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Love the Land of Lincoln sign


Chapter: Illinois


Michael Wallis, Michael Williamson and Brian Butko visited these locations in 2007:

Flossmoor Public Library
1000 Sterling Avenue
Flossmoor, Illinois

Image of Track Road in Ashton, Illinois Joliet Area Historical Museum
204 N. Ottawa St.
Joliet, Illinois

Franklin Grove Public Library
This library hosted the book tour as its first event!


Image of On the Road To Greatness on a statue of Lincoln in Chicago Heights


Image of the Arche Fountain in Chicago Heights In Illinois, Lincoln Highway became a National Scenic Byway in 2000, and it crosses eight counties and 31 towns. It also crosses two other important roads, the Dixie Highway (Route 1) which goes to Miami, Florida and Route 66. Carl G. Fisher also developed the idea of the Dixie Highway and in Chicago Heights near the Indiana border the Arche Memorial Fountain built in 1916 marks the crossing of the highways, with the image of Lincoln on a penny. More recently, a new statue is on the opposite corner of the streets with Lincoln, two children, and the slogan “On the Road to Greatness.” In Joliet and again in Plainfield, Lincoln Highway crosses Route 66, which the author Wallis says is the most famous highway in the world. In 1926, Route 66 went from Chicago to Santa Monica, California and John Steinbeck called it the “Mother Road” in his book The Grapes of Wrath. There is a picture of road signs in Plainfield that mark where both roads join. The Lincoln Highway crosses another National Scenic Byway, the Great River Road, or Highway 84, in Fulton along the Mississippi River.

Image of the National Headquarters in Franklin Grove Franklin Grove is home to the Lincoln Highway Association National Tourism Headquarters. The building dates to 1860 and a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln, Henry Isaac Lincoln built it as a dry goods store. Then, it was a post office, then a newspaper office until the 1850s, then a dance studio in the 1970s. By the 1990s, the building was in disrepair and then ten men from the community decided to work together to preserve the history and heritage of the area. They first bought the building and started restoring it. The Lincoln Highway Association reactivated in 1992 and they found out about the restoration. In March 1999, the building became the National Headquarters.



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Discussion Questions:


Why does the author call the Lincoln Highway the “Father Road?”Sign for the Seedling Mile in Malta

There is a picture of a sign pointing to a shelter in Aurora in the book. Why would early travelers stay in overnight campgrounds?

What were some of the accomplishments of Dwight D. Eisenhower?

What is the significance of Mooseheart?

How do you know the picture of the gas station in Geneva is not from 1925? There are at least five clues.

Riverbank Laboratories by George Fabyan may be where people developed the ideas for the NSA and the CIA. What are those and what activities did Riverbank scientists participate in during World War I?

In which city did the Lincoln Highway follow a cow path?

What was the Seedling Mile?

Why is Rochelle called the “Hub City”?

Where was Ronald Reagan born?

What are some of the activities that Ronald Reagan did when he lived in Dixon?

Challenger Discussion Question:
In this chapter, there is a picture of an auto dealership in Matteson, the Abe Lincoln Motel in Frankfort, Swony's Drive Inn in Aurora, and Lothson's Karry-Out Chicken in DeKalb. Besides Michael S. Williamson took these pictures in 2007, what do all of those pictures have in common?


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Image of a mural of Ronald Reagan in Tampico, Illinois


Pictures: All pictures by Kay Shelton except for the old car at the Joliet Area Historical Museum by Wayne Silvius

Top to Bottom:

Love the Land of Lincoln road sign

Track Road in Ashton, gravel road and the original place of the Lincoln Highway before Route 38 was built

On the Road to Greatness as part of a Lincoln statue in Chicago Heights

Arche Fountain marking the crossroads of the Lincoln and Dixie Highways in Chicago Heights

National Tourism Headquarters in the H. I. Lincoln Building in Franklin Grove, Illinois

Sign for the First Seedling Mile in Malta, Illinois

Mural of Ronald Reagan in Tampico, Illinois


Sign in Creston
Sign in Creston depicting an old Lincoln Highway Fountain


Memorial Arch in Dixon
Arch spanning the Lincoln Highway in Dixon as a memorial to those who died in the World Wars


Old car at the Joliet Area Historical Museum
Old car at the Joliet Area Historical Museum


Base of a statue in Joliet
Head of Lincoln on the base of a statue in Joliet


Image of Reagan's birthplace
Ronald Reagan's birthplace in Tampico, Illinois, now a museum


Reagan's home in Dixon
Ronald Reagan's boyhood home in Dixon, also now a museum


Image of a refurbished Standard Oil gas station
Refurbished Standard Oil Gas Station in Rochelle, now a tourist information center





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