~by Chuck Offenburger for the Greene County Historical Society
The Greene County Historical Society is hosting another “museum party” this Saturday, Sept. 7, to help welcome another group coming through Greene County as part of a motor tour across the nation on the historic Lincoln Highway.
The historical museum at 219 E. Lincoln Way will be open for its normal Saturday business hours from 9 am to 12 p.m. But it will remain open until 4 p.m. for the special “museum party” through the afternoon. Admission to the museum and refreshments are free, and local people are encouraged to come greet the travelers.
Two weeks ago, on Aug. 24, a tour of more than 50 restored military vehicles made a stop in Jefferson while on their drive across the nation. That tour was sponsored and organized by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
The one that will be here this Saturday is organized by the Lincoln Highway Association, and it is expected to bring more custom and antique cars.
Both tours are saluting a 1919 U.S. military convoy, which was led then by a young Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who later became president of the U.S. The troops were exploring how effective the Transcontinental Highway, as it was becoming known, would be for moving soldiers and equipment. That experience is said to have shaped Eisenhower’s thinking three decades later in directing the construction of the interstate highway system.
The people on this latest Lincoln Highway Association-organized tour left the Washington, D.C., area on Aug. 30. They’re traveling up to 200 miles per day en route to a Sept. 16 finish in San Francisco. Their total route of just more than 3,000 miles generally follows the historic Lincoln Highway.
They will be crossing Greene County this Saturday, arriving in Jefferson at about 1 pm for a stop of up to an hour. They’ll be parking near the museum. The entourage will be moving between overnight stays in Marshalltown on Friday and Council Bluffs later Saturday.
At the museum, Janice Harbaugh, of Raspberry Ridge Publishing here in Jefferson, will be displaying and selling her line of historical re-publications, which include vintage postcards and other early books that portray the settlement and development of this area.
The Greene County postcards have been especially popular with visitors here. Refreshments are being donated by Historical Society members.