Thursday, January 12, 2017

News From Along Route 66, December 2016: Want a Christmas Tree With That Concrete and the Gasconade Bridge

DECEMBER 14--  Ted Dewes Frozen Custard's other business.  For one month during the holiday season, they sell Christmas trees and other greenery.  They have been doing this since 1950 while they are closed for the winter.  Fresh foliage instead of a concrete, you know.

DECEMBER 16--  MoDOT lays out options for the Gasconade River bridge at a public hearing in Lebanon, Missouri.

**  Refurbish the bridge for cars and regular-sized trucks.  Cost $4.4 million.

**  Demolish the old bridge and build a new one.  Cost:  $4.3 million.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: Feeding the Road Guys

From the November 16, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Because Carlton has only a few of the fair sex residing there, the Afton Centre Ladies Aid Society is to serve the dinner next Monday for the road workers will be in Carlton for the day at the Afton Centre church.  Many people do not understand that the Carlton and Afton Centre are five miles apart.

"The women of Afton Centre want to make it clear to te men that there will be no dinner at Carlton, instead it will be in the next town."

Afton Center is an unincorporated town six miles south of DeKalb, Illinois.  At first I thought they were talking about the town of Ashton, Illinois,I was unable to find any reference to a town of Carlton.


Looking Back to 1916: Here Come the Buicks

From the November 9, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Perry W. Fisk, or rather the Fisk Motor Company, announces that in about three weeks' time, a Buick service station and show room will be established in conjunction with its Ford station at North Second Street.

"Roche & Concidine have leased the other end of their large tie-in barn to the Fisk Motor Company and have ordered the place remodeled for the auto rooms.  The new addition will be about 50 by 90 feet, with a driveway on Locust Street."

Lookout, Here Come the Buicks!  --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Back to 1916: A Trainload of Buicks Draws Attention

From the November 9, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"A solid train load of Buick automobiles passed through DeKalb this afternoon headed west.  The entire train loads with pleasure vehicles attracted no little attention from those who chanced to be near the tracks at the time."

Is There a Buick in Your Future?  --RoadDog

Monday, January 9, 2017

News From Along Route 66, December 2016: Teaching Students and Gateways

DECEMBER 3--The University of New Mexico is sponsoring The Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative and wants educators to share materials and thoughts with their students.

I know I sure did a lot of that in my last years of teaching after I became a dedicated 66er.

DECEMBER 8--  The Route 66 Gateways in Tulsa, Oklahoma won an architectural design award.  They were designed by Dewberry Architects and won the People's Choice Award at the American Institute of Architects.

The gateways are at the eastern and western edges of Tulsa.

More Route 66, we need more Route 66.


Looking Back to 1966: Working on Illinois 23 North of Sycamore

From the November 9, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Laying of blacktop on Highway 23 from Sycamore to Genoa was completed late Monday afternoon in Sycamore.  The final stretch ran from the Great Western railway tracks to Exchange Street on North Main Street in Sycamore.

"Work on the railroad overpass near Genoa also was reported completed Monday."


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Looking Back to 1941: Montgomery Ward's Expands in DeKalb

From the November 11, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Work on the remodeling of the former Ford garage building on First Street and the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, leased earlier this year by Montgomery Ward & Company, was started this week.

"The building is adjacent to the company's store."


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Eleven Most-Endangered Places, 2016-- Part 2

Delta Queen--  steamboat at Houma, Louisiana

Historical downtown Flemington, New Jersey

James River--  There is a worry about proposed lower lines.

Lions Municipal Golf Course--  Austin, Texas

Mitchell Park Domes--  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

San Francisco Embarcadero

Sunshine Mile--  Tucson, Arizona

Xheck them Out.  --RoadDog

Eleven Most-Endangered Sites-- Part 1

From the National Trust for Historic Places.

This group has listed 270 sites to date.  It is always good to make people aware of sites with important history that are in danger.

1.  Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall--  Lincoln University, Pennesylvania.

