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New “Antique” Signs Come to Life

If you have been on the main street of Fairbury the last couple weeks, you may have noticed a great production going on.  Did you see a man-lift with someone painting signs above Kinate’s Law firm?  Yep, Dale Maley is at it again!

As a leader of the Fairbury Improvement Group (FIG), Dale spent last year making our small town more attractive with the historic murals in Central Park, the painting of the Occident Flour sign at 2nd Street and Locust, plus the new historic murals across from the new City Hall.

This new sign, “Swing & Steidinger Agricultural Rooms” dates back to 1891.  Parts of it had worn completely away.  But, with the help of Gordon Kinate’s archives, Dale was able to form the missing letters.

As you can imagine, this job was not a small task.  Besides searching for the missing words, Dale had to find the font which closest match the other letters, create a pattern for each letter, and then trace these patterns to the building with blue masking tape.  That was all before the painting ever started.

“Dale, we have to say that we don’t know of any other small community that has a historian, an architect, an engineer, and an artist all wrapped up in one!” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire and coordinator of the Specialty Shops Group in Fairbury.  “We consider ourselves more than lucky to have you!”

“Besides this project, Dale and the FIG group are also working on upgrading Marsh Park.  Dale has so many skills, and it is largely because of this that so many things have been accomplished in such a short time,” continues Bobbi.  “It seems inadequate to just say, ‘thank you!”

“We certainly appreciate your hard work and expertise.  We are proud of another restoration of a historic sign downtown.  Thank you!”

As always, if you have any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics about our community, please stop by Heart’s Desire, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.