Iowa Lincoln Highway Association
Business Meeting Minutes
April 9, 2022, 9:30 AM
Lincoln Highway Museum, Grand Junction
Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 by Mary Helen Preston, President. Those in attendance:
President- Mary Helen Preston
Vice President– Dale Higgins
Secretary- Jan Gammon
Treasurer – Joyce Ausberger
Cedar County Consul – Joe Goodlove
Benton County Consul – Mike Kelly
Marshall County Consul – Harlan Quick
Boone County Consul – John Fitzsimmons
Greene County Consul – Joyce Ausberger, Dale Higgins
Carroll County Consul – Barbara Hackfort
Harrison County Consul – Kathy Dirks
Others: Bob Ausberger, Garry Hevalow, Shellie Orngard, Gene Rabel, Kay Rabel, Sandra Huemann-Kelly, Shirley Herrick, Gerold Herrick, Kathy Quirk, Dallas Edwards, Linda Borty, and Brad Boustad
Mary Helen Preston welcomed the group, and each introduced his/herself.
Secretary’s Report: The minutes were sent out after the last meeting and are included in today’s packet. Kathy Dirks motioned to approve the January 8, 2022, minutes and Garry Hevalow seconded. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Joyce Ausberger reported there is $4,092.30 in checking and $5,718.07 in savings. She deposited a check from the National Treasurer for $1,400. She will clarify with him if this is for one or two years of our portion of national dues. Check was also deposited from Jeff Benson Endowment for $1,245. Gene Rabel presented Joyce and the ILHA with a check for $1,000 as he lives in Minnesota and cannot be here to help with projects, but he believes in our cause very much.
Membership Report: Dean Parr sent in his report to Mary. We are down 15 members. Currently National – 98, Iowa – 54, Lifetime – 16, Complimentary – 23, for a total of 191. Carrol Stokesbury and Edie Hedagard are not current members, but are currently consuls. Sandii will contact Carroll to see if he is interested. Jan Gammon or Henry Corbin were suggested to fill that role if need be.
Director’s Report: Dean is using the ILHA newsletter article about the traveling exhibit for the Forum. March 3 LHA meeting via Zoom focused on the cost of printing the Forum. Considering scaling back to 40 pages. Franklin Grove is open as of April 1 and has new volunteers. The LHA grant program needs updated. Bob is/was on that committee.
Clinton County Consul
Position is still open. Shellie suggested Steve Rolling to fill role. She will reach out to Steve to inquire his interest.
Shellie Orngard has been talking to Todd Kinney, Clinton County Engineer, about the middle Wapsi Bridge (overflow). The deck needs replaced and none of existing bridge can be reused. Will need to build a new bridge. This would give access to boat ramp and where the ILHA wanted to develop with picnic tables, interpretive panels, and a trail. Prairie Rivers would like to get a second opinion on the bridge and use the Eureka Bridge as an example. Shellie has also talked with the Army Corps of Engineers and requested ILHA members send letters to both Todd and the Corps letting them know our opinions.
There is a programmatic agreement with the DOT that this area is historic and is the most intact Lincoln Highway in Iowa. A MOU has been written and a National Register of Historic Places application work had been started years ago that might be revisited.
Joe Goodlove said some of the locals would just prefer the westernmost bridge be removed as it hangs up logs and debris during flooding, which happens often. Then everything backs up to the north. Joe is also concerned about the Byway signage that directs travelers back there from Highway 30. Jan Gammon had spoken to Todd Kinney and taken him loop signs to add when the middle bridge was still operational. He needs to take down the byway signs and move them to the next gravel to the west to connect to the Lincoln Highway as it heads west to Wheatland.
Hometown Pride is also working in the area on trails that could connect to the trail the ILHA wants to create.
Many ILHA members and others had written to the Tama City Council letting them know how important this bridge is to Lincoln Highway history. Talk was to move the bridge to the nearby park but the engineer now on the project said it would never make that short move. The Council voted to for the State to let bids this summer for the work, using a wider net.
The bridge did have a weight limit, but it was never enforced and now the sign is down. Both the paper mill and packing plant ask their trucks to go a different route, but most do not comply and go over the E 5th St Bridge instead.
Byway Signs and Name
The DOT is talking to their communications team about the name for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and the addition of the word “National” to it. They are considering additional signs with the word “National” on it rather than manufacturing all new signs (about 1200 of them). The name and the sign logos are trademarked.
