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Boy Scout project preserves Lincoln Highway history in Tama

December 30, 2017
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"I chose this project because it is directly related with the scouts. I would also like to see a piece of history preserved," Hunter Davis said about his recent Eagle Scout effort to install an original Lincoln Highway marker at Tama's Lincoln Highway Bridge Park.

Hunter, a senior at Iowa City West High School who lives in Coralville, was also inspired by his grandparents, Orla and Colleen Davis, Tama, who have leaders in the group maintaining and expanding the park at 5th Street and Business Highway 30 on the city's east side.

Enhancing the historic Lincoln Highway Bridge Park in Tama and as a memorial to his mother, Larry and Cathy Svacina donated the original directional marker from the historic route for permanent display in 2015 and it has been in storage awaiting a plan to install in.

Article Photos

Chris Deines, Hunter Davis and fellow Scout member Tony Peterson level the marker in the Lincoln Highway Bridge Park in Tama. The historic 1915 bridge is in the background.
News-Herald photos/John Speer

So along came Hunter who took on the challenge which involved developing plans and preparing the site near the historic bridge.

Next came the actual transporting the heavy cement post, pouring cement and putting it in place which occurred with some help from friends, fellow scouts Nick, Josh, Zach and George Mordan, Tony Petersen and Jacob Dostel along with some and relatives on Nov. 18.

Hunter Davis has been in scouting seven years. His parents are Drew and Colleen Davis (yes his mother is also Coleen as is his grandmother, but pronounced slightly differently) and he has 14-year-old twin brother and sister, Ava and Drake. He said he has not yet decided on his plans after graduating from high school next year.

Fact Box

Hunter's Lincoln

Highway marker project-

To assist Hunter Davis' Project----

Lincoln Highway Bridge

Association (Lincoln Marker)

208 W. 13th St.

Tama, Iowa 52339


State Bank of Toledo

Lincoln Highway Bridge Park

Box 309

Toledo, Iowa 52342

Hunter is charged with raising the funds to pay for the cement and added costs. He has until mid-January to complete all aspects of the Lincoln Highway marker work to obtain his Eagle Scout status.

In a letter seeking support for the marker, Hunter wrote, "Since these markers were originally installed by the Boy Scouts of America, I would like to make the installation of this marker my Eagle Scout Project. With the cooperation of the Lincoln Highway Association, we have come up with a plan to install a kiosk in the Tama Lincoln Highway Bridge Park."

About the marker:

Larry's Svacina's mother, the late Delight Svacina, was well-known as an antique collector long before the hobby became popular. She acquired two of the 1928 markers after they were no longer used to mark the 3,400 mile national route which crossed Tama County.

The Svacinas said they believe his mother had the marker for at least 40 years. It had been part of her backyard out door decorations at her home in Tama.

Hunter Davis said the Boy Scouts of America orignally installed some 2,100 of the markers across the Lincoln Highway transcontinental route and it is reported less than 1,000 are known to still exist.



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