Welcome and Introductions: President Mary Helen Preston called the meeting to order at 9:32 am and welcomed everyone to what she hopes is the last ZOOM meeting. Those in attendance introduced themselves.
President: Mary Preston
Secretary: Jan Gammon
Treasurer: Joyce Ausberger
State Director: Dean Parr
Linn County Consul: Rex Martin
Tama County Consul: Allan Richards
Marshall County: Harlan Quick
Greene County Consul: Joyce Ausberger
Harrison County Consul: Kathy Dirks
Others: Penny Brown-Huber, Ty Rosburg, Garry Hevalow, Bob Ausberger, Allison Hicks, Edwon Yedlik, Wendi Winkie, Dusti Winkie, and Gene Rabel
Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the previous meeting were emailed out with this meeting’s agenda. Dean Parr moved, and Garry Hevalow seconded to approve the minutes. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Joyce Ausberger reported Story County Community Foundation sent us our portion from the Jeff Benson Memorial Fund. We also received our portion of national LHA dues.
State Director’s Report: Dean Parr said no national meeting was held. Not much to discuss as the conference this year was canceled. Main Street Clarence sent a request to Dean asking permission to use the LH logo on banners. Dean forwarded to Kay Shelton. Mary Helen Preston is on the national marketing committee, and she was told Kay is forwarding onto Jim Cassler at the Lincoln Highway Trading Post (official merchandiser of LH materials) to facilitate the banners. Dean also reported that the Mount Vernon/Lisbon police force would be getting new emblems for their uniforms. It will include the Lincoln Highway on it.
Membership Report: Dean Parr said there had been a significant drop in membership. We had 284, and he removed those not renewing since 2019, merchant members, and the 2018 national members not renewing. We currently stand at 203. 100 National, 64 Iowa, 15 Life, 24 Complementary. Dean had tried to get most of them to receive electronic newsletters to cut down on cost. He is having trouble getting ISU and DOT to renew memberships. Jan will send Dean the contact info for Emily Whaley, the new DOT Byway manager.
Allan Richards and Dean Parr both suggested adding a PayPal link to the website like Nationals has done. Allan used it just before the meeting and reported the process was fairly easy. Jan Gammon talked to staff at Prairie Rivers to add a PayPal link, which should be included in the website re-design/edits. Mary Helen Preston said National gives a discount if you pay multiple years.
After a short discussion, Kathy Dirks moved that the Iowa membership be raised from $10 to $15 effective January 1st, 2022. Rex Martin seconded it, and the motion carried.
Allan Richards moved that we set up a PayPal account, and Joyce Ausberger seconded it. Motion carried. We will still accept memberships by check and through the mail as some individuals and organizations prefer to pay via that method. We could promote the new fee and PayPal options in upcoming newsletters.
Old Business: We have two Consul openings- Clinton and Crawford Counties. Ty Rosburg is attending today’s meeting and is offering to be considered for the Crawford County position. He gave a brief background on himself. Denison County’s Auditor contacted him to see if he would be interested in this position. He is part of the Highway 30 Coalition and is active in Highway 30 development economically. His ancestors were homesteaders in Iowa, and he grew up along and traveling the Lincoln Highway. He has a trucking business and, as a trucker, traveled the Lincoln Highway in different parts of the nation. Ty is currently a Crawford County Board of Supervisor. Joyce moved to accept Ty as the Crawford County Consul, and Garry Hevalow seconded. There was no opposition, and Ty was accepted by acclamation.
Clinton: Van Becker had been in Clinton County and sent info to Dean Parr that the easternmost concrete marker located at the Clinton County Courthouse is now gone. Not sure what happened to it. Van has the GP coordinates for where it should be located. ILHA should look into this missing marker. Jan Gammon read three options the Clinton County Board of Supervisors (BOS) is looking into for the 3 Wapsi area bridges. The east and west bridges had been closed. They are now considering closing the middle bridge and not allowing anyone to access the Lincoln Highway as signed when becoming a Byway. The BOS is holding a virtual/in-person work session on April 14th at 6 pm to consider three options.
Jan will email out the meeting log-in information.
Cedar: Joe Goodlove reported in; he has nothing to report.
