Special Events
in and around Logan County

Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival

Upcoming special events


Recent events


Archive files on annual festivals

Sesquicentennial Committee
plans street dance for Sept. 21

[AUG. 27, 2002]  Two bands, food and beer concessions, and dancing in the street are on tap for the Sesquicentennial FUNd Fest, planned for Sept. 21 in downtown Lincoln.

Two bandstands will be set up on McLean Street, one in front of the post office and the other by the parking lot at the south end of the block. Bobby Remack, a variety band specializing in swing and ballroom dance music, will entertain from 6 to 9 p.m. From 9 to midnight, Imagine That will heat up the night with rock. Greg Pelc of Lincoln is in charge of music and arrangements.

To allow for a family atmosphere, the beer area between the bands will be fenced off. Children’s activities are being planned for 5 to 8 p.m. on the Pulaski Street side of the courthouse square. Food concessions, seating and a stand selling sesquicentennial souvenirs can also be found along Pulaski.

Admission to FUNd Fest is $3 for adults. Children under 12 get in free.

The street dance is the first fund-raiser for the Sesquicentennial Committee. Money raised will go toward Lincoln’s 150th birthday celebration, set for Aug. 21-31, 2003. Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis heads the committee.

Sesquicentennial souvenir T-shirts and bottled water bearing the sesquicentennial logo will be available at the Sept. 21 street dance. Sharon Awe is in charge of selecting and selling the goodies. The T-shirts come in white or ash gray and cost $11 for youth sizes, $13 for adults small through extra large, and $16 for 2XL and larger. Red or white polo shirts priced at $40 will also be available. Designer water, specially labeled Gold Springs water from Atlanta, will go for $1 a bottle.

In other business at the monthly planning meeting, re-enactment chair Ron Keller said Bonnie Knieriem of Mason City has recently volunteered to teach classes in period dance steps. And the 33rd Volunteer Regiment band has agreed to play for a Civil War ball during the sesquicentennial. Knieriem’s recommended timetable is to offer basic instruction in February-March and refresher classes in the summer. Anyone eager to learn the dances of 150 years ago can contact Keller at the Lincoln College Museum.


[to top of second column in this article]

Once you know the steps, it makes sense to dress the part. Countywide activities chair Gillette Ransom said patterns are available for those who want to sew their own period costumes. She will work with needlework shops to stock patterns and appropriate fabric. Lessons in how to sew clothing are already planned at Sew Many Friends at 127 S. Kickapoo.

Also in the sewing department, the courthouse will host a quilt show Aug. 21-24, 2003. Laveta Zurkammer of Lincoln chairs the committee, and Toni Leamon of Mason City is the new co-chair. Leamon has organized the New Salem quilt show for about eight years. Joanne Marlin of Lincoln is in charge of an upcoming quilt raffle to benefit the Sesquicentennial Committee.

Finally, the town’s150th birthday party will provide an opportunity to check out all those Abe Lincoln rumors you’ve heard from time to time. History co-chair Paul Beaver said he has secured Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the LC campus for a history panel to be presented Aug. 25, 2003. The program will begin with talks on Abraham Lincoln in Logan County. Then the floor will be open to anyone with a related question. Panelists will include Mark Plummer, history department chair at Illinois State University; Cullom Davis, former professor of history at University of Illinois-Springfield and head of the Lincoln legal project at Illinois State Historical Library; and local historians Paul Gleason and Beaver. Ron Keller will emcee the program. A reception at the Meyer-Evans Student Center will round out the evening.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

Want your ad to be seen all over Logan County?

Advertise with

Lincoln Daily News!

Call (217) 732-7443
or e-mail

Our staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Greyhound Lube

At the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55

No Appointments Necessary


is the place to advertise

Call (217) 732-7443
or e-mail

Art fair and balloon
festival contest winners

[AUG. 27, 2002] 

Art fair winners

Best of show, sponsored by Lee Dowling

Connie Glowacki

Janet Harris Memorial

Sue Scaife


1. Connie Glowacki — watercolor

2. Sue Scaife — pastels

3. D. Craig Rosen — color photography


1. Laura Anderson — jewelry

2. Rhonda Cearlock — pottery

3. Chuck Flagg — figurative clay/pottery


[to top of second column in this section]