Clinton County: Nothing further report.
Cedar County: The City of Clarence would like to use the LHA logo on street light banners. Joyce moved that ILHA approve this, Jan Gammon seconded. Motion carried. It will then be taken to Kay Shelton, National President, for her approval.
Joe Goodlove had asked about a sign near the Lowden Hotel regarding the Hoover Highway. He found it was installed by the Hoover Alliance in 1992. They have dissolved. The City took it down and Joe is going to ask for it. It is a bronze sign with raised lettering like the sign in West Branch.
Clarence is pushing for lots of functions and promotes its affiliation with the Lincoln Highway. Stanwood’s motel on the Lincoln Highway has the second story removed and by summer, it will probably be all down.
The DOT and communities had agreed the Cedar County Highway 30 widening project would be a Super 2 (with a lane for slower traffic to get passed at select sections of the highway.) Now they have been pressured to consider a Rural 4 (4 lane with all roads and driveways having access with no overpasses, etc.) or make it a regular 4-lane.
Linn County: Rex emailed his report. He found another concrete marker at the Antique Auto Museum in Coralville. He gave this info to Gene Rabel who is cataloging all the markers across the nation. This museum has many consignment cars on display and all cars run. Gene visited the guy who donated it. He lives between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, off I380, and has one on his property too.
Benton: Mike Kelly reported the Youngville had a reorganizational meeting. They have been closed for 2 years due to Covid and decided to open for lunch on Tuesdays from June 2 to the end of September. They will serve hamburgers/sandwiches, root beer floats, and pies (made by 92-year-old Joyce.) The yard still needs some clean-up and the garage needs rebuilt. The hope is some day it will be a Welcome Center, open more days and promoted effectively.
Herring Hotel: Bob, Joyce, and others created an LLC – Heritage Preservation and Restoration Partners, LLC so the organization can purchase and restore properties along the Lincoln Highway (examples for properties include the Herring Hotel and the gas station in Montour).
There have been some road closures due to construction, so getting to Belle Plaine is more challenging with Highway 21 closed.
Preston’s Historic District was closed for the winter, but still have people stopping by. The signs were removed, and the master plan created. Need to work on funding for restorations. Rex Jones in Selma, AL contacted Mary about creating a mural of Preston’s on his building next to the Edmond Pettis Bridge in historic Selma. He is 2nd generation of Cougar Oil. Took a few days and it was done! Mary is working with him to get some Cougar Oil memorabilia.
Tama: Allen Richards sent in a report that the Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival will be in early May. King Tower looks OK, except for the parking lot but it needs a savior. The original road to Chelsea is gone, but new road is big and nice.
The Montour gas station is still in the Kupka family hands, but are working on getting it to the Heritage Preservation and Restoration Partners, LLC created by Bob, Joyce, and others.
Marshall County: Harlan Quick reported on the events scheduled: State Center’s Rose Festival is Friday June 17-Sunday June 19. Will have a Rose Pageant, Rose Queen Coronation, Rose Parade, craft show, fireworks, inflatables, water ball fights, and extensive car show.
Monday, July 4 fireworks at Marshall County Fairgrounds. July 13-16 the Central Iowa Fair at the Fairgrounds. Friday, September 23, Watson’s Fall Festival will be held on Main Street, State Center. September 22-25. Octemberfest, held in Marshalltown on Main Street and November 19, 5-7 PM Marshalltown’s Holiday Stroll on Main Street. State’s Center’s Old-Fashioned Christmas on Main will be Friday, December 2.
The State Center Historic Preservation Commission is working on getting the Home Oil Service Station on the Lincoln Highway placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Story: Jan Gammon reported water lines are being laid between Ames and Nevada, still closing parts of the Lincoln Highway. That work should be done this spring. She talked to Amy, the Colo City Clerk about Reed-Niland Corner. The café and motel are closed. The new Colo Historic Association will be taking over the Station and use it as a museum, with open hours. The City is looking for new management for the café and motel. Amy’s dad operates the Ames Motor Lodge on east Lincolnway in Ames and feels he could help fill rooms every day, but it’s a question of who would occasionally clean rooms, do laundry, etc. Brad Boustad suggested any residential/business cleaners might be able to help.
