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100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway
A man changes a flat tire in the mud west of DeKalb.  Image courtesy of the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

Why they needed a paved highway

A man changes a flat tire in the mud west of DeKalb. Image courtesy of the Regional History Center ...
This image is of the road after paving.   Image courtesy of the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.

Section 14 of the paving of the Lincoln Highway

This image is of the road after paving. Image courtesy of the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University.
Can you guess when this picture was taken of the Aurora Tire & Battery shop?  Image from the collection of Ruth Frantz.

Aurora Tire & Battery Shop

Can you guess when this picture was taken of the Aurora Tire & Battery shop? Image from Ruth Frantz.

Welcome to the Land of Lincoln Highway, a web site of the Illinois Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association! This web site celebrates Lincoln Highway in Illinois through stories, photographs, maps and more. It also keeps its members in touch with news and the latest events. We hope you enjoy the ride!

Lincoln Highway, the first improved transcontinental highway in the U.S. forever changed the way Americans saw their country. The first Seedling Mile of this historic highway was laid right here in Illinois, near Malta.

2016 Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sales

The yard sales are back!!

Thursday, August 11
Friday, August 12
Saturday, August 13

The bargains start with sign up! Our yard sales in Illinois have the best bargain for sign up, only $5!!

A five-dollar sign-up fee includes a yard sign and listings on this Web site including what you are selling, what time, and the address with mapping! Follow the PDF to the sign-up form here:

2016 Sign Up Form

Looking for sales? Check back right here on Wednesday, August 10 for last-minute registrations!!


Lincoln – Grant Memorial Highways Driving Tour

In mid October 2015, in time for the changing colors of the leaves, the Illinois Chapter took a two-day driving tour of the Lincoln and Grant Memorial Highways, connecting them with Route 31 to the east and the Great River Road, along the west side of northern Illinois, with a side trip through Lena on the Stagecoach Trail. Below you can find a PDF of general driving directions, so anyone who wants to plan out a similar two-day driving tour can do so. The driving directions make a big counter-clockwise loop around northern Illinois. The fall driving tour was one of the most scenic places to visit in northern Illinois. Connecting the history of Lincoln and Grant makes sense, both geographically and historically, too.

You are welcome to print the driving directions but they are under copyright so please treat them like you would a printed book for citing quotes.


Lincoln and Grant Driving Directions PDF

Getting the Lincoln Highway Recognized as a National Monument

The Lincoln Highway is the unofficial world’s largest memorial to President Abraham Lincoln but it lacks official recognition. Over 30 years of research went into identifying all of the historical markers, the statues, and other visual reminders of Abraham Lincoln along the Lincoln Highway. For more information and to sign the petition to support the Lincoln Highway becoming an official National Monument, please click here.LincolnBoyScoutsDetail

Find Yard Sales Here!


The Annual Lincoln Highway Buy Way is Back!! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 13, 14, & 15, 2015

Find Yard Sales Here! Keep watching this space through the day before the sales, Thursday, August 12 because some folks wait until the weather predictions before they register.

Sales Information Updated August 13!!





Franklin Grove



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2015 Yard Sale, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, August 13, 14, & 15

Do you want to participate in the annual Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale? The sign-up sheet is here. Because of the devastating tornado that hit some of our residents in April, we lowered our price to $5 to participate, and that includes the yard sign.


Keep watching this space for updated information on sales! Some people sign up at the last minute after they hear the weather forecast, so keep checking through August 12th!

License Plates / Sticker House Bill

On June 23, House Bill 1081 which passed, will go to the Illinois Senate. This bill, if passed, would replace the specialized license plates with a new universal license plate but with a specialized sticker representing the organization. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House and we expect it to pass in the Senate. Here is the bill’s current status:

HB 1081

Vote on if you are still interested in a specialized sticker or not here!

Ohio will get a special Lincoln Highway license plate but in Illinois, the special plate program might be replaced by special stickers.

