Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps – Saturdays in March 2015

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Four special 2-hour walking tours of places in Chicago’s Loop that are part of the Lincoln Legacy

Pullman Building

Pullman Building

Abraham Lincoln visited Chicago repeatedly during a 13-year span from 1847 to 1860, and his funeral train came through the city in 1865. Tad Lincoln died here, Mary attempted suicide here, and Robert Todd Lincoln became a lawyer and practiced law here. These tours will visit many sites important to the Lincoln legacy in Chicago.

Tour Highlights:

    Lake Street, That Great Street. Saturday March 7, 10:06 a.m. Meet at James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street. We visit sites including the Wigwam, where Lincoln was nominated for President in 1860; the Tremont House, Abe’s favorite Hotel; and Crosby’s Opera House where Robert Todd Lincoln’s first law office was located.
    A Noisy, Dreary Place. Saturday March 14, 10:06 a.m. Meet on the steps of the Art Institute, Adams and Michigan. We visit sites including the Pullman Building (pictured above) where Robert Todd Lincoln worked and the Clifton House where Mary, Robert, and Tad lived and where Tad died in 1871.
    Insane Woman Walking. Saturday March 21, 10:06 a.m. Meet at Daley Plaza, Clark and Washington. Starting at the site of pre- and post-fire Cook County Courthouse, where Lincoln practiced law and where his coffin was visited by mourners, and where Mary Todd was declared insane. Ending at the site where Mary attempted suicide.
    A Mighty Good Road. Saturday March 28, 10:06 a.m. Meet at the Great Hall of Union Station. Sites include location of pre-fire Union Depot where Lincoln’s Funeral Train departed for Springfield and location of the Van Buren (LaSalle) Station, where the Rock Island Line headed west to cross the Mississippi for the first time in 1856 (thanks to Lincoln).

Reservations required. To register, send an email to tour guide David Clark at: . Or call 312-432-1284.
Each tour will start at 10:06 a.m. (66 minutes after 9 a.m.)! All participants in the tour will pay a discounted price less than 66% of the regular $25.00 per person cost—that is only $15.00 per guest for a 2-hour adventure.

Tours subject to cancellation if fewer than SIX reservations are received by the Friday before each tour.

Tour Participants receive a 10% discount off of The Roads That Lead to Lincoln. To receive the book discount, the book must be ordered at the time of tour reservation.

Meet the Route 66 Authors Oct 5th at Berwyn 66 Museum-

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Berwyn Route 66 Museum Logo

Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Avenue, Berwyn IL

Come visit with Dave Clark and Jim Hinckley, noted and award-winning authors of books on Route 66 (and other subjects). We will be at the Berwyn Route 66 Museum from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on October 5, 2011. Feel free to come by to buy an autographed book, bring books you already own so we can sign them, or simply engage in conversation about Route 66, transportation history, Chicago and the great American West, or anything else! It will also be a great opportunity to see the new Berwyn Route 66 Museum and what it has to offer!

Ghost Towns of Route 66 by Jim Hinckley

Ghost Towns of Route 66 by Jim Hinckley (click above to visit Jim's blog, Route 66 Chronicles

Jim Hinckley – Author of Ghost Towns of Route 66

Explore the beauty and nostalgia of these abandoned communities along America’s favorite highway! Ghost towns lie all along the Mother Road. The quintessential boom-and-bust highway of the American West, Route 66 once hosted a thriving array of boom towns built around oil mines, railroad stops, cattle ranches, resorts, stagecoach stops, and gold mines. Join Route 66 expert Jim Hinckley as he tours more than 25 ghost towns, rich in stories and history, complemented by gorgeous sepia-tone and color photography by Kerrick James. Also includes directions and travel tips for your ghost-town explorations along Route 66!
Hardcover • 160 pages
151 color & 21 b/w photos, 1 map
$25.00 US

Route 66 in Chicago

Route 66 in Chicago by David G. Clark

David Clark – Author of Route 66 in Chicago

Vintage photographs and postcard views, as well as contemporary images, are weaved together with narrative and captions to tell the pictorial history of the world’s most famous highway and the city in which it began.

“Much as Route 66 and the city of Chicago share a kindred history, so do the art and text, paired perfectly so that readers get plenty of information and are able to see what the author is talking about” –Jon P. Callender, American Road Magazine.

“David Clark has produced an excellent volume tracing the Route 66 corridor through the Chicago of today and back to early Native American trails and waterways…Clark is noted for his outstanding research and entertaining writing style and this book does not disappoint in either category”—Bob Moore, Route 66 Magazine.

