Called to Order: Cathie Nichols called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM.
Secretary Report: The minutes had been emailed out prior to the meeting. Cathie had a correction on the first page- her name should be changed to Barbara Hackfort under the Secretary report as Cathie was not at the last meeting. Also on the first page, Jeannie said “Fareway” should be changed to Hy-Vee”. With these 2 corrections, Jeannie moved that the minutes be approved. Carroll seconded and motion passed.
Membership Report: Dean reports that we have 3 new national members and 2 Iowa members for a total of 297 members. That is 24 complementary, 23 IMM, 63 Iowa only, 12 Lifetime, and 175 National. Dean is not always getting notified when we have new members. He will work with Bob, national membership person, to get a better system. Dean will send out renewal notices soon.
State Director Update: November’s teleconference main discussion was the National Conference in June in New Jersey. Person organizing has done several conferences, so they are well organized. Dean says this is the best way to see the NY/NJ part of route. He thinks that is the hardest part to do. Look at the website and get hotel rooms reserved. It is a really good rate.
The treasurer is still having problems getting the new bank to approve using credit cards. Jesse has shut off credit cards at the old bank in Utah, so Jim Cassler is running any credit card memberships through his business, then sending dollars to the National treasurer.
The 2019 Conference will be in Rock Springs, WY
Sometime after the call, Dean was notified that Kathy Franzwa, editor of the FORUM, has resigned effectively immediately. She can no longer take phone calls or answer emails due to her Lou Gherig’s disease. Brian Butko has agreed to put the next FORUM together which will contain the National Conference information.
Director at Large Report: Van was not in attendance- so no report.
Newsletter/Website/Facebook Report: Meredith sent in a report. She would like members to send in events as that webpage is almost bare. Share stories or pics on social media as you travel the route. Mostly she is reposting others people’s posts, link to the website, or something from the past. We need more engaging content for the Website/Facebook and then can use some of that in the newsletter.
She sent newsletter ad reminders to those whose ads had expired and only heard back from Reed-Niland. Meredith will work on getting website analytics to John Fitzsimmons soon.
Prairie Rivers of Iowa Corridor Management: Jan reported that PRI did not get the large ArtPlace America grant, but is continuing looking and applying for funding to for Youngville, Preston’s, and Reed-Niland to restore, add art, interpretation, oral history, and repurpose with electric charging stations.
She is also working on research for the American Society of Civil Engineers Historic Landmark Award. The Iowa chapter will submit an application to their national group. It takes quite a while to review. There is no deadline, so app will be made when the group completes it. Jan is also working with Westside on an interpretive panel for the Eugene Kock Memorial Park.
Marshall County Historical Society: Michelle Roseburrough, Administrator for the Society, said they recently acquired the Mowry-Irvine Mansion (503 W Main) and will be moving their offices to this new location. It is on the Lincoln Highway and offered it as a location for a future ILHA meeting. The museum also had a LH marker sitting inside, and they would like to install it outside, along the Highway. Joyce said that there is a notch about 3 feet up on the base of the post that shows that part should be placed under ground and the other 4 feet above ground. Dean said it would be good to include a Boy Scout group when installing it as they were the ones who installed originally as that might make for a great photo/PR event.
Michelle said they hope to have a Tea Room opening in the mansion in the spring and will host a wedding there too. They are open for tours and will be moving the library over as soon as they can.
Jeff Benson Foundation: Joyce said that Margaret Elbert (Jeff’s wife) would like to see the first of the money we receive from this fund go towards a Story County Brochure. Joyce would like the ILHA to donate $250 to the Foundation. It grows at a higher rate than our savings and we get the interest off it anyway. It was moved, seconded, and approved by the group.
Wapsi/LH Report: Cathie said that she talked to Andrea Boulton at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. She was very supportive and excited about the Wapsi Bridge area, trail, interpretation, etc. that we are working on. She sent Cathie information about liability. Cathie will get the document to Jan and she will email it out to everyone. The ladies are in favor of renting the land for recreational purposes if they won’t be liable for anything. She will talk to them again in the spring after we all have time to read and comment on this information from the Foundation. Cathie’s other next step is to go to local foundations and ask for funding of this project. It was moved, seconded, and approved that we give these ladies a complimentary ILHA membership and send them our newsletter.
