Archive for November, 2008

Lincoln Highway author publishes on county fairs

November 12, 2008

hokanson_lh-bookDrake Hokanson, author of The Lincoln Highway: Main Street across America, has a new book out: Purebred and Homegrown: America’s County Fairs. He and co-author Carol Kratz (his wife of 29 years) traveled 40,000 miles across America, visiting 90 county fairs in 35 states. By day they interviewed and photographed; at night they camped among the carnies and the teens who were showing sheep, under the roller coaster and next to the chicken barn. They look beyond the stereotype of giant pumpkin contests to see county fairs as an institution that helped define us as a nation of free-thinking, self-reliant, community-focused people. They present the nearly 200-year-old county fair as perhaps the most traditional of all American celebrations.


The 13 chapters feature 93 contemporary color photographs (done on 35mm Kodachrome transparencies) plus 23 historical images.

Hokanson is also the author of Reflecting a Prairie Town, and with Kratz is co-editor of America from the Air: An Aviator’s Story (Johns Hopkins University Press). He is Associate Professor in Mass Communication at Winona State University in Minnesota; Carol is a Physician Assistant in family medicine.

Lincoln Highway candy store makes holiday treats

November 11, 2008

Kare Andersen of the fabulous Olympia Candy Kitchen in Goshen, Indiana, writes that they will be making their homemade candy canes and ribbon candy the day before Thanksgiving to be available the Friday after Thanksgiving. “The candy canes have five flavors — cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, anis, and clove. The ribbon candy is available in cinnamon and peppermint. We have seasonal candies like this throughout the year — we just got done selling caramel apples. We are coming into our busy season with Christmas and will shipping candy all throughout the U.S.” Stop by next time you’re in Indiana or shop online.

Olympia Candy Kitchen
136 N. Main St
Goshen, IN 46526
Phone: (574) 533-5040

HOURS (Eastern Time)
M, T, H, F: 7a – 5p
Saturday: 7a – 3p
Sunday: 9a – 1p
Closed Wednesdays

Lincoln Highway cafe temporarily closed

November 10, 2008

Colo sign 2Scott Berka alerts us that the woman who was running Niland’s Cafe in Colo, Iowa, had some medical issues and closed the cafe after Labor Day. The Colo Development Group is hiring a manager to operate it, hoping to reopen shortly after Thanksgiving. Winter days will be Friday, Sat., Sunday, then likely back to daily except Monday come Spring. The motel is still for rent at $49.99 per night.

Until the acafe reopens, those interested in renting a room should call the Colo Development Group office at (641) 377-2278. Once the cafe is open again, the number to call will revert to the cafe: (641) 377-3663.

Niland's outside new

Fisher Lincoln Highway monument in Utah update

November 7, 2008

Rollin Southwell sent an update on the monument he’s spearheading for Carl Fisher, father of the Lincoln Highway. It is planned for the top of Johnson/Fisher Pass on UT 199 between Clover and Terra, Utah. Architect Steve Ehninger recently announced construction and the dedication dates.


After a decade of planning, they are working on permits and approvals with hopes to be finalized by January 14, 2009. Construction could start April 9 and be completed by July 8. This includes a rock surround, asphalt paving, signage, and a beacon. Dedication is planned for August 12, 2009.


Read more at a site about the Fisher Pass monument or Rollin’s blog for more info on Fisher.

Senseless demo on Indiana's Lincoln Highway

November 6, 2008

Mitch Harper wrote on his Fort Wayne Observed blog about a beautiful house that will soon be demolished along the Lincoln Highway (IN 930) just east of Fort Wayne in New Haven, Indiana:

Its demolition will mean a little bit more of the historic record of the Lincoln Highway will be lost. In recent years, the demolition of the old Hoosier Courts motel and the Jefferson Consolidated School means that the structures which were familiar sights – and sites – to motorists traveling the Lincoln Highway are gone forever.


Above is a photo from Mitch’s blog – click to see it large. While the elegant appointments inside are set to be auctioned this Sunday, locals are outraged that such a demolition could occur. Here are some of the comments:

• WHY ARE WE TEARING THIS HOUSE DOWN?! I looked at the stuff up for auction – the interior of that house is drop dead gorgeous.

• You can’t build something like this today. I am so, so sad. Someone — please save this place!

I can’t believe demolition is the only option for this house.

Angie Quinn, Executive Director of ARCH, Inc., answered questions about designating it a historic landmark:

The Dr. Cowan House is eligible for the National Register [plus] … Municipalities and counties in Indiana can adopt a Historic Preservation Ordinance, which places some protections on landmarks like this…. Both Allen County and the City of New Haven have the information about adopting a Historic Preservation Ordinance, and ARCH and others have pushed for this for several years. Unfortunately, neither has adopted an ordinance at this time.

Phil, running Lincoln Highway, into Pennsylvania

November 5, 2008

runphilAs reported on October 10, Phil Rosenstein is running across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds for the charity of The Mario Lemieux Foundation, which does great work in cancer research and supporting families affected by cancer. From California west, Phil followed Route 66 but since Illinois he’s been on the Lincoln Highway. After 2,950 miles, he’s just reached Pittsburgh, with about 350 more to go. Below are his notes from the past few days, as he crossed Ohio and West Virginia:

I arrived in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Actually, just outside it in Bridgeville at the Mario Lemieux Foundation offices. With plenty of time to spare for Thursday’s Pittsburgh Penguins game. The next two days look to be busy for “rest days”. Interviews, tour of the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, hockey game, etc… And, of course, the usual stuff: laundry, shower, charge phone, eating.

