Hello! I’d like to introduce myself to those who don’t know me. My name is Cathie Nichols. I’ve been married to my husband, Norm, for 46 years. We were both in the healthcare field (RN & Pharmacist) and are now retired. We have two daughters, one granddaughter, and two great-granddaughters. We live in a 140-year-old Victorian house in DeWitt, in Clinton County, just two blocks off the original Lincoln Highway. I have been a member of the ILHA for fifteen years.
As a child, I always noticed the old roads that ran along the newer highways and wondered where they went. As I got older, I would get off the highway and drive on the remnants of the original roads. They were more interesting with curves, old bridges, lots of trees, and little towns. When I found out there were others like me who enjoyed the old roads, I was thrilled! I enjoy being an advocate for the Lincoln Highway. I’m always surprised at the number of people who live near the Lincoln and don’t know its significance.
There is a lot going on along the Lincoln Highway this summer. RAGBRAI, the annual
bike ride across Iowa, has made this year’s route partially along the Lincoln. Our members have planned lunch in Jefferson, root-beer floats at Reed-Niland, and an event in State Center. This is an opportunity to get the Lincoln Highway recognized by thousands of people who might not know of it, and some added publicity.
Speaking of publicity, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway has designed a children’s activity book for kids to use on car trips across the Lincoln. There are games, stickers for bingo, a section for stamps at places visited, and a reward for completing it and sending it in. The ILHA has voted to help with funding to get this book printed. It will be available at the Iowa State Fair in the Iowa Byway booth and at several sites along the Lincoln Highway.
In Belle Plaine, the Herring Hotel continues to make progress.The building is now stabilized and restoration is to start soon.The Preston family is also committed to restoring Preston Station.They have non-profit status now and a board of directors.The family will live on site, and after restoring the station, they plan to restore the motel and outbuildings.There are plans for a car charging station also.
The town of Clarence in Cedar County received a $100,000 Main Street Community grant.The money will be used to restore buildings on Main Street, which is the Lincoln Highway.
Youngville, in Benton County, needs more members. They are running a special this year for ILHA members-$10 for a two-year membership. The money will be used for upkeep of the Youngville Station and restoration of the floor
of the oil room so the public can see it. Anyone interested, please contact Mike Kelly.
In closing, I want to make everyone aware that we have vacancies on our board. County consuls are needed in Linn, Crawford, and Pottawattamie counties, and my promotion to President has left an opening for Vice-President of the ILHA. If you are interested, please contact me or State Director Dean Parr. Remember to renew your ILHA memberships! Thank you.