nate Martin. Now we have a concerned citizen who has come forward with a plan, a vision and a passion, to restore the Aldeen family barn to its original grandeur.
The effort is being spearheaded by local business owner Tim Larson Dingus of Skyward Promotions. Dingus explained that his grandfather, Emanuel Larson, built many barns in northern Illinois in his lifetime. He built the beautiful Aldeen wooden barn with his bare hands. The continuation of my familys heritage through this barn at such a premier Rockford location is priceless. I am very excited about this project and the opportunities it holds for all of us.
The public fund-raising campaign goal is $39,500, and was kicked off July 14 at a media conference held at the barn on the northern border of Aldeen Golf Club. The fund-raising will involve letter campaign solicitations to friends, families and clients; coin collection cans in retail businesses; three parties at three locations with contests and prizes; posters at Rockford Park District locations, and soliciting major donors.
There will be incentives such as Park District passes, promotional items, and commemorative souvenir boards and nails from the barn as incentives for higher levels of giving.
The campaign is called Were Nailing It! Aldeen Golf Club Barn Restoration. Donations can be sent to the Rockford Park District Foundation, 401 S. Main St., Suite 112, Rockford, IL 61101-1321.
From the July 26-Aug. 1, 2006, issue