Pilot winners

1. Al Reusch, sponsored by Coy’s Car Corner

2. Randy Wagnon, sponsored by Investment Center, Cullers French Fries and Kerrigan-Peasley Funeral Home

3. Rick Poe, sponsored by Area Disposal

4. Betsy Kleiss, sponsored by State Bank

5. Steve Haase, sponsored by Lincoln Knights of Columbus

6. Larry Owen, sponsored by Cutler-Hammer

7. Rodger Watts, sponsored by Interstate Chevrolet

8. Darrell Day, sponsored by Deron Powell State Farm Insurance

9. Jeff Philiph, sponsored by ALMH

10. Ed Dowling, sponsored by Logan County Bank

[Provided by Bobbi Abbott, executive director of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

Looking at Lincoln from a balloon

By Rick Hobler

[AUG. 26, 2002]  I THOUGHT I WAS JUST GOING FOR A BALLOON RIDE Thursday night when I climbed aboard Randy Conklen’s beautiful tapestry of cloth that he calls Sun Kissed. And, as expected, I did have a great balloon ride! But, floating above our little hometown of Lincoln, I got a whole lot more than I expected. In fact, I got something totally unexpected.

[Click here for photos]

What I expected was an exhilarating encounter with a form of air flight that I had never before experienced. I have often had the unpleasant experience of stuffing myself in a plane, flying at 30,000 feet, after being pressed to the seat-back through a zooming takeoff and ending with a screeching halt on some subsequent runway. I was definitely looking for a different type of flying experience. I got it. Slowly lifting off the grass in a wicker basket, leisurely floating over my hometown and then landing on a waterway next to a cornfield was a calming and pleasant experience.

Thanks to an efficient, hardworking and safety-minded ground crew consisting of Reid Conklen, Brian Whalen and Paul Ayars, with takeoff help from Karen and Hilary Hobler, we were promptly in the air at takeoff and promptly "chased" and scooped up when we returned to earth.

Flying with pilot-owner Randy Conklen (of New Holland-Middletown origin) was a real joy. He patiently answered all my naive questions about ballooning, discussed his family’s love for ballooning and shared our mutual satisfaction with raising our families in small Midwestern communities.

I learned a little about Randy as we floated over Lincoln. Things such as his love for his family and his choice to seek the simple pleasures of family, friends and noncompetitive floating through the air, instead of the current rage of thrill-seeking competition. His confident skills as a pilot, his humble character and his passion for safety (he shares my dislike for power lines and lightning) were evident. He’s the kind of person anyone would love to have as a friend and a neighbor. All in all he struck me as just a regular person doing an extraordinary thing. I’m sure many of the balloon pilots in Lincoln this weekend are just like him in that regard.

He also told me some of his funny experiences about ballooning. My favorite was his observation that people on the ground, for some reason, don’t think they can be seen by those in the balloons. He recounted that he has observed many early morning balloon watchers come out of their homes less than fully dressed for the occasion. People on the ground, let me assure you, you can be seen from above!

Randy also shared with me his love for ballooning, especially with his family and friends. He loves ballooning most in the early mornings when it is peaceful and quiet. He enjoys ballooning in the wintertime, when, due to the nature of the cool winter air, fuel lasts longer and landing is simplified, since all of the crops are harvested.

As expected, from takeoff to landing, it was an exhilarating experience!


[to top of second column in this article]

WHAT I DIDN’T EXPECT was the deeper reflection that the flight induced. We took off from an empty lot in one of Lincoln’s west-side neighborhoods. Even though our arrival in the subdivision was unannounced, it almost immediately enticed several whole families from inside their homes to their front porches and front lawns to watch the preparation and lift off of this beautiful air-filled craft. It struck me that people in Lincoln are still not too busy to take a few minutes out to spend time enjoying the simple things of life with their families. That makes Lincoln unique in today’s world.

Next, upon takeoff, we almost immediately flew over LDC. The emptiness of the parking lots and the lack of any sign of life on its grounds were immediately evident from the air. Knowing that each empty parking space represented a family no longer employed here and each empty building represented a challenged child or adult moved from his or her lifelong home was disheartening and sad. On the distant horizon, it seemed to me that Lincoln’s prisons, while good for our employment base, just seemed too full of activity.

But, in spite of these heartbreaking concerns, from the sky, Lincoln’s strengths are evident. Our churches are numerous and prominent all across the town’s skyline. Our schools are bustling with activity (soccer, football, marching band, etc.) and new construction was evident. Even the LCHS roof looks perfect from 1,200 feet up.

