Called to Order: John Fitzsimmons called the meeting to order at 9:37 AM.
Secretary Report: The minutes were e-mailed out and some hard copies were available. Cathie had one minor correction about Santa Maria Winery and it should read “The Santa Maria Winery is concentrating on producing wine, but will also be available as an event center for meetings and programs.” Jan will make this change and it was moved by Joyce to accept the secretary report with that correction. It had a second and the motion passed.
Membership Report: Dean Parr said we have 5 new Iowa members and 3 new National to make a total of 292 members. We have 24 Complementary, 23 IMM, 61 Iowa only, 12 Lifetime, and 172 National.
State Director Update: Dean gave Joyce a framed “Certificate of Existence” from the Iowa Secretary of State to hang in the ILHA museum. Brennan Dolan at the IDOT would like a copy of the case study regarding the Eureka Bridge to use in the DOT rewriting the process for state/federal funds. Dean had a Proclamation from Denison regarding the National Conference. He gave it to Joyce to frame and hang in the museum. He also has a letter from Nationals awarding us the $3,000 for the Tama Bridge. He will hand onto it for now. Jan will write a letter and Dean will edit and sign it to request the funds be sent to us. Brad asked if anyone has researched the plaque on the bridge from a company in Strawberry Point that built it. He wondered if the company or its remains still exists. No one has, but should be looked into.
Brian Suen, Nevada Director, sent Dean a link to an article in a motorcycling magazine. It is a few years old, but we did share it on the website. It has about 4 paragraphs of Iowa info and about 4 photos from Iowa. Bryan would like a blurb in the next newsletter about this- with the link to get to the full article.
Director at Large Report: Van commented that the LHA group really liked the Boulders facility and is happy the Boone, Iowa is getting a new Boulders motel soon. The Cedar Rapids route is a mess. Mount Vernon Road is getting redone and a bypass on the west side of town will connect to #100. In the Bohemian Alps in Tama County, light grading has been done almost to the John Ernst Winery (which is no longer and the grape vines have been removed.) This is to make way for the 4-lane.
The next conferences are in New Jersey (2018), Wyoming (2019) and Joliet, Ill (2020)
Newsletter Report: Please send in articles, events, and photos. They can also be used on the website. Kristine would like the next newsletter deadline. Jan will get that to her.
Website Report: Same as above for newsletter. Send info in- especially events- and Meredith will get them posted.
2017 Iowa Motor Tour Update: Bryan said 20 people went on the tour. They had good weather and good times. Joyce wondered if he submitted an article to the Forum. Dean said Bryan should go ahead and submit it. He had some funds leftover from 2016 tour that he used towards the 2017 tour. He is still in the black on this. He has some people from other groups that might join in- like a Mustang Club
Prairie Rivers of Iowa Corridor Management Plan: Jan reported that they are still waiting to hear on the ArtPlace America grant to do work at Preston’s Station in Belle Plaine, Reed-Niland in Colo, and Youngville.
She and the other Byways had a booth at the Iowa State fair. They gave out 2200 Iowa Byway brochures and many Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway brochures, as well as ILHA brochures and newsletters.
Jan shared information from Cathie Nichols that she has located the two ladies who own land on the south side of the Lincoln Highway, near the west Wapsi Bridge between Calamus and Wheatland. They are not interested in selling the land, but have not said “no” to a lease. From Cathie’s email “they do have some (reasonable) questions before they say yes or no. First, they want to know what the liability would be if someone fell and got hurt on the trail- would that be our responsibility if we’re leasing the land, or would it be theirs? The second question is -how much of their land do we need? I told them we would go ahead with the park either way, but having that piece of land with the original highway that people could actually walk on would greatly enhance the history and experience for visitors. We need to figure out how far we would want to go down the pavement- 100 feet? ¼ mile? Once that is determined, I can go to the courthouse and (hopefully) figure out from the county maps how big that portion would be. Also, how would we ensure that visitors wouldn’t just go off into the distance, out of the portion that we would be in control of? I hope I can get some answers at this meeting, so I can get back to them reasonably soon. One thing I thought might be nice is if the ladies agree to our use of their property, we give them one year ILHA memberships so they can get the newsletter and see how we’re doing. What does everyone think? “
Jan shared a map of the proposed park. Van would like a copy of it. Joe thinks the saw tooth portion was not part of the Lincoln Highway. Joyce suggested that if we lease the land, we take out an insurance policy to be held harmless. Jan read information from the Iowa Bar website that “Renters, owners, or residents may be found liable for injuries they caused by negligent maintenance, oversight, or attack by pets; however, property owners who permit others to use their land without charge for recreational purposes may be completely immune to any claim for unsafe conditions, however flagrant.” Allan, being an attorney, said that anyone can sue anyone, but government entities cannot be sued. Joyce moved that the ILHA pursue the lease option and can agree upon acres later. She does not want to do a survey though as it is very costly. The group asked her to amend her motion to see if the DNR or County would lease the land for perhaps 50 years as they are immune from being sued. Allan seconded and the motion passed.