Oct 30 = I got stopped by the police today less than 10 minutes into my running. That’s a new record. My first words to the officer were “Well, THAT didn’t take long today!” The Ohio fields were actually kind of pretty as I finally got to see them in the sunlight. The temperature got up to 55 degrees but it never felt that warm because of the strong, cold wind blowing into my face. I think the wind and the recent heavy mileage lead to me feeling slow and tired for the afternoon’s journey from Bucyrus to Galion. The short 12 miles actually took forever to run. I laid down on the side of the highway for a bit to rest and eat peanut butter. Then, I put on the MP3 player. I’ve very rarely put it on during the day, but I think it helped pick up my mood and then my pace as I made decent time into Mansfield. A total of 43 miles today to get to the Rest Area. But I slept outside this time, since the caretaker was there later than I wanted to wait to claim the unisex bathroom as mine for the night. At least it was a beautiful night outside.

Oct 31 = There were lots of hills today. Nothing too steep, just long and steady. I was once again feeling tired and struggled for a while. The MP3 player picked me up once again. After a cool morning, it warmed up nicely. By noon, I was running in just a t-shirt and shorts for the first time since central Illinois. I ran 28 miles into Wooster where I ate dinner and then a few more miles to East Union where I slept behind a church for the night.

Nov 1 = I only ran a quick 30 miles today into Canton, Ohio. I met Nancy from the Mario Lemieux Foundation there and she took me to her parent’s house in Wadsworth for the night. Before that, we loaded the stroller into her SUV and I had the chance to run 3 miles without it. It felt so nice. I can’t wait to run in a race again without having to push this thing around anymore. It was nice to wash my clothes with actual detergent and a washing machine for the first time since Chicago. The clothes smell much nicer than just rinsing them out in a sink and letting them air dry.

Nov 2 = Downtown Canton and the neighboring community were quite depressed. It was a good thing it was so cold out and early on a Sunday morning – I think the junkies were too cold or too tired to bother with me. 5 miles later and then the weather and the locations were wonderful. I am real glad I decided to take 172 East here. The hills were tough, but the beauty of the region was something else. Plus, almost no traffic to deal with. It was just a pleasure to run today and it made me realize once again just how lucky I am to be able to spend my day running through the countryside. I stopped for a bit and finished off the pancakes leftover from breakfast and the pasta we cooked the night before. I took this picture of a horse I was talking with for a bit near Guilford Lake. He didn’t say much but we enjoyed each others’ company. 35 miles today to get to Lisbon. I ate a huge dinner at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet before sleeping at the county fairgrounds. I slept up on the main stage.

Nov 3 = Today I found a bunch of money on the side of the road. Even for a state beginning with a vowel. I had been having a hard time distinguishing the real coins from all the fake ones I had been seeing in Ohio. The fake ones are the same size, shape and color of real coins but are completely smooth. I have no idea what they are used for or where they come from, but they have been all over the place in Ohio. Beautiful weather once again today. I took a picture of a couple of signs on the bridge from Ohio into West Virginia. The signs confused me and I hope you as well. I think they only make sense to bureaucrats. Anyway, I then did the best crossing-the-state-line dance I can do while on a bridge with virtually no shoulder. A few miles later I stopped at a ’50s diner for a hot fudge sundae. They had seen me earlier and asked what I was doing. They liked it so much the sundae was free. Nice! Up and down one more hill and I had the chance to do the proper crossing-the-state-line dance as I crossed into Pennsylvania! I slept in a nice couple’s yard for the night looking up at the stars.

Nov 4 = Just a quick 20 miles today and I took it real easy. Most of the morning I had no shoulder, so I was on the grass, but aside from that it wasn’t too tough and I certainly wasn’t going fast despite being a downhill day. Here’s an oddity – I found enough money on the side of the road today to get a free milkshake. In a state that starts with a consonant! Now, to get ready for a couple days of activities and fun before finishing this crazy adventure off.

Proofing pages of Lincoln Highway Companion

November 3, 2008

My next book, Lincoln Highway Companion, lists places to eat, stay, and visit from coast-to-coast. It also features maps and must-see lists for every state. The guide was intended to coincide with Rick Sebak’s PBS program A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway but with a house move and some family passings, I delayed the book till 2009.

The design proofs just arrived a few days ago. Above are pages from Nevada, Iowa, and the “feeder route” or branch through Washington DC. As you can see, they feature a mix of maps, photos, and brief place descriptions. Some knowledgable LH friends are helping to check the pages, and I’ve contacted many of the places listed for updates. We’re already working on improvements to the maps so there’s LOTS to do this week.

Lincoln HIghway Companion is listed on Amazon but won’t be available till Spring 2009. For now, you can find statewide maps and route descriptions in my Greetings from the Lincoln Highway book, also on Amazon.