Our homes are well cared for in most places. More importantly, many homes had yards filled with activities: people swimming (in pools of all sizes), some people just sitting and talking and balloon watching, barbecue grills cooking, children playing and dogs understandably upset at the sign of a large balloon approaching their territory.

Many of our small and large-business people were still at work, going the extra mile for customers, even after their usual closing times. Our restaurants were filling up with families and friends, and our hotels were doing the same. Many workers were returning home from good jobs to their good families.

Floating over Lincoln, at the end of a hard day of work filled with the details of the everyday life, gave me the opportunity to put some much needed distance between me and the everyday challenges of life. At a distance, many of the "smaller" flaws of life go unnoticed. That is probably best.

I guess it would be accurate to call it perspective — the opportunity to see things in a right relation to each other. The dictionary defines perspective as a "distant view." Maybe we all need to step back or "rise up" a little more often and get some of it.

Lincoln has taken some hard punches this year, but it’s not knocked out. It’s still a beautiful small piece of Americana — especially from a few hundred feet up.

A balloon ride (and the whole balloon festival) is an exhilarating experience. Gaining some unexpected perspective is too. Thanks for the lift.

[Rick Hobler]

Food vendors sought for sesquicentennial fund-raiser

[AUG. 16, 2002]  Vendors are invited to provide food service for a Sept. 21 street festival that will raise funds for the Lincoln sesquicentennial celebration. Hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight. There is no rain date.

A $50 space rental fee will be charged.

Please indicate utilities required and respond no later than Aug. 28. Interested parties should submit a proposal to Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau, Attn: Thressia, 303 S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln, IL 62656-1534.

Sites to See

‘Walking on the Path of Abraham Lincoln’

A walking tour of historic Lincoln, Ill.

Note: The following material is from a brochure produced as a high school project by J.R. Glenn and Angie Couch for Main Street Lincoln. The Main Street Lincoln office and local tourist information center is on the second floor of Union Planter’s Bank at 303 S. Kickapoo.

[Click here for larger map]

1. Town christening site

Broadway and Chicago streets

In August 1853 the first sale of lots in the new town of Lincoln took place near this spot. Abraham Lincoln, in whose honor the town was named, was in attendance. When asked on the day of the land sale to officially "christen the town," Lincoln obliged. Lifting the cover off a pile of watermelons stacked on the ground by a local farmer, Lincoln picked up a melon and conducted a brief ceremony using its juice. Lincoln, Ill., is the only town named for Lincoln before he became president.

2. Lincoln railroad depot

101 N. Chicago St.

Abraham Lincoln frequented this city by train after its founding. As president-elect, Lincoln came hereon Nov. 21, 1860. He stopped near this spot to make a few remarks from the rear of his train. This was his last speech in Logan County and the last time Lincoln would visit his namesake city. His funeral train stopped here on May 3, 1865. The current depot was built several decades later, in 1911.

3. State Bank of Lincoln

111 N. Sangamon St.

Abraham Lincoln met sculptor Leonard Volk for the first time on the boardwalk in front of the Lincoln House Hotel. Volk asked Lincoln to pose for a bust and life mask of his face and hands. Signed copies of the life masks by Volk, as well as original artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf of Lincoln in Logan County, are on display in this bank building’s lobby.

4. Site of the Lincoln House Hotel

501 Broadway St.

The Lincoln House, one of the grandest hotels between St. Louis and Chicago, stood on this spot from 1854 to 1870. All the political luminaries of the day, including Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, David Davis and Richard Oglesby, crossed its threshold at one time or another The Lincoln House was a two-story frame structure that fronted the railroad tracks and featured a large veranda.

5. Robert Latham home site

400 N. Kickapoo St.

Robert B. Latham joined John D. Gillett and Virgil Hickox in founding the town of Lincoln in 1853. Abraham Lincoln, other lawyers and judges were often guests at his house.

6. Logan County Courthouse

When Lincoln became the county seat in 1853, a courthouse was built on this spot. A second courthouse was built in 1858 and remained in use until the early 20th century, when it was replaced with the current building. Abraham Lincoln practiced law and attended political functions in the first two courthouses built on the square. A statue of Lincoln stands in this courthouse. A Civil War monument and cannon sit on the north side of the courthouse grounds.