First place winner, nonfiction history book, 2008 Illinois Women’s Press Association Communications Awards.

Softcover: 128 Pages, 6 1/2″ wide x 9 3/16″ tall, 195 photos & illustrations. $19.99.

Both authors will have these titles and more available for purchase and signing. Come by for casual conversation about Route 66, other U.S. Highways, your travels, local and U.S. history, or to just say hello!
Berwyn Route 66 Museum, 7003 W. Ogden Ave., 708-484-9349

Your Chicago: Route 66 Starting Point, CBS 2 Chicago

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

…this segment with news anchor Kate Sullivan appeared on the CBS 2 Chicago 10 p.m. newscast on September 30th, 2011. It can be seen, along with its accompanying text, at the Web page.

If this video makes you hungry for more, please contact me for a tour, a presentation to your library/museum/social group, or to buy a book or postcard! or call me at 312-432-1284! Get your kicks with me on Route 66!

Another Promo for CBS 2 9/30 Route 66 Your Chicago Segment

Friday, September 30th, 2011

… this time I speak! I was asked the question why people come to Chicago from all around the world for their 66 adventure and I said, “It is the adventure of a lifetime that they’ve been looking forward to.” Enjoy!

New Berwyn, IL Route 66 Postcard available

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Berwyn Route 66 Postcard available with purchase of Book!…for the first time this Saturday, September 10th, at the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show! It will be given away free with every purchase of one of my books: Route 66 in Chicago, Exploring Route 66 in Chicagoland, and The Roads that Lead to Lincoln

Both of the photos show the same view, just 111 years apart. On the left we see Ogden Avenue in Berwyn as it appeared in 1900 looking east from Home Avenue, and on the right is the current view of 2011.

Ogden Avenue in Berwyn has a long history as a public highway. It became one of Cook County’s first official highways all the way back in 1831. It became part of the Illinois state highway system in 1918 as Illinois 4 and 18. In 1926, U.S. Highways 32 and 66 were aligned on Ogden. 32 was replaced with 34 in 1933. Although there is no current route designation on Berwyn’s portion of Ogden Avenue, it is still under the jurisdiction and maintenance of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

So, this postcard shows the “before” and “after” of Ogden as a U.S. Highway. And it can be yours if you make you way to the Berwyn Route 66 Car Show this Saturday and buy a book (autographed, of course!). I will be at the registration table! See you there!

Update: I have had some inquiries on Facebook from people that cannot come to the Car Show this weekend, but they would like the postcard. I will happily include a Berwyn postcard with any book purchase from this Web site In the next few weeks I will evaluate whether to offer this as a standalone purchase item or perhaps it might be added to the color postcard set I already offer. However, in the mean time, feel free to order a book if you have been putting it off!

Join me at the Printers Row Lit Fest

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

For the second year in a row, I will be selling and signing my books and related items at the Printers Row Lit Fest, billed by the event’s sponsor, the Chicago Tribune, as the Midwest’s largest literary event! The Fest will be held June 6-7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I will be at the tent of the Illinois Womens Press Association (IWPA), where I will be offering my three books: Exploring Route 66 in Chicagoland, Images of America: Route 66 in Chicago, and The Roads that Lead to Lincoln. More information about the Lit Fest, including a downloadable map of the event, is available here:

Printers Row Lit Fest —

The IWPA tent will be located on Dearborn Street, just a little bit north of Polk Street. Please stop by! If you already own a copy of one or more of my books, feel free to bring them with you so I can sign them. Here’s hoping I see many of you this coming weekend in Chicago!

Which came first: Highway or Route?

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Announcement of original US Highway Numbers and Mileage 1927

Announcement of original US Highway Numbers and Mileage 1927

There has been a discussion recently on the Yahoo Route 66 eGroup concerning the use of the words “highway” or “route” in reference to our US Highway system. The gist of the discussion is: when did these terms come into use; when did it become more prevalent to refer to “Route 66,” rather than “Highway 66.”

What we know is that the U.S. Highway system came about as an agreement between the states with some oversight from the Bureau of Public Roads, then a part of the Department of Agriculture. The original map of highways was approved in November 1926, but the public announcement did not occur until January 1927. A list of all of the newly designated highways, their mileage, and the cities and states they would serve, was printed in American Highways, the quarterly publication of the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) in the April 1927 issue. Click here or on the image above to see the article in its entirety.

