Archive for the ‘roadside’ Category

Illinois Lincoln Highway murals need your vote

January 29, 2013

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
IL_MuralsThe Illinois Lincoln Highway Murals, created by artist Jay Allen for the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, won first place in the Murals/Exhibit Graphics category in an annual sign contest presented by Signs of the Times magazine.

Now the murals are competing in the Signs of the Times 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. They need YOUR help. It’s EXTREMELY easy and fun to see the competing projects.

Every mural is a hand-painted, unique work of art.  So far, 29 have been installed. Upon completion, the series will be one of the largest works of public art in the country.

Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8DV5THL and vote for your 3 favorite projects, including of course the murals. Voting is limited to once per computer and concludes on February 8.

Popular Joliet museum gets Lincoln Hwy exhibit

November 2, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The newest project by Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition is not a mural or gazebo, it’s an exhibit at the Joliet Area Historical Museum in Joliet, Illinois. The unveiling coincided with the first-ever Illinois Scenic Byway Week, recently designated by Governor Quinn.

The new exhibit offers striking graphics and vintage photos complimented by stories that convey the Lincoln Highway’s impact on America and its increasingly mobile society. A detailed map and a replica 1928 Lincoln Highway marker help visitors find the route on paper and on their next rip on the road. The Joliet Area Historical Museum is a popular jumping-off point for followers of Route 66 heading west from Chicago to the Pacific coast.

Poster Commemorates Lincoln Hwy Centennial

October 29, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
A new poster commemoratees the forthcoming centennial of the Lincoln Highway in 2013. The Merrillville-Ross Township Historical Society Museum of Merrilville, Indiana, commissioned Mitch Markovitz to create the evocative image.

An article at nwitimes.com explains:

“We started this project more than a year ago,” said Dan Kleine, the project manager for the poster commissioning and a member of the Merrillville-Ross Township Historical Society board. “The whole idea was to build awareness that the Old Lincoln Highway is 73rd Avenue, just outside the museum’s front door.”

In his oil-on-canvas painting that is reproduced as a poster, Markovitz of Knox, creates a scene from 1929 when the Lincoln Highway was a major thoroughfare that led to Broadway and then north to Gary and Chicago….

Jeff Blair, Indiana’s national director on the Lincoln Highway Association, traveled from Leesburg, Ind., to witness the poster’s unveiling.

“Last year, I walked the Lincoln Highway west from Ohio to Illinois for charity. Next May, I’m going to walk east from Illinois to Ohio and I’ll pass right by here on the first day,” Blair said.

The article claims that the poster shows a 1929 Ford Model T, which is impossible. More likely it’s a Model A, though just as perplexing is why the image is said to portray the LH in 1929, a year after the LHA ceased active operations. Perhaps it was to include a 1928 concrete post, but that too is in an incorrect orientation, i.e., not facing the road.

Carl Fisher featured on Lynwood IL mural

October 12, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The Village of Lynwood, Illinois, sports the newest mural in the Illinois Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor’s series that spans the 179-mile Illinois byway corridor. Lynwood marks the eastern terminus to the Illinois portion of the Lincoln Highway. The mural wasinstalled October 10, 2012, at 21490 East Lincoln Highway, on Lynwood’s Senior/Youth Center building.

ILHC works with artist Jay Allen (above, installing the mural), owner of ShawCraft Sign Company; every mural is a hand painted, unique work of art.  Upon completion, the series will be one of the largest works of public art in the country. This mural depicts Carl G. Fisher, the “Father of the Lincoln Highway” and elements of his life that helped turn his dream of the first transcontinental highway into a reality.

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 drivelincolnhighway.com. To see the mural larger, visit my Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/28162312417/.

Petroliana auction of Preston’s gas station in Iowa

July 11, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
An auction is set for Saturday, August 11, 2012 at 9 am for highway memorabilia from the famous gas station once run by George Preston in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Not to worry — the signs on the station and adjacent garage are not being sold.

The station moved to 1301 4th Ave (west end of Main Street, green line on map) in 1921 when the Lincoln Highway’s route was changed through Belle Plaine. George started working there in 1923 at age 13 and soon purchased the Standard Oil station for $100. It later became a Phillips 66 and remained operational until 1989. George and wife Blanche also operated a 3-room motel.

After his passing in 1993, the site was cared for by his eldest son Ronald with the same passion and intuition, and he continued collecting memorabilia until he passed away in 2011.

Ron’s daughter Mary Preston wrote to say, “We have no intention of selling the corner but in the same breath we must sell some of the ‘clutter’ on Preston’s Corner.” The family is working with the Lincoln Highway Association and Belle Plaine Historical Society to preserve The Corner for travelers to step back in time.

Objects for auction include gas pumps, toys, furniture, books, farm equipment, a 1927 Model T  … and lots of signs.

For additional information about the auction see www.billkron.com/duwa.12-0811.html

Crawford monument cleanup tomorrow in Ohio

June 8, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
Members of the Galion Historical Society, Crestline Historical Society, Bucyrus Historical Society, and New Washington Historical Society will gather on Saturday to refurbish a monument to Colonel William Crawford, who was captured by Indians and killed in 1782. The monument erected by the Crestline Kiwanis Club in 1928, when Leesville Road was the Lincoln Highway. (Image below and more info at
www.touring-ohio.com/history/crawford.html.)

An article in the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum quotes Mike Hocker, Executive Director of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway:

“I have no idea when the last time it was cleaned was,” said Mike Hocker, of the Galion Historical Society. “It sits in the shade next to the woods and the moss really loves that.”

Hocker said the monument is made primarily of marble and limestone with a brass plaque.

“It really is a gorgeous monument,” Hocker said. “As part of Crawford 20/20 Vision, we are reaching out to the other historical societies and trying to get to know one another a little bit better.

“We can all benefit from helping one another out on larger projects. We figure if we all get out there, we can have it done in about an hour and a half.”

The monument cleaning begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.

New Lenox gets new Lincoln Highway Mural

June 7, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The next in the series of Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition Interpretive Murals was installed today in New Lenox, Illinois.

This collection of large scale works of public art can be found along the 179-mile Illinois byway corridor, in over two dozen communities. The latest mural is at 125 West Maple Street. It brings to life the story of the streetcar’s competition with the automobile.

As the designated Scenic Byway management agency overseeing the Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway, the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition (ILHC) received a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism, Attraction Development (TAP) Grant, to work with Jay Allen of ShawCraft Signs to implement the project.

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 drivelincolnhighway.com.

New Lincoln Highway Mural for Park Forest IL

April 30, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
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 drivelincolnhighway.com.

Photos courtesy Chicago Southland.

EPA advice for Sutherland NE gas stations

April 26, 2012

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
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

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
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.