Linn: Rex Martin reported the concrete marker installed in Wanatee (Squaw Creek) Park was done so by the park ranger. On his quest to photograph all the concrete markers, Gene Rabel tracked this one down and suggested it be put on display. Gene has taken photos of all 70 in Iowa. Rex also said some of the interpretive kiosks were damaged in the derecho. They have tracked down the digital files, and they are being updated to use in replacements. New kiosks will be $5,000-$9,000. The Linn County Historic Preservation Commission has funds to do a few now. First, one to be replaced is in Thomas Park in Marion. The one in Haskell Park will be moved east to Cleveland Park but still on the Lincoln Highway.
Benton: Mike Kelly emailed in a report. Youngsville had a meeting. Mike could not attend but knows that the insurance settlement was received and inside work to remove the mold completed. The schedule is on hold for now but will re-access in July.
Herring Hotel Update: Dusti and Wendi Winkie have talked to a group that restored the Keosauqua hotel. They sold $5,000 shares to 80 people to raise funds. The Hotel became an LLC. Their city wrote a grant, and the LLC applied for historic tax credits. Darren Sellers, the roofer interested in the Herring, is talking to his lawyer and will meet with the city council. The city council wants to review some of the paperwork before the next city council meeting.
Preston’s Station Update: Mary Helen Preston announced that she would host an unveiling of the interpretive panel created by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway/Prairie Rivers of Iowa on May 1st at 10 am. It will probably be 20 minutes long but bring your lawn chair. Prestons’ will also host a Benton County Historic Preservation “1st Annual Yard Sale” on June 12th. Allison Hicks, from BCHPC, said this yard sale would include Shellsburg, Youngsville, Preston’s, depot in Vinton, and other locations. Booth space is being sold, and then proceeds are given to that host entity.
Tama: Allan Richards reported work on the new 4-lane is going well. The cutoff to Chelsea will probably be closed very soon. The Lincoln Highway Bridge Park will need to be cleaned up and flowers planted. He is unsure if the LH Bridge Festival will happen this year. Mary Helen Preston said she saw the 5K run was still a “go.”
We have not heard more from the City of Montour about their purchase of the Montour gas station and our help in restoring it.
Marshall: Harlan Quick has talked to Brian’s Collision Center, and his concrete marker is going back up. He takes it down in the winter to aid in snow removal and not damage the marker. The one by the school was removed for repairs. The Central Iowa Fair will be held July 14-17 and will include live entertainment, food, kid’s games, rodeo, and more. The 4-H Fair is being planned. Oktoberfest will be held Sept 23-26 in Marshalltown. The Marshalltown Raceway is open again. The 63rd Annual Rose Festival will be held June 16-20 with the queen pageant, parade, fireworks, craft/vendor show, and more.
Story: Jan Gammon reported the Colo Motel is up and running. The café is taking longer, and the new managers are not very forthcoming with an opening date. Nevada is continuing their infrastructure project on Main street north of the Lincoln Highway, including the Lincoln.
Boone: No report submitted. John Fitzsimmons wants to meet in person.
Greene: Joyce Ausberger reported that Darcy Maulsby is writing a book about food along the Lincoln Highway. There are several sites in Greene County that are in the Travel Iowa/Iowa Byways Passport program. The Greene County Engineer placed a brochure holder in the Lions Club Tree Park for groups in the county to put visitor information.
Bob Ausberger said they still have the previously homeless person living in the house at the Quirks cabin location. Bob will approach the Zoning Dept again to see if the Green Gables cabin can stay. Now, the Lincoln Highway is a National Scenic Byway. Previously Bob was told it made too many structures on the property. Bob has also been working on the installation of a Moss Marker interpretive panel. A triangular section of land needs dirt to fill holes and make a nice pull-off to read the panel.
Joyce added they have been working on the Grand Junction Garden, and things are starting to come up, and some are already blooming.
Carroll: Barbara Hackfort sent in a report. 1. Arcadia is planning to hold its sesquicentennial over Labor Day. 2. At a Byway Advisory Board meeting, Barbara told the DOT rep that is from Vail to Denison is quite rough and would like the ILHA to remind him of that. The area is also an excellent place to see eagles and their nests. 3. On March 20th, a family from Manila was heading to St. Anthony Hospital to have their second child. They had to stop on the west end of Carroll for the quick delivery of a baby girl. Barbara contacted them and has permission to reprint the news article in our following newsletter. Barbara will also put together a gift package for them with a membership.
