Historical Gas-Food-Lodging Stop at the Reed-Niland Corner

Historical Gas-Food-Lodging Stop at the Reed-Niland Corner

If you are looking for a unique, historical experience in middle America look no further than the Reed-Niland Corner in Colo, Iowa. This restored cafe, motel, and museum-like gas station location is a premiere stop on the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway. Whether it is the enticing good food, more-than-reasonable motel rates, or glow of the neon light in the Iowa landscape, this one-stop location has an appeal for the traveler like no other location in Iowa or even in the nation.                                               Photo credits: City of Colo It is literally in the middle of America. The Lincoln Highway was designated in 1913 and runs east and west at the north side of the town of Colo. It is now known as County Road E41. The Lincoln Highway begins in Times Square in New York and travels to San Francisco in California. The...
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Spring, Where Art Thou?

Spring, Where Art Thou?

It's been two months since we last wrote. And were talking about Spring at that time! But Spring has taken its sweet time to get here. With snow lasting well into April, we might just jump ahead right into Summer. But we need Spring. It is an important step to transition from Winter to Summer. Although I am a huge fan of Summer, Spring has many good points we cannot overlook. We need this in-between time. Farmers might be rushed, but they need to plant their crops. The ground needs to warm up to be able to awaken seeds and dormant plants. Small producers and artisans, scrambling, will need to get ready for Farmers Markets. My house will thank me again this year as I spring clean and open the windows to let in the fresh air. Nothing like a cool spring breeze floating in. I enjoy the windows-open season no matter how short it might be before I take the plunge...
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Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway Springs into 2018

It is finally March and with that comes the promise of Spring! The Byway is gearing up for a wonderful 2018. We are into grant writing season and as we wait for large state-wide projects to come to fruition, we are happy to tackle  smaller localized ones. One project just completed was for the community of Westside. The residents recently developed a park, the Eugene Kock Memorial Park, in honor of a local man who lost his life in Vietnam many years ago. The park has engraved paver bricks that can be purchased, seating for visitors, and a military sculpture placed in the center. The area is flanked by flags and soon will have an interpretive panel we created about the community placed there as well. We continue to work with the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) on other interpretive panels. Three smaller ones will be placed in the City of Jefferson's east entrance as part of their improvement project. The panels will...
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Thanksgiving Season On the Byway

Thanksgiving Season On the Byway

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am reflecting on the past 3 years I've worked at Prairie Rivers and with the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway (LHHB.) I am thankful for the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) and their vision to create and promote the road in 1913 and for the Iowa leaders who re-created theorganization in 1992,  to those Iowa LHA people who applied for the Iowa section to be part of the Iowa Scenic Byway program, to the Department of Transportation for including the Lincoln Highway in their Byway program and the support they continue to give to the Byways, and to the people in the communities along the route who work tirelessly to promote and support their neck-of-the-woods with their products, services, amenities, and attractions. A few weeks ago, I drove a part of the Byway and saw farmers out harvesting their crops. Dust was flying, wagons were being filled with crops, and slow-moving vehicles with equipment and wagons slowed...
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Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway News

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway has been selected to continue on to the second round of the ArtPlace America Grant! Out of 1,000 applications, 70 were selected for a site visit and asked to submit a final application. Our Byway was one of those selected. Quite an honor! The Byway's proposed project is to work with Preston's Historic District in Belle Plaine, Reed-Niland Corner in Colo, and Youngville in rural Benton County to restore their old gas stations; add art, interpretive signs, and oral histories; and re-purpose the stations by adding electric charging stations. Many partners have gathered to bring this project together and we can not wait to know if we receive these funds. We will continue fundraising efforts to add to the overall project that will be jump-started with the ArtPlace America grant. We also have a new Recreational and Camping Brochure available. It has been placed in some Iowa Welcome Centers and a few key Lincoln Highway locations,...
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Updates on Byway Activities- Corridor Management and More!

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway has had a very busy late summer and fall. The 11 Iowa Byways partnered (for the first time) on a booth at the Iowa State Fair and talked to many fair-goers about the Byway program, our individual Byway, and about communities and attractions along our Byway. The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway debuted our new 52-page brochure at the event and it was well received by the public. Since then, we have placed the booklets in Welcome Centers, Chambers of Commerce, Convention and Visitor Bureaus, and many attractions from Clinton to Council Bluffs. The booklet features what there is to see and do along the Byway by intrinsic quality (archaeology, cultural, historical, recreational, natural, and scenic.) These locations were developed through research and community input meetings last year as we worked our way through the Corridor Management Plan process. There is definitely something for everyone along the route! You will find the brochure at this website. The Lincoln...
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ILHA launched new website

Working with the ILHA is not new to us as the Lincoln Heritage Byway is one of our programs. One new way we assisted the Association this summer was by hosting a Lincoln Highway Association Intern and assisting them on projects for the association. One major project that Paul, our intern, accomplished was the creation of a new website. It consists of the same information the old site had and then some! We are still gathering and updating information for each county and events as they are submitted. It truly is a very modern and nice looking website.  Check it out! http://www.iowalincolnhighway.org/ Another big project that is almost ready for print is the creation of a Greene County Brochure. Paul created a wonderful design with information about transportation and the history of Greene County provided by Bob and Joyce Ausberger. With only a few more edits we are hopeful that the brochure will be printed and distributed to the Greene County area...
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Festivals, Meskwaki, and more

Summer is here! Let the festivals begin. My first taste of a Lincoln Highway festival was at the Tama-Toledo Lincoln Highway Bridge Park Festival on May 15th. The park is really looking nice with the plantings and the City of Tama having repaved part of the driveway. The festival program included children singing, the Mayor of Tama and other dignitaries speaking, and Abe Lincoln reciting his Gettysburg Address. The highlight of the night was getting a photo op with Abe Lincoln! This past weekend I learned more about the history of the Meskwaki Nation at an event held in Ames in the North River Valley Park. The Meskwaki settled in Iowa around 1650 and their primary settlements were along the Mississippi River and rivers in Eastern Iowa, but the land they utilized ranged across the state. It was a hands-on event with a chance to grind corn and play with Native American toys and games. In the 1830's, under the Indian Removal...
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Fire, Soil & Byways

In Celebration of Iowa's celebration of Soil and Water Conservation Week, I decided to discuss the prairie burns Penny, John and I saw while in Kansas. The three of us traveled to Kansas to attend the Heartland Byways Conference in Manhattan, and while at the conference had the chance to take a tour of the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway.   I was surprised to see the fire so close to the road when we were traveling on the byway. The above image shows one instance where we saw the fire approaching. Our bus and other drivers had to pull over at one point to let the fire move through. The monitoring and safety measures that were put into place were great, and it was amazing to see the fire so close.   So what does fire have to do with Soil and Water Conservation Week? Prairies have a long-standing history of healthy soil and a need for burning and grazing to keep soil full...
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Lobby for Byways

Lobby for Byways

In January we were busy getting ready to speak to our state legislators. After the Travel Federation of Iowa's Legislative Showcase, we attended Transportation Day at the Capitol. As a byway manager, we felt it was important to explain the importance of byways and the need for additional funding. We set up an Iowa Byways display with some of the other byway managers inside of the capitol rotunda and we were able to educate people about the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and the unique features byways have to offer. We attended the Transportation Day briefing at the Wallace Building which was a great event to hear a number of people speak and lobby for an increase in funding for Iowa's roads. We were able to hear from the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, Paul Trombino. There are many roads and bridges in disrepair throughout the state and the increased funding would help with some of the most critical issues...
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