7. Lincoln lot site

523 Pulaski St.

A plaque located on the right-hand side of this store identifies the location as a lot Lincoln once owned. James Primm, in need of money, approached former Illinois Gov. Joel Matteson for a $400 advance. Matteson directed him to have Lincoln sign a note as Primm's guarantor. Lincoln co-signed the note. Later Primm defaulted and Lincoln had to pay the note. Eventually Primm deeded Lincoln this property in recompense.


[to top of second column in this section]

8. Rustic Inn

412 Pulaski St.

In 1876 members of a counterfeiting gang met here to hatch a plot to steal Lincoln's corpse from its burial vault in Springfield. The gang had planned to hide Lincoln's body in the Indiana sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan and negotiate with the governor of Illinois for $200,000 in cash and the release of Ben Boyd. The bartender at the Rustic Inn overheard the plot and reported it to the authorities. The Secret Service later apprehended the gang members. Robert Todd Lincoln had his father's coffin encased in several tons of cement to prevent future attempts to steal the body.

Other Lincoln sites in Lincoln

9. Stephen A. Douglas speech site

Comer of Fourth and Logan streets

Stephen Douglas visited this city during the famous 1858 Illinois senatorial campaign. Douglas paraded with all his supporters through the decorated streets to the tent that was pitched on this site. Lincoln, who was also in town, listened to his opponent from the back of the crowd. In the end, a majority of Logan County voters favored Lincoln, but Douglas won the 1858 election.

10. Postville Courthouse

914 Fifth St.

This state historic site is a replica of an 1840 courthouse where Lincoln argued, won and lost cases while he traveled the 8th Judicial Circuit.

11. Site of Deskins Tavern

915 Fifth St.

Lincoln often stayed at Deskins Tavern when he traveled to Postville. A well where he quenched his thirst is also at this site.

12. Postville Park

1300 Fifth St.

Abraham Lincoln was well-known for his athletic abilities, and he frequently joined in games of "town ball" at this village park.

13. Lincoln College and Museum

300 Keokuk St.

A nationally registered landmark, Lincoln College was founded and named for President Lincoln on Feb. 12, 1865. The museum houses an extensive collection of memorabilia on the life of Abraham Lincoln.

[See "LC Museum named one of 10 best Lincoln-related sites in Illinois"]


Other sites of interest in downtown Lincoln 

Lincoln Public Library (a Carnegie building)

725 Pekin St.

Logan County Genealogical
& Historical Society

114 N. Chicago St.

Lincoln City Hall

700 Broadway St.

U.S. Post Office

102 S. McLean St.

Courthouse Square Historic District

including historic sites, restaurants and shops

[Click here for larger map]

Logan County historical landmarks


J. H. Hawes wooden country elevator. Open Sunday afternoons June through August. Free.

Atlanta Public Library and Museum. On National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1908. Comer of Race and Arch. Phone (217) 648-2112. Free.


Monument proclaims the geographic center of the state of Illinois. Town was laid out in 1872.


Elkhart Cemetery. Richard J. Oglesby, who was elected governor of Illinois in 1864, 1872 and 1884, is buried here; also John Dean Gillett, known as the "Cattle King of the World," and Capt. Adam Bogardus, wing shot champion of the world. For tours of the cemetery and John Dean Gillett Chapel, please phone (217) 947-2238.


Bethel Church. Built in 1854. Three miles from Route 136 between Emden and Atlanta on County Road 20.


Site of Deskins Tavern. Across the street from Postville Courthouse, 915 Fifth St. Signage. Free.

Site of well Abraham Lincoln drank from. Across the street from Postville Courthouse, 915 Fifth St. Free.

Site of town christening by Abraham Lincoln on Aug. 27, 1853. Lincoln was the first community in the United States to be named for Abraham Lincoln before he became famous. Also, Lincoln's funeral train stopped here on May 3,1865. Located at the south side of the Lincoln Depot, Broadway and Chicago streets. Official Looking for Lincoln signage. Free.

Logan County Courthouse. Contains second-largest courtroom in Illinois. Built in 1905. Located on the courthouse square, downtown Lincoln. Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday until noon. Phone (217) 732-6400. Free.

Lincoln College Museum. Over 3,000 historic items. Lincoln College was founded and named for President Lincoln on Feb. 12, 1865. Keokuk and Ottawa streets. Summer hours: 9 to 4 Monday through Friday; 1 to 4 Saturday and Sunday; closed May 28 and July 4. Free.

