AApril 13, 2019
Belle Plaine Area Museum
Belle Plaine, Iowa
Officers and Consuls in Attendance
Vice-President: Mary Preston
Treasurer: Joyce Ausberger
Secretary: Jan Gammon
State Director: Dean Parr
Cedar County: Joe Goodlove
Linn County: Rex Martin
Benton County: Mike Kelly
Marshall: Harlan Quick
Boone County: John Fitzsimmons
Greene County: Joyce Ausberger
Others in Attendance: Bob Ausberger, Jeannie Parr, Brad Boustead, Garry Hevalow, Mitch Malcom, Charles Betz, Colleen Davis, Van Becker, Bev Becker, Bill Paeth, Jeff Morrison, Frank Haker, Peggy Schott, Allison Hicks, Bev Winkie, Jen Van Ort, Francis Boggus, Rita Hart, and Bill Sankot
Called to Order: Mary Preston, Vice- President, called the meeting to order at 9:30. Those in attendance introduced themselves. Mitch Malcom welcomed the group to Belle Plaine and to the Belle Plaine Area Museum. He explained the order form for lunch from Subway. Mitch also had a card for John “Dick” Schild as he has had a stroke.
Secretary Report: Jan Gammon had sent out the minutes prior to the meeting and brought copies. Dean Parr made a motion to accept the minutes. Van seconded and the motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report: Joyce Ausberger gave the Treasurer’s report and said the 501(c)(3) status has been restored, thanks to Meredith. Interest from the Jeff Benson fund is received twice a year. Paul Schubert sends a portion of national dues out to states quarterly. The largest expense is for Meredith who does the newsletter, website, and Facebook and Joyce would like to thank her for her great work.
Membership Report: Dean Parr said we have one new National member. National membership is up and they have run out of Forums to give to new members. Our totals are 74 Iowa, 165 National, 24 Comp, 11 Life, and 23 Merchant for a total of 297. Dean is unsure how to handle Merchant members as county consuls were to go back out and get renewals and most would have expired by now. Barbara Hackfort and Cathie Nichols have both been out trying to get new members and renewals. The Merchant Membership is $80 and they will get a business a window sticker and be listed on the website. Joyce passed out Iowa membership forms and Greene County Brochures.
Director’s Report: Dean Parr said a survey will be sent out asking the membership what is important along the entire route. The board is considering sending the Forum out electronically as it is getting more and more expensive to mail. There is one international member and sending each Forum overseas costs $70 – more than the membership fee. The national treasury is down $10,000 from the New Jersey Conference not filling enough rooms at the hotel complex. We had voted to donate $500 if other states would do the same. Since other states may not have much in their treasury, Joyce suggested that we ask for $500 from the other states together and we will give the $500.
The 2019 Conference will be in Rock Springs, WY and the 2020 in Illinois (not sure on exact location), and 2023 in Nebraska. The years 2021 and 2022 are open yet. Joyce said Conference this year costs $225 per person and felt it was pretty low cost and encouraged others to go to Wyoming.
Open Officer and Consul Positions: Jan Gammon read an email from Cathie Nichols. She is resigning as President of this group due to pancreatic cancer. She had surgery the day before this meeting in Iowa City and will be there for a week, then home to recover for a few months. She will start extensive chemotherapy and plans to return to ILHA meeting s next year. She requests cards and letters to help her get through this process. Members can find her address in the Membership directory.
Mary Preston agreed to step into the Presidency position for the rest of Cathie’s term and when Cathie returns, she can be president again and Mary will go back to Vice-President. We are still looking for a Consul in Pottawattamie County and need to contact Teresa Keairnes in Crawford to verify her position.
Hometown Pride: Francis Boggus and Rita Hart talked about the Wapsi Bridge project that Cathie Nichols has been working on. The Hometown Pride groups in Wheatland and Calamus are working on trail projects and would like to work with the ILHA. Rita would like to organize a large partnership group including the county, DNR, County Conservation, etc. Francis said it takes about $400,000/mile for an all-purpose recreational trail, which would be about $1.5 million for the total trail. The ILHA supports this project and can offer letters of support and Prairie Rivers of Iowa can help apply for grants. Mike Kelly thanked Rita and Francis for taking this on and said he has video of old cars crossing the Calamus Creek Bridge (eastern bridge of the three).
