Posts Tagged ‘Illinois history’

Two more Lincoln Highway murals unveiled in IL

March 9, 2010

Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition  unveiled two more of the 40 Interpretive Murals being installed along the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway and its corridor. The two are in Cortland and Genoa, the latter never on the route but nonetheless being recognized as being within the highway’s corridor of influence. Both murals feature “The Good Roads Movement.”

The Cortland mural, at 55 West Lincoln Highway, showcases dirt and gravel roads evolving into concrete. The Genoa mural, at 232 West Main Street, depicts road dragging contests. According to ILHC:

After receiving a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism, Attraction Development (TAP) Grant, ILHC worked with our vendor, Jay Allen of ShawCraft Signs, to make this project come to life.

Each of the 40 communities is asked to designate representatives to work with ILHC on this project, as well as secure a building site for the mural, research stories and images linking their community to Lincoln Highway and agree to provide maintenance and preservation of the mural. Each mural is valued at $10,000. Upon completion of this project, a print piece will be created highlighting each interpretive mural and gazebo (16 of them from a recently completed project) with a map and small description of each.

You can view images of the progress HERE and HERE as slideshows or individually.

For more information on the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, visit

Aurora IL mounts Lincoln Highway mural today

January 14, 2010

Various local editions of Suburban Chicago News are telling of work today about noon to mount a new Lincoln Highway mural in Aurora, Illinois. The 200-square-foot mural, spearheaded by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, depicts the city nearly a century ago, when the Lincoln Highway was the premier transcontinental trail.

Coalition Associate Director Diane Rossiter explains, “Each mural is painted on what’s called di-bond – a vinyl clad aluminum product — so if a building is remodeled or torn down, we could take it down without losing it.” The mural is on the north wall of the La Quinta de Los Reyes restaurant, 50 N. Broadway. Click HERE to see the image below larger.

The project has been in the works for years, according to Sue Vos, head of the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau…. Each mural costs roughly $10,000, but the cities and towns receiving them are asked to contribute very little, Vos said. Aurora was responsible for finding a building owner willing to host the mural and for installing the brackets to hang it. The image of a streetscape lit by electric street lamps was chosen by Vos, her staff and the Aurora Historical Society.

Aurora was the first community in Illinois to install electric streetlights in the early days of last century, which led to its official nickname: the City of Lights.

Visit for more information on the Lincoln Highway Coalition and the murals.

NOTE: A nice UPDATE ran the day after.

Lincoln Hwy gazebo in Oregon … Illinois, that is

December 4, 2009

Another new gazebo is spreading news of the Lincoln Highway in Illinois. Though the town of Oregon is not on the coast-to-coast the route, it played a part in the road’s development and history. The Ogle County News reports that officials unveiled the addition to the Ogle County Courthouse lawn with hopes that tourism dollars will follow. The image below is a screen capture from that article, and excerpts follow.

“This area draws tourists and tourism draws dollars,” said State Representative Jerry Mitchell (R-Rock Falls) during a grand opening ceremony for the structure Nov. 28. “Hopefully, tourists will stop at the gazebo and spend some time and money here.”

The gazebo is one of 16 constructed along the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway and its corridor in northern Illinois.

It was recently constructed on the northwest corner of the courthouse square, facing Ill. 64 just one block west of Ill. 2.

Bonnie Heimbach, project director for the Illinois Highway Lincoln Coalition (ILHC) said Oregon qualified for a federal grant to help construct the gazebo because the city was part of early marketing efforts soon after the coast-to-coast highway was opened in 1913.

“Oregon is not exactly on the highway, but it is mentioned as early as 1915,” said Heimbach.

The Lincoln Highway is located south of Oregon and runs east to west, through Franklin Grove and Dixon. It was the first highway in the United States to connect the east and west coasts.

Oregon and Ogle County are included in the Lincoln Highway corridor because Lorado Taft’s Black Hawk statue was part of the cover of the original promotional flyer that advertised the first all-weather transcontinental highway, said Marcia Heuer, executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce….

Each gazebo was constructed for $16,000 with a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). That grant provided 80 percent of the funding for each gazebo with local groups providing the remaining 20 percent.

WIFR-TV also covered the story.