October 12, 2019
3/30 Golf and Country Club
Officers and Consuls in Attendance
President: Mary Preston
Treasurer: Joyce Ausberger
Secretary: Jan Gammon
State Director: Dean Parr
Clinton County: Cathie Nichols
Cedar County: Joe Goodlove
Linn County: Rex Martin
Marshall County: Harlan Quick
Greene County: Joyce Ausberger
Others in Attendance: Bob Ausberger, Jeannie Parr, Brad Boustead, Garry Hevalow, Van Becker, Bev Becker, Marcia Quick, Lyell Henry, Paul Walker, Sandra Huemann-Kelly, Bev Winkie, Melissa Hardman, and Steven Rohling.
Called to Order: Mary Preston, President, called the meeting to order at 9:31 AM. Those in attendance introduced themselves.
Secretary Report: Jan Gammon sent out the minutes prior to the meeting and brought copies. Jeannie Parr made a motion to accept the minutes. Dean Parr seconded and the motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report: Joyce Ausberger reported we have not received our portion of national memberships for this quarter. We received a $100 donation from Jim Cassler, one of the organizers of the LHA Convoy. The Museum in Grand Junction also received some donations. Joyce has some paperback copies of Michael Owens’ book about Eisenhower and the Convoy. They are $17 if anyone is interested.
Membership Report: Dean Parr continues to clean up the list of members and dropped those from 2018 that did not renew. We have added some new members, so overall we are down 1 since July. Our totals are 84 Iowa, 137 National, 24 Comp, 16 Life, and 22 Merchant for a total of 283.
Director’s Report: Dean Parr said the national treasurer resigned and John Jackson, secretary, moved into the treasurer position. So now they are looking for a new secretary. Let Dean know if you are interested. John Jackson and the board would like an audit of the books as it has not been done for some time.
Remember the next conference is in Joliet, Illinois at the Clarion June 22-25 (Mon-Thurs as there is a NASCAR race on the weekend).
Remembering Bob Owens
Several copies of the program from Bob Owen’s funeral were shared with the group. He was one of the Greene County Consuls at the time of his death. Several of the ILHA members attended either the visitation the night before or the funeral on September 17th in Jefferson. We will miss his knowledge, friendship and stories. He was a true supporter of all things related to the Lincoln Highway.
Open Officer and Consul Positions: Bob Ausberger will be talking to a relative in Crawford County to see if she is interested. A vice-president is also needed.
Merchant Members: It was suggested that National membership be encouraged instead of our own program. We can list all the businesses on our website that are Iowa or National members. They will still get a sticker for their window from Nationals and will not only get our quarterly newsletter, but the Forum. This idea might be easier to “sell.” Dean Parr said Barbara Hackfort found several of the merchants in Carroll County wanted the national memberships instead. Jan will work with Jackson, the intern, to change the website listing.
Lowden’s Lincoln Hotel Report: Melissa Hardman, owner of the hotel, shared how her family had come back to visit relatives in Lowden and she stayed at the Lincoln Hotel from an early age. When it came up for sale a few years ago, the family decided to purchase it and renovate it as a B&B. She gets a lot of reservations on-line and has many Lincoln Highway travelers wanting to stay there. It has a small conference room and four rooms to rent out. Card clubs and other organizations use it often. She would like more information to share with the travelers of other Lincoln Highway stops. Brad Boustead suggested she have some ILHA “Map Packs”. Joyce will get some to her. We are all invited to visit and tour the hotel after lunch.
Clinton/Cedar County DOT meeting: Joe Goodlove attended the DOT meeting in Clarence on September 19th. The proposal for Mechanicsville, Stanwood, Clarence, Lowden, Wheatland, Calamus, and Grand Mound are to create “super 2” highways. This means adding an outside lane for slower traffic in one section between the towns to allow faster vehicles to continue on before the slower ones merge back into traffic. These would be constructed both on the westbound and eastbound routes. The DOT’s traffic counts do not warrant a 4-lane anywhere in this section of Highway 30. In communities, they would need to create a middle left turn lane. It probably will not be a problem for any community, except for Clarence. Jan also attended the meeting (which was just displays and maps laid out with DOT staff to answer any questions). She saw quite a few “Highway 30 Coalition” members with lapel pins indicating their involvement in that group. They want Highway 30 to be a 4-lane across the state. Jan feels the DOT is holding these meetings to get a feel for all the resident opinions and not just the organized group.