City of Clarence: Jen Van Ort, from the Clarence Main Street program, presented about a crosswalk program they are beginning in Clarence. There are currently no crosswalks and would like to mark some on the Lincoln Highway with the LHA logo. Clarence and Missouri Valley are the only towns with original Lincoln Highway as Highway 30 – going right through their downtowns. Clarence is looking for traffic calming measures. LHA National Board approved this and Nevada’s request to use the logos through emails and on conference calls. Jen passed around drawings of the roadway and cross walks. The total for this project will be $463.80 and they have received commitments from FFA and other groups to do the painting, police and fire departments to block off the road while work being done, and received paint from Keep Iowa Beautiful (road paint more expensive than house paint). Other donations have left $290.27 to be raised. Joyce made a motion to donate $200 and Van Becker seconded. Motion carried. Checks can be made to Clarence Main Street. Jen said cost for future maintenance will be split between the City and the Main Street program.
Fareway Cereal Box: Bob Ausberger talked about a Fareway in-house brand of Granola Raisin Bran that featured Route 66 on the back of the box. He wondered why we couldn’t do this with the Lincoln Highway. Fareway is headquartered in Boone (on the Lincoln) and has stores in IA, IL, MN, NE, and SD. Jan had sent an email into Fareway headquarters to inquire about the process to make this a reality. John Fitzsimmons son, Sean, works at Fareway and it was suggested that we get support letters from all the Fareway stores across the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. John also suggested the Beckwith family in Boone (family that started Fareway) be contacted.
Quirk’s Cabins/Jefferson : Bob Ausberger reported that the property that once contained the Quirk’s Cabins on the east side of Jefferson has come up for sale. It has three buildings all with new windows and doors and good roofs. The cabins are gone now. It was last used for used car sales. As Bob reports, “Well, anyway, Joyce bought the property. I didn’t know anything about it!” They are not sure what they will do with the property. Bob Owens has a former Green Gables Cabin on his property that he would like to move elsewhere and this might work for that. The City is working on a plan to enhance the east entrance to Jefferson- which includes this property.
Old Business: Jan Gammon said the DOT has a form for groups to request usage of their Byway logos and the City of Nevada wondered if the ILHA wanted some formal agreement. Jan had written a sample, using the DOT form as an example. Dean would like the form forwarded to Kay Shelton Kozak, National President for her to review.
Clinton County: Cathie Nichols reported through email: Spoke with Rita Hart (our new member!) yesterday. She’s been out there networking for me. She spoke with Todd Kinney, our county engineer, who said he knows a bridge restoration company in Des Moines who can possibly restore the bridges to at least take pedestrian/bike/snowmobile traffic by placing new I-beams underneath the decking. The beams wouldn’t show from the outside, maintaining the historic integrity of the bridges, but would support the bridges. He thought it might cost $10,000-20,000 (for the company to inspect and give a quote). Rita asked if that might be an acceptable option for the LHA, and I said I thought it would be fine as long as the historic parts of the bridges were left in place. She’s going to tell Todd to contact the company, have them come and look and see if it’s feasible, and then give an estimate.
Rita is a member of the Clinton County Conservation Board and she’s been talking to them about supporting the project. She’s also been in contact with the local snowmobiler’s club, who used to use the old highway for snowmobiling and would like to see it open again. She’s been in contact with another group who wants the boat ramp accessible again and will support us. Also, Calamus is starting a Hometown Pride group and they have two projects they are interested in: improvements to their city park; and the old highway section. Since Wheatland’s HTP group also wants to work on the highway it will be good to work together to apply for grant money in the future.
I’ll be in the hospital the day of the meeting, but if I’m at all conscious I’ll be thinking about all of you and wondering how it went.