From this article, which I find definitive since it comes from the official source that created the U.S. Highway system, we see that the official name of the new system was clear. The title of the article is “United States Numbered Highways.” All of the original highways are described with their number, their mileage, the states served, and within each state some of the municipalities served. For instance, for Highway 66, the title is “United States Highway No. 66. Total Mileage, 2448.

However, from this very first article, it seems that in general usage the words “highway,” “road,” and “route” are used fairly interchangeably. The introductory paragraphs of the article use “road” seven times, “highway” three times, and “route” four times. The subtitle of the article is “For the Convenience of the Traveling Public a Limited System of State Roads Have Been Given Continuous Numbers Across the Country.” Highway is used as an official reference, “state highway departments,” “highway officials,” and “Federal Aid Highway System.” Route is used more colloquially: “there must be some diagonal routes joining these odd and even numbered routes;” “The total mileage involved in the routes selected is 96,626 miles;” “The following description of these routes have been prepared after careful observation and approval of the State offiicals.”

Thus, from the beginning, the terminology of highway, route, or road was loosely applied. Another example can be seen from the late 1930s, when John Steinbeck’s book The Grapes of Wrath, was published. Steinbeck mainly referred to the “Mother Road,” a term he coined, as “Highway 66,” or simply “66.” The following is from Chapter 12 of the novel:

Highway 66 is the main migrant road. 66–the long concrete path across the country, waving gently up and down on the map…over the red lands and the gray lands, twisting up into the mountains, crossing the Divide and down into the bright and terrible desert, and across the desert to the mountains again, and into the rich California valleys.

66 is the path of of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership, from the desert’s slow northward invasion, from the twisting winds that howl up out of Texas, from the floods that bring no richness to the land and steal what little richness is there. From all of these the people are in flight, and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads. 66 is the mother road, the road of flight.

I do not have a copy of Steinbeck’s novel in front of me, so I cannot go throughout the text to see if he uses “route 66″ elsewhere in the book. However, in a review of The Grapes of Wrath that appeared in the Saturday Review of Literature in the spring of 1939, we have this:

It is the particular story of one family, the Joads from a farm near Sallisaw. You have seen them going west through Texas and New Mexico on Route 66, or you have seen them in Resettlement Administration photographs: three generations in a second-hand truck piled high with everything they own.

One of the commenters on the Yahoo Route 66 eGroup noted that the song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66″ was written by Bobby Troup, who was originally from Pennsylvania. His point is that it is possible that the popularity of that song might have led to prevalence of “route” over “highway.” I hope that the commentor will not object to this quote of his interesting post:

We never say “Highway 1″ out here – we say either “US 1″ or “Route 1″. If we’re talking about a state numbered highway, it’s either “Route 563″ or “PA 563″ (we Pennsylvanians often call our state “P-A”), or just simply “563″. We never call any highway (whether state, US or Interstate) “the 66″ as they do
in Canada and in California.

These regional differences in terminology are interesting–here in Chicago, if a road has a number and a name, we almost always call it by the name and not the number. If you ask a Chicagoan how to get to I-94, they likely would look at you as if you are a Martian; but if you ask about the Dan Ryan, Kennedy, or Edens Expressways, you will get detailed and knowledgeable directions.

There may well be some connection between Bobby Troup’s “P-A”-isms and why he decided to write about “route 66″ instead of “highway 66,” and it also may be true that the popularity of that song might have brought the use of “route” to more prominence over the more official term “highway.” It is also clear, however, that the terminology has been inexact in common usage from the beginning of the U.S. Highway System.

The Roads that Lead to Lincoln

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Click for a look inside Roads that Lead to Lincoln
2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Since November 2008, I have been traveling to Chicago area libraries presenting a PowerPoint program, The Roads that Lead to Lincoln, a look at Lincoln’s life in Illinois and his contributions to the development of the state through his politics and law practice. The last half of the program is a travelogue of historic sites related to Lincoln that can be seen along three of the National Scenic Byways of Illinois: Route 66, The Great River Road, and the Lincoln Highway.

The amount of information that I amassed during my research was much more than I could use in a one-hour slide show, so I decided to write a companion book that would allow for greater detail. I have been selling copies of The Roads that Lead to Lincoln: Finding Honest Abe on the Historic Highways of Illinois at my programs since January 2009, and I now have it available on this web site’s Gift Shop page as well. Please take a look and order a couple dozen copies!