The Iowa Lincoln Highway Association met October 10, 2015 at Cronk’s Restaurant in Denison, Iowa with 21 people attending. Representative Steve Holt welcomed the group to Denison. He covers District 12 in the Iowa House and has lived in Denison since 2000.
The minutes and treasurer’s reports were given and approved. Joyce Ausberger, treasurer, introduced David Dahlquist. David has worked on Byway and highway projects across the state and was a good friend of Jeff Benson’s who passed away earlier this year. Jeff was an LHA member from Ames, Iowa and worked as a planner for the City of Ames. The Iowa LHA received $1400 in memorials in Jeff’s name and it has been added to David’s seed money to start the Jeff Benson Family Iowa Lincoln Highway Endowment through the Story County Community Foundation and will be managed by the Des Moines Area Community Foundation. This grant will be for innovative projects and programs, with 5% of the fund coming directly to the ILHA for perpetuity. Iowa taxpayers who donate to the fund will receive a 25% tax credit. Once the donation has been made, the Story County Foundation will supply the taxpayer with documentation for tax purposes.
Dean Parr gave the membership report. There are 26 Complimentary, 62 Iowa only, 10 Lifetime, and 201 National for a total of 299 members.
Van Becker will check into a request for a map change on the National LHA website. The area in question is around the Wheatland bridges.
Jessica Johnson, marketing director at Prairie Rivers of Iowa, gave a report on the traffic to the LHA website and Facebook pages. Suggestions of what members would like included on either page are always welcome. Jessica and Sandii Huemann Kelly, webmistress, encouraged the group to send in articles, events, and photos to Prairie Rivers.
Meredith Ponder was introduced as the LHA intern, housed at Prairie Rivers. Meredith is a marketing and management senior at ISU and grew up in Prairie City. Her first task was to do the layout for the recent ILHA newsletter. She will also be working on the website and other LHA projects as assigned.
Jan Gammon, Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway coordinator at Prairie Rivers of Iowa, has completed the first round of community meetings. An Economic Development Impact Baseline Survey is being conducted. Paper Visitor Surveys were given out to 11 locations along the Byway and that has been converted into an electronic survey. A Resident Survey has also been created electronically and a link shared on Facebook and sent to Chambers of Commerce, Historical Societies and other groups to share with their memberships. All members are encouraged to take the survey.
The 2015 Motor Tour is in the books now. Kathy Dirks reported that 21-22 cars were registered. Joyce Ausberger says that Bryon Osberg has a few T-shirts left and will be selling them for $10. This year’s tour went into Nebraska and the plan for next year is to stay within Iowa.
Deb Rothmeyer and Jeanne Parr reported on plans for the 2017 Conference in Denison. The group voted to have Mike Hocker from Ohio print the program. Deb is working on content and Mike will do the layout and printing. Deb has sold the back-page ad to Walmart. She passed out ad sizes and prices if anyone wants to help her sell ads. She is also looking into “Save the Date” magnets to be handed out at the 2016 conference.
Bus tours will be given during the conference with one tour going east to Ogden and the other going west to Elk Horn, NE. Routes should be locked in soon and timed stops finalized.
Mike Kelly and Jan Gammon offered to help with speakers. Deb has lined up the opening night speakers and Mike would like to do a “memorial” slide show sometime during the conference.
The BuyWay yard sale was reported to be successful. Participants said they had their best sales ever.
Joyce reported the gal in Grand Junction who was going to put in an ice cream shop has changed her mind.
In county reports, Joe Goodlove (Cedar) passed around photos of the Cub Scouts helping set the LHA concrete marker on September 1st in Lowden. Van Becker (Linn) says the “bizzarro pole” (painted pole with the colors all mixed up) is missing in Linn County.
In Benton County, Apple Days were held and quite successful. Gina Miller and Kristine Pope, from the Herring Hotel Alliance, are working on restoring the hotel. It will move from an estate into the daughter and son soon. First project is to repair the roof before spring. They are holding several events, like a recent tea and an open house on Nov 15 from 1-3pm, to keep the community involved in the hotel project. Gina and Kristine are organizing a support group for non-profits in a 4 county region (Iowa, Poweshiek, Tama, and Benton.)
Harlan Quick (Marshall) reported that he and Jan Gammon gave a presentation to the Marshalltown Kiwanis on October 8th. The group seemed to really liked learning about the Lincoln Highway. The 17th Annual Watson’s Fall Festival was held and the last Farmer’s Market is done. Now State Center is working on Christmas on Main, to be held December 4th. Another building downtown will be restored- the Evans Café building. It had been a 2-story building, but the second story was removed. Plans are to return it to a 2-story building.
In Story County, Sandii reported that a women’s motorcycle group will come thru in 2016. Last week 3 sisters, retracing their great, great aunt’s journey came through and the Nevada Journal interviewed them at the Reed-Niland Café. Their relative was Anita King, a silent movie star, who was challenged by Cecil B. DeMille, her director, to drive the Lincoln Highway in 1915 by herself. This was the 100th year of her trip across America. The sisters stopped at selected sites and tried to make it in 7 days across the U.S. They contacted Jan Gammon when they were in Ames and she was able to take their picture in front of the old Princess Theater on Main Street in Ames. Anita had taken a publicity photo in front of the same building in 1915.
Sandii also had more paranormal information from the experts who visited the Reed-Niland Corner.
Greene County has had several out-of-state visitors and even a 40 tractor tour group who stopped at the Grand Junction LHA Museum and garden. They even ate their lunch at the garden. Joyce mentioned the Portage Tire article in the newsletter. The sign that was uncovered on the side of the shed is in really good shape.
Joyce also shared the new Greene County Brochure that was created. Bob Ausberger gave content, John Fitzsimmons did the drawings, and Paul Ersham, LHA intern, did the digitizing of the drawings and the layout of text, photos, and map.
Carroll County will have a Consul now. Barb Hackfort, with the Carroll County Historical Society has agreed to this position.
In other business, the membership/ ILHA brochure needs to be updated. Please get changes or new photos into Joyce and she will work with the printer to get them reprinted.
Mike Kelly had a framed a restored poster. It was given by a man in NY and an article about it was in the last newsletter.
Meeting was adjourned.
The next meeting will be January 9th in Jefferson. Location to be announced.