Herring Hotel: Kristine Pope applied for emergency fund through HRDP and has received it for a temporary roof for the hotel. They received the contract paperwork and will be signing off on it this week. Bev Winkie, board member, was in attendance as well as Bob Ausberger, board member, and new Herring Hotel Board member, Allan Richards. They are working on getting the 501(c) 3 status finalized, securing the west end (weather pending), and will begin debris removal soon.
They have several events coming up- their annual tea on April 28th, a car tour in early June from Belle Plaine to Reed-Niland. They are also working with Northwood Hotel in Northwood and the Park Inn in Mason City to create a Traveling Suitcase network of historic hotels.
Bob suggested that we apply for funds from the LHA for work to be done at the Herring Hotel. Jeannie moved, Carroll seconded, and the group approved we submit the application to Nationals.
Tama Bridge: Jan, Joyce, and Bob attended a meeting with SHPO, City of Tama, IDOT, community members, Tama Mayor and City Clerk, and city staff. Jan said the mayor and city clerk are new and did not know a lot of the history of looking for funding for the bridge repairs. SHPO seemed to be unaware that an Option and Add-on had already been selected by the city council. A guy from the IDOT’s Historic Structure Department thought he could put the group into touch with DOT funds. Jan said they had contacted Marty Wymore, the regional person who controls the funds available from the DOT. He suggested that private funds be sought for the project. If he put in with another DOT project (as it was too small a project on its own), it would add a lot of hoops, studies, and delay the project by several years. The group is to meet again, but no date had been set- perhaps in March.
Allan Richards, Tama County Consul, said it is labeled a Farm to Market Road and until they re-route truck traffic, it will continue to deteriorate.
Lyell wondered if we could apply to make the bridge a National Monument. We need to look into the process. Perhaps we can put something in the FORUM and get support from local legislators. Mike Kelly said that Debi Durham, From Iowa Economic Development, seemed supportive of historic structures when she has been at other events. Marcia Quick suggested we go to our legislator listening posts and talk to them directly about the bridge. Joyce would like to visit with 2 city council people prior to the SHPO/DOT group meeting in March (Harlan said if you meet with more than 2 of a 5 person council it is considered a council meeting- so 2 and only 2 at the small group meeting.)
Carroll suggested we look for other organizations affiliated with the name Abraham Lincoln. He will do an internet search and see what he can find. Perhaps they can help our cause.
Contract with Meredith: Joyce moved that we extend Meredith’s contract from January 1, 2018- June30, 2108 to work 4-6 hours per week at a rate of $14.00/hour. Lyell seconded and the motion passed. The group will consider having Prairie Rivers look for an intern after that.
Officer Terms: It was brought to the group’s attention that John/Sean/Amber’s presidency would end at the end of 2018. We need to be thinking of a new Vice-President as Cathie would then move from Vice-President to President. Joyce is willing to stay as Treasurer and Jan as the Secretary. If John needs Cathie to take the position earlier, she is willing to do so. She might not be at the next meeting as she is returning from Japan the day before, but she will try.
Clinton County: Cathie talked to the Winsther Motel about a Lincoln Highway themed room. Let her know if you have any ideas of what to put in the room. Kristine Pope said she is going to do a LH room at the Herring Hotel and wondered if these people would like to join in the Historic Lodging Association they are organizing. Joe wondered if a mural painted in the room would be better than artwork that could be stolen. He knows of an artist in Clarence.
Cathie said there was a head of a LH marker at the sewage treatment plant in DeWitt that she was hoping to give to the Wisecup Family Farm in Harrison County, but DeWitt did not want to give it up. The DeWitt museum has two and she will see if she can take one of those to the Wisecups. This would be a “lend” and not a “gift’ as we want it back should they cease to be a museum-type attraction.
Cedar County: Joe is speaking at the Historical Society and in Tipton about the Lincoln Highway. He would like to include photos of construction equipment. He does have some from the IDOT. Would like to tie his talk into Alex Park too that was near Wheatland. Lyell suggested taking to Hank Zaletel, retired DOT librarian, and Harlan suggested the University of Michigan archives for more photos.
Linn County: Dean went on a walking tour with a Cedar Rapids historian and said it was very interesting. Some downtown roads are going back to 2-way streets from 1-ways. The signs will be moved back to both directions on 2nd Ave. The medical area is going to expand and Cedar Rapids might lose more buildings. Dean drove down Johnson Ave and did not see the LH marker. Not sure what happened to it.
Joyce wondered if we could contact the CR boy Scouts again as they wanted to paint some poles with logo last year. We needed to get permission from Alliant to paint their poles. Dean will work on it.