Merchant Membership: John asks the county consul go out and sell within your counties. Businesses in Greene County, Boone County, DeWitt, and some in Western Iowa have been merchant members for a year now. John, Joyce, and Barb will be going out and asking people to renew. We have made about $840 from this project with 11 members. John would like to see a pop-up or slider on the front web page to promote the program. Jan will talk to Meredith about this. John also wonders how many hits the webpage and merchant page get. Joyce suggests that someone from outside your county go with you to sell. She and John had Meredith go with them to sell. Prairie Rivers has extra member info and stickers if you need them.
Herring Hotel: Bob introduced Kristine Pope and her husband, Marcus. They have now transferred the hotel to the new 501 (c)3 –Herring Hotel Foundation. The building is on the National Register. The City of Belle Plaine has hired a structural engineer to relook at building. A report was done in 2015, but the City wants an updated one. The community has some doubters on their project and the Main Street program has not been as supportive as hoped. They are looking for 3 people from the Lincoln Highway Association to serve on their board. Bob is on the board already, but if 3 others want to be on it, he will step aside. The board will have quarterly meetings and will set up phone meetings for emergencies or if unable to come to the meeting. Kristine said the Vinton newspaper has been great in getting the Herring Hotel story out.
Bob told a story about the 11 block brick street in Woodbine. At first the town was divided on whether to save it or replace it. Now that most of it has been restored, the town embraces it. Sometimes communities don’t realize what they have.
Lyell said he was contacted by Paula Mohr, SHPO Office, regarding the Tama Bridge. She is asking what is “historical” about the bridge. He had emailed about 8 members prior to this meeting about her question. After some discussion, Lyell will respond that the side panels and location of the bridge (on the Lincoln Highway). The decking is not historical.
Clinton County: Cathie had sent her report in an email. The Wapsi bridge portion was already reported. The rest of her report: “I sold two T-shirts on the Motor Tour in August and donated one for a raffle prize as Joyce suggested. Tell her I’ll send her the money as soon as I find where I put it (I’m sure I’ll find it before Christmas). I went to the Wheatland Car Show this month and set up a table to recruit new members, sell t-shirts, and talk about the bridge/park project. Didn’t sell any shirts there, but got 1 new Iowa membership which should be in the mail. There was a lot of interest in the bridges. I brought my large poster from the conference, and a lot of people stopped to look at it. When we figure out what we’re going to do, I’ll schedule meetings around the county to talk about it to the general public.
I spoke to the owner of the Winsther Motel in DeWitt, the only original Lincoln Highway Motel left in town, about doing a Lincoln Highway themed room. I was told by people who attended the conference that the motel’s rooms have themes, and when they stayed there and asked about a Lincoln Highway room, they were told there wasn’t one. I gave him some information this summer about the importance of promoting the Lincoln Highway, as travelers like to stay in original motels. I gave him a map pack and several different pamphlets I had, and told him to get back to me if he wanted to do a LH room and I could help him with items. Haven’t heard back, but I hope to check back with him soon (it’s been a busy summer).”
Jan reported that she worked with Grand Mound city staff and Don Kent to get the Byway signs changed and their placement corrected. They should be moved now.
Cathie sent an email after the meeting: “While on the Motor Tour this summer, we made a stop at a place called Wisecup’s Farm Museum, in Harrison County. The farm is situated right on the Lincoln Highway. It is a working farm, with lots of exhibits to tour such as a country church and schoolhouse, antique farm equipment and vehicles, rooms set up as a doctor’s office, farm kitchen and parlor, and many things I’m probably forgetting. Wisecup’s does a lot of school field trips, scheduled tours and programs, and also walk-ins. One thing they don’t have is a Lincoln Highway marker. Mr. Wisecup asked us if we knew where he can get one. DeWitt actually has two—one on display at the Central Community Historical Museum, and one (just the head) that is currently stored at the wastewater plant since no one has a plan for it. I thought about asking the city if the broken one can be donated to Wisecup’s Farm Museum. Mr. Wisecup says he can replace the shaft, and would mount it along the highway in front of the farm. Before I go to the city administrator and ask for it, does anyone in the ILHA have an objection? I think it would be better displayed at the museum than hidden in the wastewater plant.
Cedar County: Joe shared the good news that the Lincoln Hotel in Lowden has sold. Schliff Corp owns a century farm and they plan to keep the hotel open. The manager lives in Lowden. Their ad in the newsletter expires soon, but the group would like for it to run one more time with a big “SOLD” across the photo. Joyce said it lets people know our ads do work. Joe said the small town of Clarence has been accepted into the Main Street program and had a formal dedication recently.
Linn County: Van says there was marker at Johnson Av NW but he doesn’t know where it went.
Benton County: Sandii reported for Mike as he is out East. Youngville has a new governing board. He urges us to affirm support for them. It is $200 to be a lifetime member and that will go up after the first of the year. Their next meeting is Nov 14 6pm. Joyce says the ILHA gave $100 for a lifetime membership in 2013. Mike is checking with the DOT on the brown sign placement on Highway 30. They needed a kiosk open 24/7 to be considered for the sign, and the kiosk has been installed. The DOT will work on Benton County from Youngville west in 2022. Mike is working on some digital archiving such as copying Lyell’s resources. He will talk more about it at the next meeting.
