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Self-Guided Walking Tour: East Lincoln Highway

November 2nd, 2021
Categories: Adults, Personal Enrichment, Personal Enrichment, Reading, Writing, and Storytelling, Reading, Writing, and Storytelling, Seniors
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101 E. Lincoln Highway
Memorial Park. A two-story house stood here until the early 1900s, then for many decades a gas station was on the property. The City of Dekalb bought the property in the 1990s, moving the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Clock here in 1996.

Corner of Lincoln Highway and Seventh
Lincoln Highway Interpretive Mural. Its title is “Its Merits Recommend It.” The life expectancy of this mural is 50 years.


119 – 123 E. Lincoln Highway – 1889
The Chronicle Building. Built by Joseph Glidden to house the newspaper. DeKalb Elks Lodge #765 (1902) and the DeKalb County Farm Bureau (1912) both started on the second floor. DeKalb Public Library occupied the second floor from 1923 to 1931.The third floor was used by the Masonic Lodge. Their emblem can be seen on the structure’s cornice.

Southeast Corner of 119 and 123 E. Lincoln Highway
The wrought iron gate is the result of an old, unsettled boundary dispute.


201 – 209 E. Lincoln Highway
Site of the Glidden House block from 1876 through 1877. Joseph Glidden’s hotel and business block was destroyed by arson on April 29, 1962. 209 E. Lincoln Highway survived the fire. See the historic stone wall in Palmer Court.

261 E. Lincoln Highway
Site of the Jacob Haish Opera House from 1876 through 1938. The Drs. Smith Building was constructed between 1946 and 1948.


323 E. Lincoln Highway – 1902
Commercial Trust and Savings Bank building. The top floor held the lodge hall of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


325 E. Lincoln Highway – 1876
Built as Phineas Smith’s blacksmith shop. Originally a freestanding stone structure, the east wall facing Fourth Street retains its historic integrity since its neighbors were demolished in the fall of 2008.


423 E. Lincoln Highway
Moudy Park. Site of the Flatiron Building and Candle Light Inn.


545 E. Lincoln Highway
McDonald’s replaced the Jacob Haish Barbed Wire Factory (1881 – 1979).


607 E. Lincoln Highway – c. 1942
NAPA Auto Parts currently inhabits the former A&P Grocery building.


621 – 649 E. Lincoln Highway – 1929
Fargo Theatre block. Erected at a cost of $375,000 by Bert J. Nelson of Sycamore for Henry B. Fargo of Geneva. Decorative ornamentation is cast concrete. The second floor was originally just one apartment, occupied by Henry’s granddaughter Ann. The auditorium is now an indoor skate park.

659 – 665 E. Lincoln Highway – circa 1900
Built as an agricultural implement store for Robert Ferguson.

664 E. Lincoln Highway
Remembered by long-time residents as Carlson’s Grocery. In modern times it became Ralph’s News Stand. It is currently a municipal parking lot.

534 E. Lincoln Highway
North Central Cyclery was once Wally’s Cyclery, owned by Mr. Pumpkin himself, Wally Thurow.

518 E. Lincoln Highway
The K.J.’s Tavern building occupies the site of Jacob Haish’s carpentry shop of 1853. It was demolished circa 1937.

512 – 514 E. Lincoln Highway
Gordon’s Hardware was a department store in 1928.

460 E. Lincoln Highway
Circa 1920 this was the site of Sawyer’s Super Service Station, an early gas station and repair shop. Sawyer’s later became a car dealership. It is currently a Dunkin’ Donuts.

260 E. Lincoln Highway – 1938
Site of Jacob Haish’s Beehive block circa 1883-1937. The current structure dates from 1938 as J.C. Penney.

248 E. Lincoln Highway – circa 1930
The Wedberg building. The original second floor façade was made of leftover terracotta from the Egyptian Theatre. When it was replaced with brick, it took on the Chilton name. They are its long-time owners.

230 E. Lincoln Highway – 1876/1898
Two separate buildings comprise this structure: one from 1876, the other from 1898. Historically, it was H.H. Wagner Dry Goods/Malone’s Department Store (1875 – 1985). The modern brick façade replaced an early 1960s muddling of its historic appearance.


164 E. Lincoln Highway – 1892
This building was originally DeKalb National Bank, then became First National Bank. It has had three exterior façades as well as four different interiors over the years. It is now City Hall.


142 E. Lincoln Highway – 1899
Originally E.J. Wiswall Furniture, it later became Wiswall and Wirtz Furniture, and finally Wirtz and Wirtz Furniture. The second floor was long hidden under a false front.