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Traveling the Lincoln Highway - Day 5 Rochelle, IL to Tama, IA

We woke to another day of gorgeous weather as we headed for Rochelle, Illinois along the Lincoln Highway. At the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Lincoln Highway we found a restored 1918 Standard Oil Station.

Standard Oil Station in Rochelle, IL

Standard Oil Station in Rochelle, IL

Just a short drive from here is the Rochelle Railroad Park. The park is situated in the eastern side of a diamond crossing between the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) mainlines. It is one of only a few places in the US where two double tracks cross each other at grade to form four “diamonds”.  It is a very busy spot for train watchers with up to 120 trains passing in a 24 hour period.

Rochelle Railroad Park

Rochelle Railroad Park

Rochelle Railroad Park

There is a nice pavilion to shield you from the elements as well as listen to the train chatter from the trains which is broadcast over speakers.  There is also "hobo art" hung in the rafters. A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) is here on display as well. Rochelle was home to Whitcomb Locomotive which made more than 5000 locomotives from 1907-1952.

W.F. Hall Printing Company #5 - Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1

Track work at the diamonds in Rochelle, IL

Rochelle Railroad Park

On the way out of Rochelle we stop to snap a photo of a mural and a Lincoln Highway sign.

Lincoln Highway Mural - Rochelle, IL

Lincoln Highway Sign

In Franklin Grove, we had a good breakfast at the Lincoln Highway Cafe with some fellow travelers that we met earlier in Rochelle. The Lincoln is a great place to meet others from all over the world doing exactly the same thing you are; travelling the Lincoln Highway.


In the 1860 Harry Isaac Lincoln Building (cousin to Abraham Lincoln) you will find the National Headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Association.  This is a great place to ask questions and pick up some souvenirs.

Harry Isaac Lincoln Building in Franklin Grove, IL

National Headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Association

National Headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Association

The War Memorial Arch, first built in 1919, welcomes you to Dixon, Illinois where they promote "Ronald Reagan grew up here." There are some interesting buildings around town and it might be a good place for you to stretch your legs.

War Memorial Arch in Dixon, IL

The Dixon Theater was built in 1922 to replace the opera house that burned in the same location in 1920.

The Dixon Theater - Dixon, IL

The three story Bedford Stone building was built by William J. McAlpine and originally used as his residence for a short time. In the 1930's the Jones Funeral Home purchased the property and moved its operations there.

The William J. McAlpine House - Dixon, IL

The Crawford House was built in 1869. It now operates as a Victorian Bed and Breakfast.

The Crawford House - Dixon, IL

Just north of the Lincoln Highway in Morrison, Illinois is a new covered bridge. Built in 2001, the covered bridge spans 137 feet over the Rock Creek. Set your GPS to the intersection of Crosby Rd and Norrish Rd to find it.

Covered Bridge in Morrison, IL

Covered Bridge in Morrison, IL


Covered Bridge in Morrison, IL

It's time for another windmill! But this isn't an old one but was built new in 2000. "De Immigrant Windmill" in Fulton, IL was manufactured in the Netherlands and then sent here for assembly. It stands nearly 100 feet tall and is fully functional. The blue basalt millstones grind up flour that you can purchase at the gift shop.

De Immigrant Windmill in Fulton, IL

De Immigrant Windmill in Fulton, IL

De Immigrant Windmill in Fulton, IL


Driving down the old portions of the Lincoln Highway you can still see abandoned section of roadway. We found this abandoned bridge on a section on a barely paved road near Spring Rock, Iowa crossing the Calamus Creek.



Belle Plaine


In Chelsea, IA there is a brick garage with a sign for Viscomotor Oil painted on its side. It has been partially repainted.



No trip on the Lincoln Highway would be complete without taking a photo of probably the most photographed bridge of the Lincoln. The bridge in Tama, IA was built 1915 by Paul Kingsley and has "LINCOLN HIGHWAY" spelled out in its walls.

Lincoln Highway Bridge in Tama, IA

Lincoln Highway Bridge in Tama, IA

If you missed any of our previous days read about them here:

Lincoln Highway - Day 1
Lincoln Highway - Day 2
Lincoln Highway - Day 3
Lincoln Highway - Day 4


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