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Scenic By-Ways: Lincoln Highway and Great River Road

Scenic By-Ways: Lincoln Highway and Great River Road

Fulton is fortunate to have 2 national scenic by-ways in it's town: the historic Lincoln Highway and the Great River Road. 

In 1912, Carl Fisher, founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, had a dream of a highway spanning our continent from one coast to the other. Fisher envisioned a graveled road stretching from New York City to San Francisco. Henry Joy, president of the Packard Motor Car Company, was an early advocate of Fisher's dream and came up with the idea of naming the highway after Abraham Lincoln.

On March 20, 1915, the first Complete Official Road Guide of the Lincoln Highway was produced. The highway started in New York City's Times Square.  It passed through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California before ending in Lincoln Park in San Francisco. Today, travelers in search of "real" America who want to travel at a leisurely pace, can trace the Lincoln Highway through Illinois and ponder automobile travel when the "Tin Lizzie" ruled America's roads.

Fulton, Illinois, is the last community along the Lincoln Highway before crossing the Mississippi River into Iowa.

Illinois Lincoln Highway Gazebo Project 

This is located at the corner of 10th Avenue & 3rd Street, Fulton, IL.

The Illinois Lincoln Highway presents 16 Interpretive Gazebos along the Lincoln Highway, a 179 mile National Scenic Byway in Northern Illinois. Completed in fall 2009, 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.

Each gazebo is designed with the same structure, with signs mounted on the outside featuring logos for easy identification. Four artist-rendered panels are enclosed in every gazebo, specific to each location. Common to all is one panel with a map and narrative of the highway's beginning history and culture; different in each gazebo are two panels telling stories and events of the nationwide Lincoln Highway and the last panel is dedicated to the community and its connection to the highway.

Illinois Lincoln Highway Mural Project

This is located at the corner of 10th Avenue & 4th Street, Fulton, IL.
The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition produced a series of Interpretive Murals installed along the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway and its corridor in northern Illinois. Each mural depicts the history, heritage and events of the highway and its impact on the communities. Nearly 40 murals are located along Illinois Lincoln Highway Communities.

Website: Illinois Lincoln Highway Mural Project

The Great River Road

Byway Length: 557.3 miles
Driving Time: 31 hours, plus overnights

Description: Experiencing the Mississippi River for the first time is a memory few will forget. Looking out over the river, it is impossible to comprehend the complex layers of history acted out along its banks. From the Hopewell Indians and early French colonists to the African Americans seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, this corridor has played a major role. Through the cities, historic sites, and cultural artifacts, the Great River Road links resources, people, and history.

Great River Road Kiosk Project

This is located in Den Besten Park near the Dutch Windmill, Fulton, IL.

The Great Rivers Country Tourism Development Office developed nearly two dozen interpretive kiosks and signs along the Illinois portion of the Great River Road.  The kiosks and signs depict the history, heritage and natural significance of the Mississippi River and the Illinois Great River Road. 

Website: The Great River Road

Published in Trails

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