Heritage In Flight Museum. Museum is filled with memorabilia from all U.S. military conflicts back to World War I. Located at the Logan County Airport. Phone ahead (217) 732-3333 to confirm hours. Free but donations accepted.

Lincoln Public Library. Original Carnegie library built in 1902. Tiffany-style glass inner dome. 725 Pekin St. Open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 to 6; Saturday, 9 to 3. Phone (217) 732-8878. Free.

Postville Courthouse State Historic Site. Guided tours. 914 Fifth St. Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Ph. (217) 732-8930 for additional information. Free but donations accepted.


Stagecoach Inn. The inn was on the old stage route from Springfield to Peoria. Built mid-1800s. Village is also famous for its aeronautical history. Free.

Mount Pulaski

Mount Pulaski Courthouse. This building is one of only two original 8th Judicial Circuit courthouses in Illinois. On National Register of Historic Places. Was Logan County Courthouse from 1847 to 1855. Guided tours. Open 12 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday. Phone (217) 732-8930. Free.

[Link to historical information on communities in Logan County]

Heritage In Flight Museum open on weekends

A little-known historical site full of large and small treasures sits on the outskirts of town on the Logan County Airport property. The Heritage In Flight Museum building itself is a part of history. It is a remnant of Camp Ellis, located west of Havana, which was the largest military training and prisoner-of-war camp in the United States during World War II. After the war the camp was closed and the buildings were sold. Logan County Airport is fortunate to have one of the few remaining structures from Camp Ellis.

A little-known historical site full of large and small treasures sits on the outskirts of town on the Logan County Airport property. The Heritage In Flight Museum building itself is a part of history. It is a remnant of Camp Ellis, located west of Havana, which was the largest military training and prisoner-of-war camp in the United States during World War II. After the war the camp was closed and the buildings were sold. Logan County Airport is fortunate to have one of the few remaining structures from Camp Ellis.

Several historic items are found outside at the airport, including the rotating beacon, the green-and-white light that identifies the airport location to pilots flying at night. Before being moved to Logan County Airport, it was part of the lighted airway system that the airmail pilots in the 1920s used to navigate at night. The one that now resides here was originally located between Lincoln and Atlanta and provided a bright signal for Charles Lindbergh when he flew the airmail route between St. Louis and Chicago.

While outside you can also view a number of aircraft that are on display from various time periods.

Moving to the inside, you find that the Heritage in Flight Museum is filled with items of aviation history from the military and civilian branches of flying and from the earliest days of open-cockpit biplanes to the latest jets. Veterans who reside in Logan County have donated much of what the museum has. Families from the community have donated items that belonged to our war heroes, revealing special sentiments, symbolism and forgotten practices that held a community together in war times. Other items offer a look at early technology such as the airplane and ship radios. Of the thousands of items in the museum, each can be said to teach us something about our past. Visitors can relive history through the numerous displays, mostly grouped in wartime periods, and gain a strong sense of patriotism while studying military displays throughout the building.


[to top of second column in this article]


A guided tour is recommended to get the most from these displays. The volunteers are both knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter and will bring to light little-known nuances that make the displays fascinating.

The museum is always interested in adding items of aviation history. Its greatest need, however, is for more volunteers to help in the guardianship of this important gateway to Lincoln and Logan County.

The museum requires lots of care and maintenance. Members are always looking for interested people of all ages to help care for it, share their interests and preserve a bit of aviation history.

Heritage In Flight Museum is operated by an all-volunteer, non-profit organization: Heritage-In-Flight, Inc. You are invited to come meet the members and sit in on their meetings anytime. Meetings take place at 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month in the terminal meeting room.

The museum is a great resource to educate our youth about our aeronautical and military past and shares the wealth of military traditions from a community and national perspective. Schools, youth groups and families are welcome.

Heritage in Flight Museum

1351 Airport Road, Lincoln

Open Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone: (217) 732-3333

Call the airport and leave a message to request a guided tour, schedule a time during the week or ask for more information.


You can read more about HIF from the archives of LDN. Go to: http://archives.lincolndailynews.com/2001/Feb/15/comunity/business.shtml#Logan County is host to a unique museum rich in special military stories and treasures



  • Lincoln Park District, 732-8770



Blue Dog Inn
111 S. Sangamon
Monday 11-2
Tuesday-Thursday 11-10
Friday & Saturday 11-11

2815 Woodlawn Road




Community Information

Links to Other Tourism Sites in Illinois

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Calendar

Letters to the Editor