Lincoln Highway

Historical Marker and GazeboKishwaukee College is proud to have the historical marker for the first seedling mile of the cross-country Lincoln Highway.

Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway was America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. by 9 years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as "The Main Street Across America."

Historical MarkerThe first Seedling Mile was built in 1914 west of Malta, Illinois, but after years of experience the Lincoln Highway Association began a design effort for a road section that could handle traffic 20 years into the future.

Boy Scouts placed three thousand concrete mile-marker “monuments” along the Lincoln Highway in 1928 as a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. These markers were the icons that were meant to immortalize the dream of an ideal highway after its official existence was eliminated by the federal highway numbering system. A few exist as nostalgic artifacts. Four can be seen on the road near Franklin Grove. Others can be seen in front of buildings or other public places near the road. “The 1928 markers were once imbued with great meaning, but the people who revered them are gone, leaving only their symbols, the objects that still glow somehow with light of meaning.”

GazeboNow you'll see bronze plaques designating as the historical marker spots. Also, in 2009, the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition presented 16 Interpretive Gazebos along the Lincoln Highway, a 179 mile National Scenic Byway in Northern Illinois. The gazebos offer a unique and interactive way for visitors to learn the significance of the highway while enjoying stories of the early Lincoln Highway and its Illinois communities.

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