Today was mostly cloudy, with some sunny breaks as we travelled Westward on the old historic Lincoln Highway.
We started from our hotel in Marshalltown Iowa and passed this water fountain of elephants playing in the water. Also came across a king size bowling pin.
Then it was onwards to Colo Iowa where there are 3 places of note here that relate to the Lincoln Highway. The L & J Service Station, Niland’s Cafe and the Colo Motel.
The L & J Service Station is otherwise named the Lincoln & Jefferson Service Station, because at the 4 corners here, is where the Old Historic Jefferson Highway which runs North South, crosses the Old Historic Lincoln Highway which runs East West. I think we may have found a future summer road trip, travelling the Jefferson Highway. I found out that it runs from Winnipeg Manitoba to New Orleans Louisiana.
Niland’s Cafe is still a fully functioning restaurant and Karen and I went in for a quick bite to eat and to check the place out. Inside there is lots of memorabilia of the 2 highways and the role that the businesses on this corner played in the heyday of the Lincoln and the Jefferson Highways.
The Colo Motel is also a fully operational motel today.
Around the 3 properties is a series of plaques that describe in detail the origins and history of the businesses. You take a self guided tour and read what the different plaques have to tell you. There is also an old concrete marker for the Jefferson Highway and a newly created concrete marker for the Lincoln Highway.
Nevada Iowa has the best welcome to town sign that we have seen in any of our travels. Sometimes we will stop and take pictures of the welcome to town signs and sometimes we do not stop. We had to stop for this one. They even had a great water tower. We take a lot of pictures of welcome signs and water towers.
In Ames Iowa Karen has us stopping for Ice Cream, but it is only 10 am, do we really need ice cream at this hour ?? I must say, it was worth the stop. 10 am ice cream isn’t so bad when you are stopping at The Hickory Park Restaurant Co. Karen had the Fudge Ana and I had the Strawberry Shortcake.
Drove on some very muddy dirt Lincoln Highway between Ontario & Jordan IA and we stopped in Boone Iowa to snap some photos of Mamie Doud Eisenhower’s birthplace home.
In Ogden Iowa we stopped to check out the Ogden Diner, but guess what… it was closed.. not only was it closed, but it was closed for the season. I wouldn’t make a good business person along this highway, I would get the seasons all wrong. Who would have imagined that the middle of July is Not The Season to be open. We also searched for the footprints that are supposed to be in the original concrete when the Lincoln Highway was poured. They are reported to be just out in front of the diner, but we could not find those either, I guess the footprints were closed for the season also. They did have a neat water tower though, and I could get right underneath of it, so that made it worth the stop in Ogden.
There is also an old Standard Service Station in Ogden IA with an art deco style of design. Further along we found a Marsh Arch bridge near Beaver Iowa. I always thought that these were called marsh arch bridges because they spanned a marsh or swampy area, but I learnt that Marsh was the last name of the architect / engineer who designed this type of arched bridge. We found several of these bridges on our Route 66 trip last summer. We came across a neat mail box between Beaver & Grand Junction Iowa.
We found the old L Bridge between Beaver & Grand Junction. Called an L bridge because it has the L from Lincoln imprinted into the design of the bridge. We have been driving on mostly dirt road today as we cross through Iowa heading Westward.
We spent some time in Jefferson Iowa, looking around at what there was to see and do. We went to the Uptown Cafe for a bite to eat.
We took the tour of the Mahanay Memorial Carillon Tower Jefferson IA. This Carillon of course rings on the hour, but it also plays different songs every 15 minutes. If you don’t like bells ringing all day, don’t live in Jefferson Iowa. The view from the top was great, you can even see the Jefferson water tower.
We found the remains of the Hillcrest Motel, just West of Jefferson and near Scranton IA, we found the Moss busts of Lincoln. Moss was the owner of the farm land and he had these 2 concrete markers made to show the boundary of his property on the corner of the old Lincoln Highway.
We had been seeing these barns throughout Iowa that had quilt style patterns painted on them. Further research revealed that there are many barns scattered through out Iowa and they are quite simply known as The Barn Quilts of Iowa. In order to qualify as an official barn quilt, the barn must be over 50 years old and the quilt pattern must be 8’ x 8’
We will watch out for more barn quilts as we travel. As I said earlier, most of today we have been travelling on dirt road segments of the old Lincoln Highway. These shots were taken east of Westside Iowa.
Then we arrived in Denison to check into our hotel. We ate dinner at Cronk’s a well known and highly recommended restaurant. The meal was delicious but the dessert was even better. We both had pieces of homemade Peach Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Sorry, I forgot to take photos of the desserts.
Here is a map of the route that we took today. We drove 235 KM today, and as you can see, there was lots to see and do along the way.
This of course is not all the photos that we took today, if you wish to see all the photos you need to click on the link to my FLICKR site where you can view all the photos.
See you on the road tomorrow. We will be heading as far as York Nebraska.