Boone: John Fitzsimmons gave a presentation recently to Tall Corn organization about highway signs. The old Fareway was torn down and nothing being built in its place. The Historical Society building is open. There is an old 1934 International truck by Sparks station in Beaver if anyone wants to stop and take a photo of it after the meeting.
Greene: Joyce Ausberger introduced Ruth Quirk who shared some photos of Quirks cabins and her father’s (George Kennedy) Phillips 66 gas station in Grand Junction just west of the museum we are meeting in.
There was a nice article in the Forum about the beginning of the modern-day Lincoln Highway Association and Joyce is being contacted to do programs for the Questors and PEO. Grand Junction has received several grants to improve playground equipment, fire department, etc. The old Watts home burned down. The doorknobs in it were crystal. It had servants’ quarters and back stairs leading to the quarters, Watts was a Lincoln Highway Consul person. He had the bank which is now the museum we are meeting in. Joyce said the vault is still intact.
Dale Higgins said the J.C. Penny building in Jefferson is abandoned and needs someone to restore and repurpose it. He also reminded the group of the two Marsh bridges on the Lincoln Highway in Greene County- the “L” Bridge and the Rainbow Arch bridge. Mr. Marsh lived in Greene County but built bridges all over the country.
Carroll: Barbara Hackfort asked the group for $300 towards a shaped picnic table for the M and M Divide east of Arcadia. The Carroll Parks and Rec put in trees there years ago and the state provided the access. The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway added an interpretive panel last year. Conservation will pour a concrete pad for the picnic table. Arcadia and Carroll will each give $300 towards the $900 picnic table. The Historical Society will pay for engraving. Joyce Ausberger moved for ILHA to give $300 towards this project. Garry Hevalow seconded. Motion carried.
Crawford: No report.
Harrison: Kathy Dirks is not aware of anything in Harrison, Crawford, of Pottawattamie that is getting torn down. She is happy to report that every town in Harrison County now has a coffee shop and a boutique. Woodbine is working on adding 150 new houses. The Welcome Center is starting to see an up-tic in travelers.
Father Tom, Lincoln Highway Association member from Council Bluffs, had a postcard collection from his travels on the Lincoln Highway. When he passed, the person receiving those asked Kathy if the Welcome Center could use them. They are scanning them in, front and back (as he wrote on some of them) and they will be put in a book for all to see. Mike Kelly has a photo of Father Tom that he will get to Kathy to put in the front of the book.
Pottawattamie: No report.
Prairie Rivers of Iowa Report
Shellie Orngard said the Iowa Byways are working on a grant application for the new FHWA funding that was recently announced. They will be working on Experience Hub Interpretive installations with 4 panels, two on each side.
She has the new LHHB Activity Guide with her and passed them out to those who needed them. She also is working on a traveling display that received funding from Iowa Tourism. Another grant PRI is working on is a listing of Historic places on the Lincoln Highway and what condition they are in.
National Conference is June 20-24 in Joliet, ILL. Mary Preston has forms if anyone wants to sign up. They should also have been in with the latest Forum. There will be a car tour, Great Race, and a pre-conference drive of the Dixie Highway.
Gene Rabel sent an article in about the Egyptian Theatre the Conference will tour. At one time there were 13 water fountains there with inscriptions. One concrete marker was refurbished and placed by a water fountain. The museum in Sterling has an original marker on their grounds and one in storage. He also sent information to Jim Cassler about a statue in a park and a plaque commemorating Lincoln giving a speech there in July 1856 and spending the night in town. Perhaps Jim can use this info on the bus tour.
Garry Hevalow moved the ILHA order more map packs as we are running low. Joe Goodlove seconded. In 2013, 500 were orders at a cost of $3,450. Joyce Ausberger is thinking we should just order 300 this time. She does not have a new quote, but when she gets it, will email everyone to approve.
Mary Preston asked everyone to send in info for the newsletter- Youngville’s vision, National Conference, Hoover plaque, NRHP application for Home Oil, Montour Station, Marsh Bridges, Concrete markers, etc. All of this would make for good articles for the ILHA newsletter.
Adjournment: Garry Hevalow moved, Jan Gammon seconded, and Mary Preston adjourned the meeting at 12:25 AM. The group was invited to tour the Green Gable Cabin next door and have lunch at the 30 Yard Line, just east of Casey’s. July meeting is tentatively at Youngville.
Jan Gammon, ILHA Secretary