Saturday, June 9, 2007

Taking Shelter on the Lincoln Highway

The Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway website, under Recent News, said that an original LH shelter on Hill Avenue in Aurora has been completely restored and will serve as a regional interpretive center.

It was originally constructed around 1923 by the Aurora Automobile Club, to provide tourists with a place to camp. In the Official 1924 Lincoln Highway Guide, it was described as having "two fireplaces, two ovens, a sink, and a good well of pure drinking water."

This was before the advent of motels, when motorists would camp out alongside the road more often than not. In order to attract business and keep an eye on the type of people passing through, some municipalities started establishing these tourist camps and by the mid-1920s over 5000 had been built.

The last-known people to use it were gypsies in the early 1940s. In World War II, it was enclosed and used as a Civil Defense Shelter. It came close to being demolished, but now has been restored to its 1924 appearance. Photographs accompany the article.

Looks like WE won this One!! --RoadDog

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