Archive for April, 2012

New Lincoln Highway Mural for Park Forest IL

April 30, 2012

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition has installed another in its series of interpretive murals along the 179-mile Illinois byway corridor. The newest mural was installed April 27, 2012, at 348 Victory Drive, Park Forest.

This mural commemorates the proclamation of the route and the naming of the first coast-to-coast highway. The Lincoln Highway’s proclamation declared that the quest to establish a paved highway was everyone’s patriotic duty and that it would serve as a lasting memorial.

Each community receiving a mural is asked to designate representatives to work with ILHC on the project, as well as secure a building site for the mural, research the stories and images that link their community to the Lincoln Highway, and agree to provide maintenance and preservation of the mural. Shown above is the team from ShawCraft installing the mural, with finishing touches by founder/designer Jay Allen.

For more information on the Illinois Lincoln Highway, places to see and things to do, stories of the highway’s significance and history, or to download an Illinois Lincoln Highway Visitor Guide, visit

Photos courtesy Chicago Southland.

Lincoln Hwy kiosk dedication set for Indiana

April 27, 2012

The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association will dedicate the state’s newest Lincoln Highway Byway interpretive kiosk on Saturday, May 5. The public is asked to arrive at 9:00 a.m. Central Time for the 9:30 ceremony.  Other Lincoln Highway interpretive kiosks in Indiana are in New Carlisle, Warsaw, and Plymouth.

Meet Lincoln Highway officials from Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois and join in as the local business community, represented by the La Porte Chamber of Commerce President, Mike Seitz, and La Porte Mayor Blair Milo welcome the crowd to the City for the dedication.

The kiosk is under construction near the intersection of Washington Street and Michigan Avenue in downtown La Porte (just off Lincoln Way). Photos, maps, and text tell the story of how the Lincoln Highway was built as well as the response by local businesses to serve travelers’ needs.

The kiosk was funded by a grant from the national LHA and donations from local businesses and private individuals. Local members of the Indiana LHA, Jim Bevins and Fred Sachtleben, directed the project. They designed the kiosk, researched and selected images, and wrote text for the kiosk panels. They also raised the local matching funds.

Following the dedication, the Indiana LHA will hold its annual meeting, luncheon, and a silent auction fundraiser at B & J’s American Café, followed by a tour of the New York Central Train Depot (now the home of the La Porte Chamber of Commerce).

For more information visit the INLHA website at or call 574-210-6278.

EPA advice for Sutherland NE gas stations

April 26, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 announced that the Village of Sutherland, Nebraska, recently was given technical assistance in the form of a comprehensive report for redeveloping a number of former gas stations in its downtown. Most notable is c 1930 cottage station. There is a beautiful photo of it online by photographer Jeffrey Bebee; click his photo to access it, and go to his site to see more:

According to the EPA:

At the core of the technical assistance are four abandoned gas stations located along U.S. Highway 30, which runs through downtown Sutherland and is the former Lincoln Highway. The abandoned gas stations may pose potential environmental and public health hazards due to underground storage tanks that remained after the stations closed. By addressing the tanks, including potential contamination and liability issues, these sites can be made viable for reuse that benefits the community while removing community eyesores and transforming the sites into community assets. The redevelopment of these sites can spur further revitalization in the area.

“The technical assistance provided to the Village of Sutherland allows the community leaders to restore four Brownfields properties to beneficial use for the community,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator. “This is a clear example that shows how being environmentally conscious can bring positive growth and development for our small rural communities.”

Plainfield's Windmill gas station & diner

April 12, 2012

The Plainfield Patch features the story (and photo below) behind a diner and gas station best known for the windmill that marked the roadside business. The Windmill was along the Lincoln Highway southeast of town. It was also just off an alignment of Route 66 that shared three blocks with the Lincoln Highway.

John and Mabel Powell leased land at the southwest corner of Lake Renwick around 1925 for their whimsical building. The windmill served as the entrance to the diner and also had a canopy over gas pumps. The upper floors were an apartment for the Powells and their son Robert. The Depression led to the business closing around 1935 and it was leased to James Lyon, who removed the gas pumps and enclosed the canopy to provide a large saloon. Operating as The Palomar and later The Mill, the business survived into the mid-1950s.