Benton County: Mike reported that Youngville is having regular meetings. Hwy 218 will be closed in April, 2018 until Oct 2019 as they do dirt work, let it winter over, and then do construction in 2019. The original entry will be open until construction done then it will move to the north on 218 and come in from the west. Joyce Wheeler retired, but they are hoping she will make a few pies. The group is pushing for lifetime memberships. They have 13 life members now. Lifetime is $200 and they have 5 regular members ( $10.) Lyell moved that we give them $200 towards a lifetime membership, Carroll seconded and motion passed. They also have crocks ($35) and mugs ($5) for sale. They did put in new windows last year and fixed the back door. The garage and oil room will need work done.
Tama County: Allan said a Boy Scout installed a LH marker into the Lincoln Highway Bridge Park. It will get a plastic box put over it to protect it. They hope to get going on the flower beds in the spring.
Montour’s Maple Hill Cemetery has $750,000 in a fund to spend. Van has always wanted to do a memorial where Mr. Henry Osterman, VP and Field Secretary of the LHA, died in an auto accident. This cemetery is close by and would allow for cars to pull over safely to look at a kiosk/marker.
Marshall County: Harlan said the 150th year has come to a close. He has some books for sale yet ($10.) They will be putting a time capsule in the library addition’s basement. It is about 18”x18’x18’. Joyce suggested we give a map pack to put in it, so she gave it to Harlan. They will have an elevator added like the one at the community room. The reference section will become mostly computers. This all paid for with funds from a trust.
The Rose Festival will be June 15-17th. They hope to have the depot interior done by then. The exterior work is done. The Evans Café is getting a second floor re-installed. It was removed in 1951. It was a hotel and restaurant originally.
As said before the Mowry-Irvine Mansion was recently given to the Marshall County Historical Society.
Story County: Mike said Fish Frys will be going on at Reed –Niland Feb 16-Mar 31st. Pollack, slaw, baked potato, and corn muffins will be served. Soon the Strawberry/rhubarb season will begin. They will be closed Easter. Car roll-ins are June 12, July 10, and Aug 14. Carroll said he has turned the lights on at the station between 5-7 PM and gotten a traveler of some kind to stop and visit the station. He hopes to do more of this. Colo has started a Historical Society and wants to network with Nevada.
Boone County: Jan said there is controversy brewing in Boone County. The “Friends of Mamie” disbanded years ago and gave the Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace to the Historical Society. The Society has a main museum downtown in the old Masonic Temple and a schoolhouse and church to maintain. Last year the façade fell off the main museum. They had to do some emergency repairs and then worked on the interior of that building- redoing floors and displays. The Society decided to close the Birthplace in 2018 and perhaps to make it into a Bed and Breakfast instead- to generate income. The “Friends of Mamie” has kind of resurfaced as they are upset about it being closed and repurposed. They would like it back. We will see what transpires.
Greene County: Joyce is not sure what to do with left-over Conference T-shirts. She keeps lowering the price on them. It was suggested that we see if Sandii can sell some of them at Reed-Niland Café. Joyce has a card for everyone to sign for Bob Owen’s 91st birthday tomorrow.
Greene County has 3 markers up now- in Scranton at the water tower, Jefferson at the Deep Rock station, and in Grand Junction at the garden. The overpass is basically done and the road re-opened. Troy Siefert will help with some interpretation wording for a beam that was repainted and brought back to the Lion’s Tree Club Park. Joyce said the Lincoln Hotel, near Jefferson’s bike trailhead, has been sold.
Carroll County: Barbara emailed in her report- First of all, the Carroll Brewing Company mentioned in a previous report will hold its opening before the end of the month. The business is located just a block off the Lincoln Highway and promised to attract a lot of attention.
Secondly, the redesign of the Highway 30 and Grant Road intersection on the east side of Carroll is scheduled to begin this spring. The intersection is considered to be one of the most dangerous in Iowa, and the design will include east and west turn lanes to improve safety. It is being funded by city and state funds.
Lastly, the Veteran’s Memorial in Westside (Eugene Kock Memorial Park) dedicated to a native of Westside killed in Viet Nam has been completed. It is located on Highway 30 as you travel through town.
Crawford County: No report.
Harrison County: No report.
Pottawattamie County: No report.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 and the group was served box lunches from Reed-Niland Cafe.
Next meeting: April 14, 2018- “3/30” at the Golf Course, Lowden Cedar County, General Meeting
July 14, 2018 TBD
Oct 13, 2018 TBD