This coming week represents a first for me, as I cross the state line out of Illinois to bring Route 66 to Lowell, Indiana. This is the first time that one of the PowerPoint presentations we offer will be seen at a library outside of Illinois. The Lowell Public Library at 1505 E. Commercial Avenue (Indiana Rt. 2) will host my presentation of Historic Route 66: A Journey Through History at 7 p.m. on Tuesday April 13, 2010. To register that you are coming (most libraries like to have a head count) call 219-696-7704, or go to their website: http://www.lowellpl.lib.in.us
It is also kind of a homecoming for me, since Lowell is where I attended three years of high school, sophomore through senior years, and where I graduated in 1975 (yes, way back in the last century). My ties to Lowell have nothing to do with why I am going to their library for this presentation, because the folks there had no idea that I was a former resident of the town when they contacted me about the program.
When I lived in Lowell, it had a population of about 4,000 people, and I see that as of the last census it has grown to over 7,500. It was always a rural area in the southern part of Indiana’s Lake County, dominated by farming. There was train service in the 20th century from the Monon and nearby from the New York Central, and in the auto era it was (and still is) on Indiana state highway 2 between Indiana 55 and US 41. Not far to the east, superslab I-65 cuts its swath–the less said about that, the better.
In my school days from 1972-75, there were at first no franchise restaurants. That changed with the opening of a Dairy Queen. There was a very good restaurant named Dante’s that had pizza and Italian fare and it was an outlet for Broasted Chicken as well.
Over on US 41, just south of the intersection with Indiana 2 leading into Lowell, for most of my youth long before we moved there we often passed by and saw a barn with a painted sign advertising Look Out Mountain “In Rock City, near Chattanooga Tennessee. See Seven States!” I used to drive my parents crazy asking them when we could go down to Look Out Mountain!
I look forward to returning to Lowell, provided my passport and visa is in order for the border crossing from Illinois and Indiana. I hope any Hoosiers with an interest in Route 66 will come on down to the Lowell Public Library, 1505 E. Commercial Avenue (IN Route 2), at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. To register that you are coming (most libraries like to have a head count) call 219-696-7704, or go to their website: http://www.lowellpl.lib.in.us