Cedar County: Joe Goodlove said a DOT project, from Lisbon to DeWitt, is available for comment at https://iowadot.gov/pim. Comments are due by April 25th. The project doesn’t say anything about relocating the road but does have maps. Joe also asked about the Byway signs directing people to the Wapsi Bridge area. Now the last bridge has been closed, Jan will take care of getting the signs removed. The town of Lowden will be dedicating the Boy Scout marker on Sept 1 and they are wondering about repainting it. Van suggested that it be cleaned and a clear coat put on. Original paint was about an inch into concrete and should not be painted over. Joe will be a speaker at the ceremony.
Linn County: Johnson Ave has a detour as the city is installing another round-about. Rex visited with Bob Grafton, Facilities Manager at the History Center. He asked if the ILHA would help line up a car show on June 15th. Rex will be out of town. The group did not feel like we are a car group and most car shows offer awards, etc. which this would not have. The ILHA will pass on this. State Center has a car show the same day. Dean mentioned that closing off 2nd Ave for the 1919 Anniversary Convoy vehicles is an idea to allow the MPVA to walk to places to eat.
Benton County: Mike Kelly reported that Rita has resigned from the Youngville Café and Russ, a volunteer, was to take over the kitchen having received a safe serve program certificate. Now he has learned that he has cancer. The opening day was to be soon, but will now be May 29th. They will close at the end of September. Not sure who will manage that. Some suggested Sandii, but she is now employed in Iowa City, working 8AM- 4PM on 3-4 week projects.
Tama County: Colleen Davis says Tama is excited for the 1919 Convoy. Charles said that he has talked to Brad Nelson, MPVA, and he will be doing a dry run across Iowa the week of May 6th.
Marshall County: Harlan reported that restoration of the Evans Café Building at 120 West Main St in State Center is complete, except for final touches. It has been restored with its original street façade and a second story after losing the second story to renovations in 1951. The State Center Development Association has had a lot of interest from those looking to purchase the building.
This month’s State Center Main Street event is the Spring Clean Trunk Sale on Friday, April 26, from 5:00-7:00 pm on East Main Street in the area around the Washington Township Country School and Centre Station Depot. Besides trunk sales staged in pickup trucks beds and car trunks parked along Main Street, there will also be a Lions Club Bar-B-Q at the Centre Station Depot, face painting, a bounce house, and a bicycle safety program from the State Center Police Department for the kids.
State Center is planning its 61st Annual Rose Festival to be held Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June 16. Events include the Rose Queen pageant, Rose Queen Coronation, a Grand parade, a Kansas City Barbeque Competition, food courts, and Extreme Fun Zone, a Kids Rose Zone, a Craft Show and Market, the Fire Department ‘s Water Ball Fights, a Master Gardener Workshop, live music, fireworks, and touring the of the Municipal Rose Garden. It’s Father’s Day Weekend so bring Dad and the family for a fun time.
Other upcoming Main Street events in State Center include the Lincoln Highway Associations’ 100th Anniversary Military Re-enactment Tour on Saturday, Aug 24; Watson’s Fall Festival on Friday, September 27; Halloween Trunk or Treat on Wednesday, October 30; and an Old-fashioned Christmas on Main on Friday, December 6.
Marshalltown is still busy fighting its way back from the July 19, 2018 tornado. There has been much progress in restoring the badly-damaged Courthouse, the Orpheum Theater, the historic Mowry-Irvine mansion, and other Main Street buildings. On April 23 to April 27, there will be a Rebuild Marshalltown Blitz, whereby 30 to 40 damaged homes will be repaired and rebuilt in a 5-day period. It is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity Iowa and will use habitat’s staff, the homeowners, local and incoming volunteers, and AmeriCorps members. Local churches will furnish food and shelter for the volunteers. Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to repair 100 Marshalltown homes this year.
Story County: Jan reported that the Reed-Niland Corner in Colo is open again. Bob and Joyce Ausberger, John Fitzsimmons and wife, and Jan Gammon and husband all attended the soft opening. Jan and Rex have been there recently and it appears to be doing quite well. Mike and Sandii moved out of the apartment last month and it looked busy the day they were there. The 1919 MPVA Convoy will come through Nevada during Lincoln Highway Days on Aug 24th and may be part of the parade.