Clinton County: Cathie Nichols had received a feasibility study on the Wapsi Bridge created by Calhoun-Burns and Associates from Des Moines. Todd Kinney, Clinton County Engineer, had requested this report and the folks from Calhoun must have made their report from photographs as they admitted they did not physically look at the bridge. All 3 options would only allow for pedestrian and snowmobiles and not for vehicles. The existing decking would be removed in all options. All would have a chain link fencing on the side instead of the historic concrete ballustrades. The differences in the options are: #1 ($2,130,000) a new 8- inch reinforced concrete deck would be placed on the entire length of the deck; 2 ($2,010.00) a 4-inch thick timber plank deck installed the entire length; and #3 ($1,590,000) Narrower width created for the approach spans, requiring fewer new beams.
Cathie says the decking is horrible, but the concrete railings are not that bad. She would like a second opinion. Mary Helen Preston suggested that she contact the Kristen Vander Molen, State Historical Preservation Office, and see if a Technical Advisory Network (TAN) person could come out to evaluate and give guidance. Jan said Tama is using Shuck-Britson Engineering firm for the Lincoln Highway Bridge. They may be of assistance too.
Cedar County: Joe Goodlove reported that Clarence painted four crosswalks (on 2 streets) with the Lincoln Highway logo. An article about it is in the newsletter. September 1st there was a ceremony commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Historical Society and celebrated the dedication of the Boy Scout marker. Joe also reported that since the bypass completed around Lisbon, the original Lincoln Highway is gone now.
Linn County: Rex Martin created an article about Freedom Rocks for the Forum. Cedar County’s is in Tipton and was recently dedicated. The MVPA passed through Marion and Rex talked with several of the people on it. One guy, Johnny Rossman, had a map on his hood and asked people to point to where they are. He also has videos on YouTube about his experience- one per day. There are too many to list the links, so google for them instead.
There is a Boy Scout marker that was removed from a 103-year old lady’s yard after she passed away and the family was going to sell the home. A family member decided to live there, so they will reinstall it a few feet where it was originally placed.
Benton County: Mike, Van, and Sandii were at Youngville when the MVPA Convoy came through. Mike and Sandii attended a dedication of the Larry Schlue Sound Park in Belle Plaine. Youngville served 1100 meals this year. The oil room project there is nearing completion. Re-roofing with shingle replacement close to the original shingles will be happening soon. Road construction in the area continues and the entrance to Youngville changed a bit. Mike and Sandii are co-chairing the Jefferson Highway Conference to be held June 3-6 in Mason City.
Tama County: No report. Jan said the bridge work was postponed until the 2 Convoys came through this year. Work will happen in 2020. Prairie Rivers of Iowa connected the City of Tama with the University of Iowa who will help create a new comprehensive plan for the community.
Marshall County: Harlan said Marshalltown held their annual Oktemberfest on September 1st. The event returned to Main Street this year after being moved to the Marshall County Fairgrounds last year due to extensive tornado damage along Marshalltown’s Main Street, which sites on the original Lincoln Highway. Folks were happy to see floats, the Bobcat Marching Band, and politicians running for office, all come marching down Main Street once again.
Marshalltown’s next upcoming event is on Saturday, November 9th. Marshalltown will celebrate hometown starlet, the late Jean Seberg, at their “Swingin’ 60s Seberg FUNDraiser”, to be held at the Orpheum Theater on East Main. The event runs from 7 to 10 PM.
Later in November, they’ll host Marshalltown’s Annual Festival of Trees, also held in the restored Orpheum Theater on East Main. That date is Saturday, November 23rd.
In State Center, restoration efforts continue along the historic Main Street. We have now finished restoring the 1895 Evans Café Building. We sold the building, and the new owner will be moving to town to live upstairs on the second floor, which was reconstructed; the second story was removed in 1951. The retail area downstairs will be the new home of the Pink Pedal, a ladies’ fashion boutique.
