HISTORIC AREA: Preserving Jefferson Highway

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On the east edge of Colo there is an old motel, cafe, and gas station. Unlike so many across rural Iowa, these buildings have been preserved.

Colo is at the crossroads of historic roads in America. From the east to west, the Lincoln Highway which is the first paved road across the U.S. from New York to San Francisco. North and south is the Jefferson Highway, the first paved north-south road in the U.S. which goes from Canada to New Orleans, and going right through Colo along what most know as Highway 65.

The newly formed Jefferson Highway Association will hold it's first-ever meeting in Iowa.  The group will discuss road preservation issues at a conference Friday April 27th at the Gateway Hotel in Ames.

On Saturday attendees will board a bus to visit the Jefferson Highway Marker on the Minnesota state line.  They will then visit the restored Frank Lloyd Wright Park Inn Hotel in Mason City.  The tour will visit the Princess Cafe in Iowa Falls, and conclude at the Reed Niland Corner at Colo.

Jefferson Highway Conference organizer Scott Berka of Colo says that recent interest in the Lincoln Highway, and the Jefferson Highway puts Colo in a unique spot at the junction of both roads. "I look for travel to pick up especially thru places like Colo, Nevada, and Ames," said Berka.

The junction of two roads has a restored old gas station, and a cafe which is open for business. An old motel has been restored and is available for travelers.

Seats may still be available for the bus tour Saturday. Scott Berka is the organizer, he can be reached at 877-234-2656 at the Colo Development Group.

For more information on the Jefferson Highway and its conference check www.jeffersonhighway.org

You may also want to check the Lincoln Highway Association at http://www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/iowa/