Tama County: Allan would like to see the Tama LH Bridge closed to traffic, especially semis. There is a marker in Toledo they are keeping instead of placing on the Lincoln Highway. The DOT is starting to work in the Tama to Chelsea portion of the 4 lane. Drew Davis, a Boy Scout, is going to work on the LH Bridge Park as an Eagle Scout project. Allan later had John announce that there will be a fundraiser of some kind for the park/bridge.
Marshall County: Harlan’s report is as follows:
State Center continues to celebrate its Sesquicentennial through the rest of the year. We still have copies of our State Center Sesquicentennial book, written by yours truly, for sale at $10 each; proceeds from the book sales are going to the State Center Historical Society for maintenance on its historical sites.
State Center celebrated its annual Watson’s fall Festival on Thursday evening, September 28. It was the final night of this season’s weekly Famers Markets. We had live music, horse-drawn hayrides, a Bounce House, and face painting. In Watson’s Grocery, we had a pumpkin decorating contest, a sale of homemade pie, desserts, and ice cream, and a special presentation on :Memories of Watson’s Grocery Store” by Bill Watson II, which was videotaped by Mike Kelly.
Our next event will be our Old-fashioned Christmas on Main set for Friday evening, December 1. There will be a live auction, a silent auction, a chainsaw artist, horse-drawn trolley rides, open house in the various businesses, a craft sale, and an art show.
The State center development Association is restoring the old Evans Café Building on West Main Street, which is also the Lincoln highway. We are adding a second floor to the building to return it to its original appearance in 1895.
Work continues on the Centre Station Depot. The platform and exterior work are now completed and interior work is in process. We are restoring the wainscoting on the lower walls and bead-board on the upper walls and ceiling. We hope to have it completed, staged, and open for public viewing at Old-fashioned Christmas in December.
Marshalltown will be hosting their jean Seberg Festival of the Arts on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, in the restored Orpheum Theater on East Main Street, also along the Lincoln Highway.
On Saturday, November 18, Marshalltown will hold its Annual Holiday Stroll & Tiny Tim Festival of Trees along Main Street in the downtown area.
Story County: Sandii had the Reed-Niland station open for a few extra days this fall. It was not heavily advertised, but well attended. Had 3 car roll-ins this summer. Carroll Stokesbary suggested they be open for Trick-or-Treating. The Café had has some exterior painting done. They had a paranormal company come back with new equipment and she has a report she would share with anyone interested. There are some clips on the website. The station and kitchen see the most activity.
Scott reported that the neon at Reed-Niland is repaired. Lyell wrote a letter to the Development Group pointing out the need. Scott says locals need to be involved but sometimes outsiders are more effective. Scott sees the Burma Shave signs outside need to be repainted too. The NorthWoods tour came through this summer after the conference and they had good comments about the Reed-Niland. Hubbard moved a barn to Main Street after Scott and others planted some seeds a year ago. The Jefferson highway Byway signs will go up in 2018. Scott is resigning as Story County Consul and would like Carroll Stokesbary to take his place. Carroll accepted. Carroll has been a volunteer tour guide for the station and loves sharing the history with kids and sees the need to “awaken towns” to the Lincoln Highway and what it is about.
Boone County: John asked Jan to talk about YesterBoone. She had a Byway booth in the main level of the Boone History Center and passed out many ILHA brochures to gain the group more members. There were many displays set up in Boone, Ogden, and Ledges. They ranged from theater performances, music, BBQ contest, bicycles, aircraft, city maps, to homemade soaps. This was the first year for the event and it will be held again next year.
Greene County: Joyce gave the report as Bob Owens is riding a wine/dinner train today on Boone. She said the Museum is getting still getting quite a few visitors- many of them really excited about the Lincoln highway. One guy’s favorites are the UP and the Lincoln and here we have both! Joyce wrote a grant for $3,000 for signage in the east Jefferson entrance project. Signage will be near/around the marker there. The signs at the LH Garden and Moss markers will be installed soon. She went to a Jefferson tourism meeting and found out about this money left over that she could apply for. So she encourages everyone to attend meetings like this in your community and you might be surprised what will come of it.
Carroll County: Barbara sent in her report: “I have begun visiting the people/businesses who did not renew their LHA memberships and trying to find new members. Not much luck so far.
Manning is celebrating its Oktoberfest and the centennial of the Leet-Hessler farmstead at the Hausbarn Heritage Park today, the 14th. A full day of activities is planned. The brewery mentioned in the July report is scheduled to be in full operation by January. It is located on the corner of 5th and Clark Streets, just a block south of Highway 30.“
Crawford County: No report.
Harrison County: No report.
Pottawattamie County: No report.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 and the group was served soup and sandwiches.
January 13, 2018 State Center, Business Meeting
April 14, 2018- Cedar County, General Meeting