The inception of the Starline began as when the three founding fathers started the Hunt, Helm, Ferris & Company in the basment of a hardware store on Ayer Street in Harvard, IL. The company produced inventive farm equipment.
1888 – 1898 : Soon the basement of the hardware store was too small for the company. In 1888, the partners located property on the south side of Front Street and developed a multi-building facility.
Star Logo appears on marketing items and products. Buildings expanded and were replaced by brick-and-mortar.
Hunt, Helm, Ferris & Company name was changed to Star-line and Company. The purpose for the name change was because they manufactured the “star or leading line” of agricultural equipment.
Starline building sold for $85,000, but soon was in disrepair. The owner planned to develop the building but never followed through on the plans.
Orrin Kinney purchased the building with plans to revive it to house events and artist studios. The Starline Factory Building was reborn. The ivy that was planted over 100 years ago still blankets the great building.
I’ve always liked a challenge. All I need to hear is ‘it can’t be done’. As long as I’m able, I have a project to finish.
Starline is Born
More than a decade ago, Orrin Kinney rescued the building from demolition. Through Kinney’s vision to restore and re-purpose the old factory inspires a sense of awe, and creative possibilities. Kinney took a seemingly useless space and created an amazing niche for pioneering artists to establish their studios.
Soon after the restoration began, art shows were being held inviting the community and beyond to experience the magnificence of the Starline Factory and its artists.
Today, the building has become a destination location for artists, art enthusiasts, and those seeking to host their special event in a unique setting.