Pioneers of Transcontinental Travel

When one is doing research of pioneers of transcontinental travel and the Lincoln Highway, the two names that pop up immediately are Carl Fisher and Henry B. Joy, president of the Packard Motor Car Company.  Carl Fisher, owner of the Prest-O-Lite (headlight) Company, supplied almost all of the headlights to the Detroit car manufacturers. He had already developed the Indianapolis 500 race and thought a "Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway" would be a good way for people to have a place to drive their cars. Plus it would help car sales! He enlisted the help of auto makers and Henry B. Joy became a very strong supporter as well as the first president of the newly formed Lincoln Highway Association. They renamed the route as the Lincoln Highway to pay tribute to President Abraham Lincoln because a memorial to him did not exist yet. But today's writing is about a lesser known pioneer for the Lincoln Highway, Henry C. Ostermann, the first Field...
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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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Corridor Management Plan, Projects, and Celebrations

Corridor Management Plan, Projects, and Celebrations

The Corridor Management Plan has been completed! This has been a 3-year process and included hours of research, meetings with city and county officials, holding community input meetings, and many hours of writing. You may view the plan using this link. The plan not only contains history of the Lincoln Highway in Iowa and in the nation, but details the 6 intrinsic qualities that make up a byway (Archaeological, Cultural, Historic, Natural, Recreational, and Scenic). The document also contains projects listed by county as it travels through 13 counties in Iowa. The plan also identifies projects that will be completed statewide.Some of the projects have begun already. We are working with the City of Tama to secure funding to repair the iconic Lincoln Highway Bridge that travels over Mud Creek on East 5th Street. This bridge was built in 1915 with plans created from a design by the Iowa Highway Commission. In the National Register of Historic Places nomination form, it...
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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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Exciting Activities for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway

We have been very busy with various projects that pertain to the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway! We are excited to share this update with you!  The Byway has created a new 52-page brochure that highlights the six intrinsic qualities that compose a Byway. The qualities are: Archaeological, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational, and Scenic. We are featuring many ideas for the traveler to "see" and "do" along the route, but know that there are many more. If you travel the Byway, please share your experiences on our Facebook page and let us know what you found interesting, fun, and informative. The brochure should be coming back from the printer any day and we are excited to share it at the Iowa State Fair when the Iowa Byways hosts their first-ever booth under the Grandstands. Different Byways will be featured during the 11-day event, with the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway there 3.5 of those days. The DeWitt Chamber, the Greene County Chamber and possibly other...
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Learning and Sharing About the Byway

The Corridor Management Plan is coming along nicely. From our community input meetings, reviewing city comprehensive plans, and discussions with officials in communities and counties along the Byway we certainly have an exhaustive amount of information and ideas to make a very detailed living document. I have kept my nose to the grindstone for a while now and did come up for air last week when I took a few days off. The second day back, I attended the Travel Federation of Iowa’s Legislative Showcase at the State Fairgrounds. This was the first event I attended last year when I began as the coordinator of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway. I know SO much more about the Lincoln Highway and Byways in general than I did last year at this time. I was able to talk about the Lincoln Highway and the Iowa Byway program to the legislators as they passed by the Iowa Byways' booth and encouraged them to continue...
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