Lincoln Highway Traveling Exhibit comes to Genoa

By Joseph Olmo

DeKALB | Towns along one historical highway are getting the chance to know more about its history.

The Lincoln Highway Traveling Exhibit is in Genoa through March.

“It’s definitely something you have to see in person,” said Resource Bank manager Nicole Moore. “I’ve seen people just stop in and read the display boards. It’s been fun.”

The traveling exhibit has made Genoa its home for the past couple months. Right now, it is in Resource Bank, 310 S. Route 23 in Genoa, and will move to the Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society, 622 Park Ave. in Genoa, on Wednesday where a speaker will talk more in-depth about Lincoln Highway.

“It’s a very nice display with lots of information,” Moore said. “You will definitely like what you see.”

The exhibit is one of several projects done by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, 200 S. State St. #A, Belvidere, a not-for-profit organization.

“There is 179 miles of Lincoln Highway that run through northern Illinois,” said Susan Hronik, program director for the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition. “It’s the first transcontinental paved road in the United States. It changed commerce, and it changed travel.”

Hronik said this is the closest the display has been to DeKalb in five years when the exhibit was first displayed at the Ellwood House.

“Each site is given three months to display the exhibit,” Hronik said. “Most of the time the cities get the word out with local news releases. They usually end up in city halls, libraries and museums.”

While the exhibit has been in Genoa, however, it has been given a twist.

“It’s a unique thing we’re doing with the display which is to move it from location to location,” said Gordon Jones, a volunteer for Genoa Main Street, Inc., 327 W. Main St. “It gives everyone a chance to look at it and take advantage of it.”

There are old markers and re-creation of signs along the road stating “Historic Lincoln Highway,” Jones said. He also said his knowledge about the Lincoln Highway has expanded since moving to Genoa from Ohio.

Jones said that out in Ohio, Lincoln Highway is known as Route 30 where as here in northern Illinois, it is known as Route 38.

The exhibit is made of eight display boards showing the development and some events along the way to creating the historical highway, Hronik said.

“It’s easily accessible and easy to pack up,” Hronik said.

As of now, the Lincoln Highway Coalition has not found the next resting stop for the traveling exhibit after its time in Genoa, Hronik said.