The Dixon Main Street and the Loveland Community House and Historical Museum will host the first annual Founders' Day / Father John Day from 6:30 p.m – 10 p.m. on Friday, April 11 at the Loveland Museum. The celebration falls on the same day (April 11, 1830) that John Dixon, the namesake and founder of the city of Dixon, settled near what is now the corner of First Street and Peoria Avenue in downtown Dixon.
“Our community’s history begins in our downtown. Father John settled on the banks of the Rock River and the city grew up around his settlement,” Josh Albrecht, executive director of Dixon Main Street said. “Honoring the man who gave birth to our downtown and our city seemed like a marvelous way for Dixon Main Street to promote our history.”
Partnering with Main Street for the Father John Day festivities will be the Loveland Community House and Museum, which houses numerous artifacts that belong to Father John Dixon and other settlers. Sponsors for the event include the The Telegraph, WIXN, Carebear’s Popcorn, Treats and More, The Good Book and the John Deere Historical Site.
“The volunteers that dedicate their time to the Loveland Museum are walking encyclopedias on the history of Dixon,” said Albrecht. “They were a great choice to help bring our community’s history alive.”
The Father John Day event will be held at the Loveland House and Museum, 513 West Second Street, Dixon, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour and free tours of the Loveland Museum. Carebear’s will provide free popcorn and ice cream. Melodious Thunk will perform jazz music and Rick Trahan, the John Deere Blacksmith will be on hand to talk about the John Deere site. At 7:30 p.m. the featured program about John Dixon’s life presented by Loveland volunteers and local relatives of John Dixon will begin. The presentations will be about Dixon’s acts of heroism, family tragedy, his wife, why he wasn’t a rich man, why he didn’t join a church and his relationship with the Indians. After the program, the museum will remain open for tours and volunteers will be on hand to talk about Dixon and the Loveland Museum.
“Many towns have founders, but in most cases their relatives didn’t remain in the area,” Loveland Museum curator Fran Swarbrick said. “Dixon is lucky to have had a great founder whose family is still active in the community today.”