Dixon Main Street will host the 5th Annual Founders’ Day on Wednesday, April 11 at the Dixon Historic Center. The celebration falls on the same day (April 11, 1830) that John Dixon, the namesake and founder of the city of Dixon, settled with his wife Rebecca and their children near what is now the corner of First Street and Peoria Avenue in downtown Dixon.
“Founders Day has become a wonderful tradition in the city to highlight the accomplishments of our city founders and the great wealth of local history in our community,” Josh Albrecht, executive director of Dixon Main Street said.
This year, the program will highlight the Shaw Family and the beginnings of the Telegraph newspaper. Local historian Greg Langan will give the presentation on B.F. Shaw and Tom Shaw will give a presentation on his family's roots in Dixon and the newspaper.
The evening also feature the naming of the Langan Award winner for Lifetime Achievement in Local History Award to honor local historians for their work in preserving the local heritage.
"Last year we surprised Greg Langan with the award for all of his efforts over the years," Albrecht said. "Our committee was unanimous on who should receive it this year."
The Main Street Design Committee also will honor the Brantley family with the PRIDE Award (Private Reinvestment in Downtown Excellence). The award is given to local business and building owners who reinvest in their downtown buildings and they do it with an eye toward the historical nature of the building and the district. Kris Brantley has renovated several building in the downtown including AVP Digital Studios on River Street and recently has done work on the Mini Mall. Eric and Judy Brantley have continued their renovations on the Kearny Building that houses The Crystal Cork Wine Shoppe, as they recently added a banquet room in the basement, and Linda Brantley has continually restored the Trein's Jewelry building throughout the years.
"We are blessed to have a whole family that sees the value in historic preservation," Albrecht said. "One thank you, and really, one award is not enough. They deserve a thousand thank yous for the investment they have made in our downtown."
And back again this year will be the Soup and Sandwich dinner catered by Fern's Cafe. The dinner will be served from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. and is a $10 donation. Proceeds from the dinner will go to support the John Dixon Statue Project. Following the dinner, the awards and program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free for those only wishing to attend the program. During the evening, the Historic Center exhibits will be open for the public to view.
5-6:30 p.m. -- Soup and Sandwich Dinner served. Cost is $10. Free admission to the Historic Center exhibits.
6:30 -- Free presentation on the Shaw Family and the Telegraph