Along the Lincoln Highway to Chicago

Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Iowa
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Well, let's say I'm headed to Chicago (or rather Kenosha, WI), but am not quite there yet.  After some memorable days in Cheyenne with Gina as a gracious hostess, it was time to move on.  Monday morning I got on the old Lincoln Highway (Hwy 30).  It's amazing to think that it was the main thoroughfare between Chicago and San Francisco before WWII.  On long stretches it's just a two-lane highway connecting little towns.  Most traffic chooses Interstate-80, so once again I had the road almost to myself.  The weather was again sunny, so I took the car top down and enjoyed the drive through Nebraskan corn fields.  Most of the corn has been harvested but there are still enormous areas with yellow dry corn that needs to be harvested - presumably for cattle fodder.  I got as far as Kearny, NE, and decided to stop for the night at the Holiday Inn Express.
The next morning I drove north to Dannebrog, NE, which boasts the title:  *Danish capital of Nebraska'.  Dannebrog (literally:  'Danes' banner') is the name of the Danish flag (the Danish Stars and Stripes).  According to legend it fell from heaven on June 5, 1219, when Danes were fighting in Estonia to conquer the area and to convert the local population to Christianity.  The battle wasn't going too well, so the Danish bishop raised his hands in prayer, and down came the flag.  This so reinvigorated the Danes, that they won the battle.  All according to legend...  Anyway, the Danish flag (a white cross on a red background) is the oldest national flag in the world.  Dannebrog was a nice little town with 350 inhabitants, down from 450 in its heyday.  Have a look at the photos for more information.  Tom at the Danish Bakery said that I should definitely also visit the Lutheran church nearby which I did.  The altar and the pulpit were made by a Danish craftsman, Jes Schmidt.  I spent the night in Lincoln, NE.
I was intrigued to find that Lincoln is home of the 'American Historical Society of Germans from Russia'.  Its mission statement is:  'To discover, collect, preserve, and disseminate information related to the history, cultural heritage and genealogy of German settlers in the Russian Empire and their descendants.'  Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans settled in Russia from the 16th century and onward, mostly in the Volga region.  They preserved their national identity but became increasingly repressed beginning at the end of the 19th century, and many decided to emigrate to the US.  They were mostly farmers, so it was natural for them to settle in farming states like Nebraska.  The museum in Lincoln has a rich collection of artifacts donated by the German-Russian immigrants.  It also has a rich collection of genealogical material.  It is privately funded. (See more on:
Time passed quickly.  But it was time to move on.  I still had the top down.  But when the temperature dropped to 44 F, and it started raining, I realized that I had to put it back up.  By the way, I haven't seen a convertible car in 10 days.  I managed to get all the way to Ames, Iowa, before I checked into the Holiday Inn at app. 6.00 pm.   (My host family took me to Ames to a college football game in 1962.  I don't remember who played but I do remember that it was in Ames, Iowa.)
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Vivian on

Thanks for another interesting "tour". I am a German from Russia descendant, involved with genealogy. Our people came from South Germany(near Stuttgart) to Russia to the US. Even have a Lindemann cousin living in Lincoln, in August our family gathered in Eureka SD to meet a distant relative from Germany. Fun!! Have a safe, fun trip to Chicago. Glad you missed ALL THE SNOW in SD and western ND, which caused so many animal deaths!!!

Nancy Owings on

we're going to miss your sight-seeing & history lessons.
If close to Dyersville IA might want to look for Field of Dreams Movie baseball field. Its a neat experience to walk around there. Actually today or tomorrow Cheryl, Darrin (daughter & husband ) there little ones Lance & Trent - 3-1/2 & 1yrold plus Brian (son)will be there. The other place in Dyersville is Ertl toy tractor factory & store.
Harry's brother & wife Dick , Phyllis live in Garnavillo IA just off Rt. 52.
Pikes Peak state park is also nice to look onto the Mississippi. Of course not as vast as Col. Pikes peak or the western mountains..
Have a safe rest of journey. Ann & Nancy Cooney hope to see you in the spring sometime..

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