Specialized License Plate / Specialized Sticker

Quite some time ago, the Illinois Chapter Board voted to pursue establishing a Lincoln Highway-themed license plate. The idea is for a permanent license plate, not a temporary, special events license plate. Temporary, special events license plates are generally not too complicated to set up but this would be for a permanent license plate, just like the other license plates, like these: Illinois License Plates.

The Illinois General Assembly would need to approve the design. Since the Spring Newsletter went out, the House voted 108 to 1 to stop making specialized license plates and instead allow drivers to have a sticker representing their interest on a standardized plate. See this article: Specialized Illinois license places could be replaced with stickers

With an overwhelming majority vote in the House, it is quite possible that the idea to have specialized stickers on a standardized plate will replaced specialize plates. Prior to the recent vote in the Illinois House about specialized stickers instead of plates, Larry Williams of Williams Graphics designed some possible designs for the Lincoln Highway. Take a look:


Design #1


Design #2


Design #3


Design #4

Read the text of House Bill 1081 here.

Vote on if you are still interested in a specialized sticker or not here!

Save the Dates!! October 15 & 16, 2015!!

Lincoln – Grant Memorial Highway Tour, 2015
Save the dates of Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16, 2015!!
Seedling Mile

Join the Illinois Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association for a special Lincoln Memorial Highway, U.S. Grant Memorial Highway tour, including drives along the Fox River in Geneva and St. Charles, Stagecoach Trail in Lena, Apple River Canyon, and the Great River Road. Stay overnight in Galena, the Midwest’s premier resort area, with a visit to Grant’s home.

Day 1: Begin in Geneva, drive north along Route 31, then follow west on U.S. Route 20, with possible side trips to the Illinois Railway Museum, Lincoln-Douglas sites in Freeport, Stagecoach Trail through Lena, historic Stockton, and Elizabeth followed by an evening dinner and overnight stay in Galena, Illinois.

There is a block of rooms reserved at the DeSoto House Hotel in Galena, which provides invaluable off-street parking right in the heart of downtown! Call the hotel by August 15th to make your reservation, mention the Lincoln Highway–1-815-777-0090 or 1-800-343-6562.

Day 2: Possible side trip to President Grant’s home in Galena, followed by a scenic trip down the Great River Road along the Mississippi River. Then, turn eastward in Fulton to rejoin the Lincoln Highway through Morrison, Dixon, Franklin Grove, Rochelle, Malta, DeKalb, Geneva, with many photo opportunities along the way!

Route 20 and Stagecoach Trail crisscross the hills of Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties and during the annual fall colors is the best time to see the stunning and ever-changing landscape. The best time to see the Lincoln Highway in Illinois is fall.

GrantMemorial StagecoachTrail


Find the Tour Registration Form here!

See the Summer 2015 newsletter here, too!

Fifth Friday at the H. I. Lincoln Building

October 2014 has five Fridays and that means music at the H. I. Lincoln Building in Franklin Grove!

Jim Wolber at the Lincoln Building

For more than a decade Franklin Grove’s historic H.I. Lincoln Building has hosted some of the music world’s best artists as a part of their third Friday “Blues & Bluegrass” and special Fifth Friday shows. Among the “best of the best” in this stellar lineup has been Franklin Grove’s own Jim “Mr. Friday Night” Wolber.

Jim’s musical talents, both vocal and guitar, are recognized by music fans from Nashville to Chicago. His Country meets Rock & Roll music style has an appeal that everyone can enjoy.

In 2014 a Fifth Friday and Halloween both occur on October 31st, a confluence of dates that won’t occur again until the year 2025. Certainly, in addition to great music, the situation calls for special prizes for: Most Original Costume; Scariest Costume; and Most Beautiful Costume

There will be two action packed shows at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. Seating is limited so don’t delay. Tickets are available for a $10 donation by calling the H.I. Lincoln building at 815-456-3030 daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, noon to 4:00 pm on Sundays, or stop by the H.I. Lincoln building during the same hours.

Jim’s shows are always sell-outs. Be sure to get your tickets early.

For more information:
Ron Colson 815-973-0942

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