The DeKalb County History Center’s Cornsilk magazine was presented an Award of Excellence from the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM) this month.

Each year, IAM celebrates the best of museums from across the state. Cornsilk is a quarterly publication that shares local history stories, museum news and events with DeKalb County residents and beyond. This effort, brought together by history lovers from throughout the county, highlights major historical stories as well as recently uncovered “hidden gems.”

“The committee was impressed by the content, the collaboration, and the commitment shown by the DeKalb County History Center to step in to continue and improve publication of the magazine after the original sponsoring organization folded,” said Debbie Fandrei, chair of the IAM awards committee.

Cornsilk originally began as a member newsletter and was printed by the DeKalb County Historical-Genealogical Society from the 1970s until 2022, when the organization disbanded due to a decline in programming and membership. That year, the History Center took over publication in order to keep sharing these stories.

The current editor, Jessi Haish LaRue, was selected as she was familiar with both organizations. She also studied journalism and has a background in print publications, which elevated the design and content of the quarterly publication.

“Cornsilk is a successful story of collaboration,” LaRue said. “The magazine is an opportunity for historians and museums from all over the county to share their histories. High tides raise all boats when we work together to share our stories.”

To subscribe to the quarterly print magazine for just $40 per year, sign up online at or visit the History Center at 1730 N. Main Street in Sycamore. Email or call 815-895-5762 to learn more.