Recent History of the Lincoln Highway Interpretive Center

We graciously acknowledge the grant-funded support of Illinois Humanities that made the creation of a significant portion of this Website possible. The year 2020 brought forth a vicious COVID-19 virus which significantly reduced the opportunities for travel worldwide. The Lincoln Highway Association and Farming Heritage, Inc. jointly operate the recently remodeled and renamed Lincoln Highway Interpretive Center at 136 N. Elm St. in Franklin Grove, Illinois, 61031. People from all 50 states and over 90 countries, including China and Mongolia, visited the building, over the years.

In November of 2019, Farming Heritage, Inc. began a significant renovation, including new windows and paint and updated the name from its previous name of the Lincoln Highway Association Headquarters. The building itself is also referred to as the H. I. Lincoln Building, from its original owner, Henry Isaac Lincoln, a distant cousin of President Abraham Lincoln. During renovations, the building opened for the December 2019 Annual Christmas in the Grove event and welcomed Santa Claus from the North Pole. While renovations continued, COVID-19 travel restrictions hit in the spring of 2020 and the building could no longer host indoor music programs on Friday nights, and the re-opening of the building needed to wait. Farming Heritage, Inc. hired an experienced docent who previously worked for the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Patty Ballard, to become the manager.

In June of 2020 with some travel restrictions finally reduced, Jim Cassler of the Lincoln Highway Association and the Lincoln Highway Trading Post could travel from Ohio to restock the gift shop with Lincoln Highway merchandise. The Lincoln Highway Interpretive Center re-opened on the Third Friday of June 2020, with an outdoor music concert set up in the side street next to the building.

small posters in the front window of the Lincoln Building reminding people to wear a mask
Small posters in the front window of the Lincoln Building reminding people to stay six feet apart and wear a mask

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