Crawford: Ty is excited to be a part of this group and has been googling things to learn more about the Lincoln Highway and us. Denison hosts a BBQ Festival downtown and in front of the Donna Reed Theater on the Lincoln Highway. He wants to encourage tourism to Denison and Crawford County.
Harrison: Kathy Dirks reported Missouri Valley would celebrate 150 years on June 18-20. Info has been released about the parade so far. The road from Missouri Valley to Blair is being resurfaced this year. The Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center has been a site on the Byways Passport Program and has seen several visitors due to this program.
Pottawattamie: No report submitted.
Byway and Prairie Rivers of Iowa Update: Jan Gammon said there are ten interpretive panels in the current LHHB project. Woodbine, Yellow Smoke Park, M and M Divide, Eureka Bridge, Marshalltown, Preston’s Station, and Clinton are the panels’ locations. We are working on re-designing our informational guide and hope to have it out this summer.
Penny Brown-Huber congratulated Jan Gammon on her retirement on April 16th. Prairie Rivers has, in the past, offered the Byway coordinator to serve as ILHA secretary. Jan will continue in the position until a replacement is hired. Penny is hoping by June 1st, but this person might not be comfortable stepping into the secretary position right away. The DOT has hired a new Byway Program Manager, Emily Whaley, and Penny has a meeting set up to talk to her about the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway. Kathy Dirks asked if a celebration is being planned now the Byway is a National Scenic Byway. Penny and Jan have submitted a proposal to the DOT for an event on July 1st, and it is going up the chain for approval. Mary Preston thanked Jan for her work as the Byway Coordinator over the past six years.
Mary Helen Preston encouraged everyone to sign up for the virtual Iowa Preservation Conference held June 3-4. The cost is $25, and it will be recorded so attendees can watch any of the sessions they might have missed or re-watch any session.
Mary Helen Preston and Kathy Dirks would like more copies of the Map Packs to sell. Joyce will check her supply and send out what she can.
Future Meeting Focus to Advance the ILHA: Mary Helen Preston met with Penny and Jan at Prairie Rivers of Iowa and identified three ILHA goals to focus on in the next year. The three goals are:
The discussion revolved around these three goals. Dean Parr would like to see all county brochures or marketing materials to be cataloged and available on the website. Mary Helen Preston said this would help create a “brand” identity for the state association.
Joyce Ausberger would like someone to organize a state auto tour.
It did help bring in new memberships. Kathy Dirks said Eddy Hedegaard (Pottawattamie Consul) had an interest in doing just that. He belongs to several car clubs and brings groups to the Harrison County Welcome Center quite often.
Rex Martin feels membership is a necessity and needs to be discussed. It has taken him about four years to learn what he needed to know to be an effective consul. We need new people now to learn and be ready for leadership roles in a few years. He would like all of our information cataloged and available in one location. Joyce Ausberger has much information at the LHA Grand Junction Museum, but we need people to go there to access it. Rex was given a map pack when he first became a consul and wondered if Ty could get a copy as well. It is helpful with its turn-by-turn info. Joyce will get one to Ty using the Crawford County Courthouse address.
Garry Hevalow made a motion the three goals outlined be adopted by the ILHA. Harlan seconded. Motion passed.
Mary Helen Preston suggested we review the Mission and Bylaws before the July meeting. She will send out those documents and rework the July agenda to address Goal 1 and 2. Mary Helen had written up a short consul job description a few months ago. She will share that as well. Joyce will look to see if she has other information to send out for review as well.
Next Meeting: It was decided by consensus the July meeting should be held in person. Harlan Quick will check to see if the State Center Community Center above City Hall is available July 10th from 9:00 – 4:00. We will have a catered meal. Harlan will set it up.
Adjournment: Garry Hevalow moved for adjournment. There were multiple seconds. Meeting adjourned at 11:36 am.
Submitted by Jan Gammon, Secretary