Sale of that building has allowed us to move next door to the Holsworth Building, a double-front, one-story building, also constructed in 1895 after the devastating fire that burned out the entire city block, leaving one lone building at the end of the block.
Another business has come to our Main Street, a dog grooming business is now located in the original Central State Bank Building at the corner of West Main and South First Avenue. The bank building was built in 1902, so it’s one of our “newer” buildings.
We just held our Watson’s fall Festival on Friday, September 27th. Rain, however, spoiled much of our festivities.
We have an upcoming event, Old-fashioned Christmas on Main, set for Friday evening, December 6, from 5 to 7 PM on State Center’s Main Street. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, open houses in local businesses, and auction, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus for the kids in Watson’s Grocery Store.
Story County: Jan reported that the Niland Café in Colo is doing good business. The City of Nevada had a ribbon cutting at the Lincoln Jefferson Highways Heritage Park outside the City Hall while the LHA Convoy came through on September 7th. The City is also getting 2 interpretive panels (Prairie Rivers of Iowa is doing the design work). Also added to the park will be four banners with both Highway colors/names and a granite reproduction of a Boy Scout Marker. The city committee painted highway logos on the utility poles and installed new street signs with both logos on them. The old street signs with “LINCOLN HWY” in white letters on green background are for sale for $100. Jan had some on-hand for those interested.
Boone County: No report. John Fitzsimmons is doing a Civil War re-enactment.
Greene County: Joyce is going to miss Bob Owens and she will be looking for a replacement, though hard to do, to be the other Greene County Consul. Joyce said people were confused with the 2 convoys, expecting both to be military. They served 65 meals at Grand Junction Community Center when the LHA Convoy came through. At the Greene County Museum in Jefferson, 80 people stopped during the 2 convoys for free drinks and free cookies.
Jefferson is a Main Street Community and two weeks ago, they celebrated the opening of the Rural Forge- an initiative through Pillar Technologies, a San Francisco software company. A tri-angular area between Perry, Boone, and Carroll, with Jefferson being in the center, will offer training in software to grade school on up including college classes. This will also include internships. Students, who do well, will be guaranteed a job upon graduation. They hope to hire 30 people at a $60,000 salary.
Carroll County: Barbara Hackfort emailed her report in. She has had a good response from the article she submitted for the newsletter. She talked to one of the high school boys who worked for the Pratts during the summer months and also found out that the Pratt’s niece and nephew come back to Glidden every summer.
Charlie Maguire’s song about Robert Capa’s story starts with the mentioning of the Lincoln Highway. Go to Charlies’ website at charliemaguire.com to find the song “Robert Capa Goes to Iowa.” The song is also at the end of Valerie Jardin’s Hit the Streets podcast #145.
Barbara has checked with the libraries in Glidden and Carroll, and they report interest in their copies of The Forum. Both libraries became national LHA members last summer, and will hopefully renew their subscription next year.
Barbara has also met with the City of Carroll about what plans they may have for the intersection of Hwy 30 and Grant Road. So far no plans have been made for that area.
She also offered to host a meeting sometime in Carroll County. It was unanimous to have her host the meeting in April, 2020.
Crawford County: No report
Harrison County: Kathy Dirks is going to her 40th college class reunion at Wartburg in Waverly so she is unable to be that the ILHA meeting.
There is no new news on the Highway 30 bypass other than she believes they took land acquisition for the bypass out of the extended plan for 2024 because of all the work that has been done and will need to be completed due to flooding. I-29 has now been closed three times so far in the area this year and is barely open now with it being one lane from flood water in some places between Missouri Valley and Honey Creek. Current projections are for flooding again next spring…..
Some of you may remember the Sunnyside Hotel and restaurant that was on the east side of Missouri valley. The restaurant has been gone for years and the hotel has been closed for years as well. Kathy noticed last week they have torn down the old cabin court buildings except for the office building. Time will tell if that will remain.
Pottawattamie County: No report.
