When we first moved to Chicago we purchased a great little book called Quick Escapes from Chicago. We've done pretty well by it so far, using it to plan our anniversary getaways to Door County, WI and Galena, IL. We called on it once again this year as we needed an interesting daytrip so that we could continue our anniversary travel custom with the little guy in tow. This year it led us to Grand Detour, IL (pronounced "Grandy Toor" by the locals) and the home of the John Deere Historic Site.
Turns out that John Deere had nothing to do with painting tractors green, but was a blacksmith from Vermont who patented the first self-scouring plow, allowing the East Coast farmers who had moved to the midwest to plow the rich soil without having to stop every few feet to wipe the dirt off of the plow. This is what the first self-scouring plows looked like.
And we even got a blacksmith demo, which was someone's favorite part of the tour.