As seen in the 2018 Summer Issue
By Cathie Nichols, ILHA President
I have an update on the three bridges at Syracuse, between Calamus and Wheatland. I have finally tracked down the owner of the property we are interested in, beside the Wapsipinicon River and between the 1913 and the 1928 sections of highway. He is the same person who owns the boat ramp property, on the north side of the 1928 section. He said he has no objection to us adding picnic tables to the boat ramp/parking area, as it is already leased to the Clinton County Conservation Board (who also has no objection.) The property owner also is agreeable to our building a path between the 1928 and 1913 sections and building a viewing platform, as long as we can release him from liability. He has a lease with the CCCB to that intent for the boat ramp (but the CCCB apparently can’t find it so we can’t modify it for our use.) This project can move forward as soon as we get this nailed down, but we need legal advice ASAP. I have also spoken with our local DNR agent, who said the brush cutting by the pony truss bridge and painting the bridge would be fine with him. The county still has ownership of the actual roadbed and right of way, so I will contact them about weed control and mowing to see if they will do some of it.
I hope to meet with the owner of the Winsther Motel, a historic Lincoln Highway Motel in DeWitt, about a Lincoln Highway themed
room before our next meeting. There are lots of suggestions, from posters and pillows to a mural painter. I’m considering adding a one-year merchant membership to sweeten the pot. There were originally three motels on the Lincoln in De Witt and this is the only one left, so I hope I can convince her to promote the LH.
A special Country Life edition of the DeWitt and Maquoketa newspapers has two articles on
the LH. One is a general history article (featuring a Byway sign and a concrete marker), and one is about the future plans for the three bridges. Now that the word is getting out there, I hope we can get something done. Also, check our website for Clinton County events in June.