2.  Bears Ears--  Colorado Plateau, Utah (has archaeology sites and petroglyphs)

3.  Charleston Naval Hospital District--  North Charleston, S.C.

4.  Chihuahuita and El segundo Barrio Neighborhoods--  El Paso, Texas

The site has pictures and information on each.


Location of Sycamore's Electric Park

The park itself is long gone and I don't think any structures survive.

However, there are some street names in the area it once stood.  The most noticable is Electric Park drive, just to the west of DeKalb Avenue (the DeKalb-Sycamore Road)  Illinois Highway 23 just south of Sycamore.

Other streets in the area which used to be Electric Park are Fairland Drive, Pine Street, Oak Lane, Eastgate Drive, Highland Drive.

The area is north of Portillo's and across from McDonald's, Tom & Jerry's restaurant and Menard's.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Sycamore's Electric Park-- Part 4: Bug Six

Baseball teams played at the park.  One of them was the Grove's Cotts and another the Bug Six named after a cereal company that sponsored the team.  (I don't know that I would buy a cereal named bug.)

There was also advertising on a barn at the east end of the park.  It was painted by a man named Cheetham.  On it there were two men and one says to the other:  "Have a cigar, my dear Alphonso."  The other replies:  "Certainly, if it's Bell of Sycamore,"

This was a cigar made in Sycamore.

I was unable to find out anything more about a Bug Six cereal or Bell of Sycamore cigars.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sycamore's Electric Park-- Part 3: Huge Picnics and Parties

The American Legion used to sponsor huge picnics on July 4th at the park which would attract 10,000 to 15,000 people.  Labor Day celebrations were also big.

At a Labor Day in 1910 or 1912, a man was killed jumping from a balloon when his parachute didn't open.  Sadly for him, he just missed landing on a stack of wheat bundles which might have saved his life.

The original dance pavilion burned down in the 1920s and was rebuilt with a concrete floor by a man named Murphy.

Organizations had huge parties and picnics on the grounds.  The C.H. Palmer orchestra (he played the trumpet and violin) often performed at these.  Supposedly the Aleda Young temple building was financed from an Odd Fellows picnic at the Electric Park Corners.

-Quite a Place, Evidently.  --RoadDog

Sycamore's Electric Park Amusement Park-- Part 2

At one time the park advertised that you could leave DeKalb at 8 on the trolley and arrive at Electric Park to attend a vaudeville and motion picture show at the theatre at 8:15 at a total cost, including a reserve seat at the theatre for 25 cents.

The park had a 100 by 300 foot dance pavilion.  But the Depression and a fire took it down in the early 1930s.

It also featured one of the best baseball diamonds in the area.  Even the Chicago White Sox played an exhibition game there with the famous Ed Walsh doing the pitching.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sycamore's Electric Park Corners Amusement Park-- Part 1

From Living History of Illinois and Chicago "Electric Park Corners, Amusement Park, Sycamore, Illinois, 1904-1931."

Nothing remains of the Electric Park today and, even though I went to NIU, I never heard of it before this mention of it back in 1941.  I did some more research on it.

This amusement park was located about a mile southwest of Sycamore on Route 23 which still has a gradual curve there at the site now.  It is on the first road to the right after leaving Sycamore going south.

It was the first electric amusement center in the area and owned by Henry Groves and consisting of a huge dance pavilion, baseball diamond, theater and other attractions.

An electric trolley line, the Electric Traction Company, connected DeKalb and Sycamore and helped bring people to the park.  The Electric Park was able to survive the demise of the trolley company.


Looking Back to 1941: Nearing Completion of Sycamore End of DeKalb-Sycamore Road

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb-Sycamore highway paving crew was at the Electric Park corner today, every attempt possible being made to reach the Sycamore end of the road by this evening.

"It was doubted, however that the stretch from the park corner to Sycamore could be laid this afternoon."

The construction of the DeKalb-Sycamore four lane highway was a huge news story back then.

I went to college at NIU in DeKalb and had never heard of an Electric Park, so will have to look it up for the next post.