1919 Convoy: There was great coverage of the MVPA in our newsletter. The next newsletter will cover the LHA Convoy as it hadn’t happened yet when the current newsletter was being laid out.
Herring Hotel: The City of Belle Plaine is open to negotiations regarding the future of the Herring Hotel if there could be a change in leadership.
Montour Gas Station: Bob, Joyce, and Jan have not talked to the Kupka family (Dustin) for some time. Sandii and Mike Kelly were there when the Convoy came through and there was a nice gathering of folks watching.
Quirks Cabins District: Bob and Joyce will talk to the City of Jefferson on their plans for the east end commercial district. Ausbergers would like to have someone fix up the original café and live in it for free if they will also restore the other buildings. John Fitzsimmons offered to come once a month or so and do sketching out of the cinder block building- have other artists work from there too. Melissa, owner of Lincoln Hotel, said she knows of lots of Californians who would like to move to Iowa. Ausbergers will also look into extending the National Register of Historic Places District to extend from Downtown out to this area or the possibility of nominating as a separate location.
Preston’s Station Historic District: Mary Preston said the lean-to behind the garage has been removed and they are building a new garage for her and Garry to use. They had to modify it to conform to historic requirements since they are seeking National Register of Historic Places designation (with the help of Jennifer Price). The cinder block garage was painted with paint from Keep Iowa Beautiful. Mary worked with Kristen Vander Molen at the State Office Preservation Office to get the help of a Technical Advisor Network (TAN) person to do a structural report for as many buildings as they can do in the timeframe.
Mary spoke at the Ostermann Panel Unveiling and helped with the LHA and MVPA Convoys as they came through Belle Plaine. They had 45 LHA Convoy people stop to see the station. She will also speak at the Byways of Iowa Coalition on October 17th and for a women’s group in town.
Newsletter: The newsletter was increased from 8 pages to 12 this time to accommodate all the MVPA photos and all the great submissions from the Consuls. We will try to go back to 8 pages next time and will cover the LHA Convoy.
Interpretation: The Henry Ostermann panel was unveiled on August 15th in Montour. There were about 20-25 people in attendance. There is a video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co3_9Kf7BI4.
Two panels (Lincoln Highway and Jefferson Highway) have been created and should arrive soon for the City of Nevada.
Plans are being developed and grants applied for to create a panel about a bowstring bridge in Yellow Smoke Park outside of Denison and for one panel near Arcadia about the M and M Divide- where rivers to the west run to the Missouri River and rivers to the east go to the Mississippi River.
Brochure: A brochure about the 1919 Army Convoy, the Lincoln Highway, Eisenhower, and Mamie was given out at the State fair, sent to Welcome Centers, attractions along the route, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Convoys: We created a video about the MVPA Convoy. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oFydR4PHbs
Cathie Nichols placed 1st in the 1963-64 Original Unrestored Division at the 2019 Galaxie Nationals in Cedar Rapids.
Rex Martin participated in the Swamp Fox Festival Car Cruise In held in Marion Sept 27-29th.
Rex Martin would like more brochures and information to hand out at events like the convoys. Jan said that people are very interested in Lincoln Highway information. The four brochures that have been created by the Byway in the last four years go very quickly at Welcome Centers, Lincoln Highway attractions, and Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. She had 10,000 copies created 4 years ago of the Info Guide with Youngville on the front and only has about 50 copies left. The others are a Recreation and Camping Guide, Junior Explorer Booklet, and this years’ Convoy one. They have all been going pretty fast. It was suggested that Rex get national membership brochures from Jim Cassler at the Lincoln Highway Trading Post.
Paul Walker lives in Wilton and works in Muscatine now. He has a drone and is wondering if there was interest in doing a video of the abandoned section by the Wapsi area west of Lowden. All agreed this would be great.
The next meeting, in January, will be held at the Reed-Niland Corner and the April meeting will be in Carroll County, with exact location to be determined.
It was moved by Lyell Henry to adjourn. Cathie Nichols seconded. Motion passed. Meeting ended at 11:50 AM. Those wanting lunch ordered off the Tin Cup menu. Those that wanted to tour the Lincoln Hotel drove there after lunch.