Those attending today's groundbreaking of Byron Health Center's new facility along Lake Avenue didn't shout "Move That Bulldozer!" – but they could have.
Deb Lambert, Byron's president and chief executive officer, capped off the usual dirt-shoveling ceremony by getting inside a yellow-and-black bulldozer and moving it – and some previously loosened turf – about six feet.
The action was mostly symbolic. But it underscored more than 165 years of history for an institution that has evolved over the years.
Beginning as a place for six downtrodden county residents to live on a farm in 1853, what is now Byron went through years as a tuberculosis sanitarium, a place to treat cholera, and a county "poor farm."
Now Byron officials describe it as a facility that provides long-term skilled nursing care.
And, at its new address, Byron is going forward as a place where residents can live in independent residences in a community set up like a mini-neighborhood, Lambert said.