Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: Gasconade River Bridge Makes Peril List in Missouri

OCTOBER 28--  The Gasconade River Bridge made the Missouri Places in Peril list for 2018.

It is now closed and is near Hazelgreen.

The three-span through truss bridge was fabricated by the Illinois Steel Company in Chicago between 1922 and 1924.

It is one of the few bridges dating to the 1920s and even predates Route 66.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Along 66, October 2018: The Sapulpa Bridge and "Dottie" Hanson

OCTOBER 25--  Sapulpa, Oklahoma, forces a 90-day deadline to repair Rock Creek Bridge.

It has an erosion problem going on on the east side.  If not cleared up, the bridge will be closed permanently.  But the town is sure they can comply.

Neat old bridge.

OCTOBER 29--  Death of a woman who worked at two Route 66 icons in Arizona.  Dorthy "Dottie" Ann hatch Hanson, 83, died.

She worked at the Wig Wam Hotel and the Jack Rabbit Trading Post.

She might have been there when we visited in 2006.


Two Accidents In One Night in DeKalb in 1918

From the September 12, 2018, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1918, 100 Years Ago.

"Two automobile accidents occurred last night although neither one amounted to much.

"A gentleman from Aurora giving his name as Wetmore was looking for a cigar store and crashed into the Burlington-Lincoln Highway marker on Fourth street with some force, and the spring on his car was damaged and a hole made in the marker.

"Nate Woods collided with the Homer McDole car during the evening and this was also a soght accident and both cars were soon on their way."


Monday, December 10, 2018

What Is A Flivver?

In several earlier blog entries, I mentioned flivvers.  Most recently in November I wrote about one that had a near accident in DeKalb in 1918.  (Click on the Flivvers laabel below.)

Just what is a flivver?

According to the Dictionary site, a flivver is  a slang word referring to an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old.

Driving My '85 Firebird Flivver.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: About That Illinois Northern Border

From Wikipedia.

During the discussion to admit Illinois as a state, the northern border was moved twice.  The original provisions of the Northwest Ordinance said the border would be straight across from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River.  This would have left Illinois with no shoreline on Lake Michigan.

However, Indiana had successfully been granted a ten-mile  northern extension of its boundary to provide it with usable lakefront.  The original bill for statehood, submitted to Congress on January 23, 1818, had a northern border at the same latitude as Indiana's, ten miles north of the southernmost extremity of Lake Michigan.

But Illinois Territory delegate, Nathaniel Pope, wanted more.  He lobbied to have it moved even further north.  When the final bill passed Congress, the northern Illinois border was 51 miles north of the Indiana northern border.  This added 8,500 square miles to Illinois, including the lead mining region by Galena.

More importantly, it added nearly 50 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  Pope envisioned a canal that would connect the Great Lakes to the Mississippi.

And, of course, there was that future city called Chicago.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Bell Rings for Pearl Harbor Survivor Survivor Lt. Jim Downing

From October 13, 2018, KOAA News 5 NBC.

Lt. Jim Downing was honored at the annual USS West Virginia reunion at Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday.

They honored those who died December 7, 1941, and everyone who has died since then.  This year, sadly, it also rang for Jim Downing.  He died unexpectedly this past year.

The reunion was attended by 8 sailors from the ship as well as 50 others.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

George H.W. Bush in World War II: "Skin"

From Wikipedia.

As we continue to lose so many World War II veterans to age.

As one of the youngest naval aviators, George Bush was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 (VT-51) as the photographic officer.  The following year, his squadron was based on the light aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51.

While aboard, he received the nickname "Skin" because of his lanky physique.  During this time, his air group took part in one of the largest air battles of WW II in the Pacific, the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

After his promotion to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944, the USS San Jacinto began operations against the Japanese-held Bonin Islands.


Chicago, Wisconsin?-- Part 2: It Was a Slave-Free Thing

That was the way the Illinois Territory was regarded when it was to become a state.

But, then national politics got involved.

Keeping the balance between slave and free states became paramount to both the North and South sections.  Mississippi entered the Union as a slave state in 1817.  The North needed another free state and Illinois seemed to be the likely candidate.

At the time, many of the settlers in the southern part of the state were from Kentucky and Tennessee, slave states..  They tended to support Illinois being a slave state.  But, if Illinois had a port on Lake Michigan, it would develop ties with the north.  Northerners would begin moving to the northern part of Illinois.

So, when Congress voted for statehood for Illinois in 1818, a resolution was attached to move the boundary fifty miles northward.  Wisconsin, of course, was not a state at the time, nor would it have enough residents to become a state until 1848, when it joined the Union.  People there weren't happy, but couldn't do anything about it.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Chicago Was Almost In Wisconsin-- Part 1: Northwest Ordinance

From November 30, 2015, Wisconsin Public Radio  "Chicago, Wisconsin? How the Windy City Almost Ended Up In the Badger State" by Erika Janik.

Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818,  But, while doing so, some 8,500 square miles of territory that had been allotted to Wisconsin did not become a part of Wisconsin.  This covered the whole northern part of what is today Illinois.

In the late 1700s American statesmen drew up plans of how new states would join the Union and a map was made.  This was called the Northwest Ordinance.  One of the men who drew it up was Nathan Dane, a Massachusetts attorney, for whom Wisconsin's Dane County, envisioned a straight line from the southern tip of Lake Michigan straight out to the Mississippi River.

North of it would be Wisconsin.  South of it would be Illinois.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: Did You Know, It Was Almost Chicago, Wisconsin?

Chicago very nearly wasn't in Illinois.  It was originally supposed to be in Wisconsin.  But things happened back 200 years ago as Illinois was about to become a state and the area from the southern tip of Lake Michigan to the present Wisconsin-Illinois border came to be in Illinois.

It would be weird typing this from Spring Grove, Wisconsin.

Well, we might have to do this anyway as it appears to be the only was to get rid of Madigan.  Let him be Wisconsin's problem.

More On This Later.  --RoadDog

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Today Marks the 60th Anniversary of the Our Lady of the Angels Fire in Chicago

A very sad day in Chicago and the whole country.

A fire at this Catholic school resulted in the deaths of 95 people, 92 of them children and 3 were nuns.  The school was kindergarten through 8th grade.

If you ever had a fire drill while you were in school, that was a result of this fire.

The ruins of the school were torn down in 1959 and a new Our Lady of Angels School opened by the old one in 1960.  But decline in enrollment caused it to close after the class of 1999 graduated.

A Sad Day.

Along 66, Oct. 2018: Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission

OCTOBER 24--  Nominees sought for Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.

This summer, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission bill into law.

A panel is now looking for 3 people to fill available sears on the commission and one to lead it.  People can nominate themselves.

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) introduced the bill and shepherded it through the General Assembly.

Eight members of the commission will be selected by the Senate and House majority and minority leaders.

The Route 66 Centennial will be celebrated in 2026 as the road came into being, as well as the new numbered highway system in the United States, in November 11, 1926.

Sadly, Route 66 lost one of its biggest fans when Governor Rauner was not reelected in November.

Hey, I'd like to be on the commission, but John Weiss definitely should be.