Boone County: John Fitzsimmons reports that the Boone Historical Society has been reformed and some lifetime members, himself included, were re-instated. Charles Irwin, who used to run the museums has come back as a part-time volunteer director. There are many empty store fronts in Boone now that were once ILHA newsletter advertisers and Merchant members. Ogden had some really great Christmas ornaments up this past winter and the town of Beaver is falling down. John has some drawings out in the hallway today for people to look at. One is of Wapsi Willie who is looking for his family that was lost in a flood.
Greene County: Joyce said Greene County news was already discussed, so nothing else to report.
Carroll County: Barbara Hackfort emailed her report in. There has been a change in the status of the Santa Maria Winery here in Carroll. The restaurant part of the business has been sold and it is now Baratta’s Steakhouse. It should be opening soon.
Three communities in Carroll will be celebrating their sesquicentennials this summer: Carroll, July 19-21, Mount Carmel, July 27-28; and Westside Aug 23-25 (the eastern edge of Westside is in Carroll County).
Barbara has been working on increasing memberships. The following now have upgraded or begun National Memberships: Lincoln Highway Pharmacy, Juergen’s Chiropractic, Adams Bed and Breakfast, Carroll Public Library, and Glidden Public Library. The Glidden Graphic (Glidden’s newspaper) and the Uptown Sporting Goods (Carroll) have opted to stay with state memberships.
Crawford County: No report
Harrison County: Kathy Dirks talked with Joyce. Kathy later reported that there is a lot going on with the preservation/restoration of the log cabin. Gary, the jack of all trades and master of all in going in for major back surgery and will be out for 3 months. They have been busy getting things set up for the season, school programs, farmers market, etc. Kathy is planning on the next ILHA meeting to be in Harrison County, maybe in Dunlap or Woodbine. Stay tuned.
Pottawattamie County: No Report.
Committee and Project Reports
Newsletter/Facebook/Website Report: Meredith would like more event information so she can add to the website. She created 3 new looks for the newsletter and Jan passed those around. Members were to initial the backside of the one they liked the best.
Prairie Rivers of Iowa /Coordinator Report: Jan Gammon reported she will be receiving a grant from the Tama County Community Foundation for an interpretive panel to go in the Montour cemetery about Henry Ostermann and losing his life on a nearby curve. Work will be done this summer on the Youngville oil room project. She applied for a Federal grant for a project with Youngville and Prestons Station. The tri-fold brochure about the Lincoln Highway, 1919 Convoy, Ostermann (convoy his idea), Eisenhower, and Mamie grew into a larger booklet. That means it will cost more, so she reached out to American Legions along the Lincoln Highway to help sponsor the project. Interestingly, it is the 100th celebration of the American Legion in 2019 as well. She has connected Preston Station, Youngville, and the City of Tama with University of Iowa students who will work on varying projects including a comprehensive plan, historic structure report, site plan, and collection plan.
1919 Convoy: Jan Gammon has been in contact with Brad Nelson, MPVA, and has forwarded his contact info to ILHA contacts in key cities where he wants to make arrangements for overnights, meals, or breaks.
Tama Bridge: Some engineering work was done this winter and physical work should begin this spring /summer with hopes to be done by late Aug for the 1919 Convoys.
Montour Gas Station: Nothing new. City of Montour still working on identifying a group to take ownership of this property once restored.
Preston Station Update: Mary Preston is receiving paint from Keep Iowa Beautiful and will paint the concrete block garage first. She has a professional painter who has volunteered his time to do the painting. She is working on a state grant for Jennifer Price, consultant, to prepare the application for the National Register of Historic Places.
Herring Hotel Update: Mitch Malcolm, Belle Plaine City Council Member, reports the city has gone ahead with their nuisance/condemnation of the hotel. Kristine did have an independent group architectural group look at the building to give their appraisal of it.
Jeff Morrison has created a couple of blog posts about the Lincoln Highway in Belle Plaine. It is online at iowahighwayends.net/blog (then search for Belle Plaine)
The next meeting will be held in Harrison County. The October meeting was to be in Clinton County, but may need to be relocated. Exact locations for each meeting will be in the newsletter.
It was moved by Jeannie Parr to adjourn. Bill Paeth seconded. Motion passed. Meeting ended at 12:15 PM.
Mitch Malcom had picked up the Subway orders and the group had box lunches.