Joe Wiegand Brings Teddy Roosevelt to Garfield Farm

Joe Wiegand Brings Teddy Roosevelt to Garfield Farm

Joe Wiegand is Teddy Roosevelt.

It’s not just that he channels America’s 26th president or that he’s a terrific method actor in the tradition of Konstantin Stanislavski. This former DeKalb County commissioner becomes Teddy Roosevelt each and every time he steps on stage or steps in front of a crowd of people.

So good are his performances and so deep is his historic scholarship that he has been featured at the official National Park Service Centennial Celebration at Yellowstone National Park and performed at the White House for President George W. Bush on Teddy’s 150th birthday.

Now, Wiegand is back in Illinois, set to perform Saturday, July 13, at a special fund-raising performance at Garfield Farm Museum.

The event takes place at 5 p.m. Saturday, when Teddy will dedicate a restored 1906 Dairy Barn at Garfield Farm Museum. Wiegand will portray Roosevelt, sharing stories of his youth, his adventures and selfless dedication to American values at the dawn of the 20th century.

Advanced ticket purchases are required.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen says he and his wife, Sarah, will be there.

“I’m partial to both Teddy Roosevelt and Joe Wiegand,” he said. “Sarah and I named our oldest son after the president.

“Joe Wiegand is a foremost Roosevelt scholar who not only captures Teddy Roosevelt’s substance but also the nuances of his bigger-than-life personality that was forged through childhood illness and the pain in early adulthood of losing his beloved first wife and his mother on the very same day.”

Barn’s Amazing Transformation

Thanks to a grant by the Hamill Family Foundation in 2017, in just 11 months Trillium Dell’s barn restoring crew from Knoxville, IL lifted, repaired, restored, and re-sided the barn that “Teddy” will dedicate Saturday.

Built during what has been called golden era of American agriculture, from 1890 to 1918, the barn is reflective of the thousands of dairy farms that once existed across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Tickets are $50 each and will include refreshments and appetizers, a ribbon cutting, an hour long portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt’s life, and tour of the barn.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the museum at 630 584-8485, by e-mail at, at, or by visiting the museum. Reservations are required so seating and refreshments can be planned.

Since 1977, volunteers and donors from 38 states and more than 3,800 households have worked to save and preserve this 375 acre historically intact former 1840 Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn as an 1840s working farm and inn museum.

Land preservation and building restoration have been the focus of the project to ultimately establish a hands on participatory program of Illinois settlement life. Focusing on the three inseparable themes of history, farming and nature, the museum depends upon individuals to sustain its preservation.

Teddy Roosevelt Dedicates Garfield Farm Museum’s 1906 Dairy Barn Restoration

  • What: Reservations for Theodore Roosevelt Reprisal at Dedication of 1906 Dairy Barn
  • When: 5 p.m. Saturday, July 13
  • Where: Garfield Farm Museum
  • Where: for GPS only: 3N016 Garfield Road Campton Hills, IL 60175
  • Fee: $50 per person benefits Museum’s Collection Building
  • Contact: 630 584-8485 or

SOURCE: Garfield Farm news release

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