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Wind storm damages World’s Largest Covered Wagon January 27, 2014

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Motels, Weather.
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A wind storm Sunday night severely damaged the World’s Largest Covered Wagon next to Route 66 in Lincoln, Ill., that features a statue of a sitting Abraham Lincoln, reported the Lincoln Courier.

The newspaper detailed the damage:

The wind blew the wagon and its rider, Abraham Lincoln, nearly onto its side. Though the statue of the 16th president sustained very little damage, and in fact stayed firmly in place, many parts of the wagon were badly damaged.

The two left wagon wheels were crushed by the wagon’s fall, and the right-front wheel was damaged. The tarpaulin that covers the wagon was badly ripped and nearly torn off, and there was damage to the suspension and wheels axles.

Nancy Saul, interim director at the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, said the wagon is insured and plans for its future will be discussed at a special board meeting Monday evening.

Wind gusts of 50 mph and higher were reported by the National Weather Service all over Illinois that evening.

The wagon, also called the Railsplitter Covered Wagon, once was in Divernon, Ill. Geoff Ladd, former executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau, was instrumental in having the wagon purchased and moved to Lincoln in 2007.

The wagon weighs 10,000 pounds and measures 40 feet long and 24 feet tall. The statue of Lincoln, seated in the front, weighs 350 pounds and is 12 feet tall. It was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s at the Best Western Lincoln Inn at 1750 Fifth St. in Lincoln.

UPDATE: A follow-up story in the Lincoln Courier reported that a commitment has been made to fully repair the wagon:

Interim Director Nancy Saul said that, while many details are still uncertain, every effort will be made to restore the wagon.

“We’re talking to some people, and considering bids,” said Saul.

“And we hope to have it fixed in time for the 2014 tourism season.”

Saul also responded saying the Tourism Bureau was offered assistance by several Route 66 associations to help repair the wagon.

“They said, ‘Whatever you need, we’ll see what we can do,’” said Saul.

(Photos by WLCN radio and Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County via Geoff Ladd)

Comments»

1. Mike - January 27, 2014

The first time I ever saw this thing, it looked something like this. I thought it was supposed to–until I saw it the second time. It’s pretty nice that

2. DynoDave - January 28, 2014

Disappointing to hear it was damaged, but glad to hear it will be repaired.

Ron Warnick - January 28, 2014

We *think* it will be repaired. Just because it’s insured doesn’t necessarily mean it will be fixed.

3. Emmy Bates - February 2, 2014

It is very sad that the city of Lincoln,IL doesn’t respect or appreciate the tourism it should be encouraging and embracing. Any sites along Old 66 should be promoted. Tourism dollars are very important to cities, and when you have places to look at you should promote them. Look at Pontiac,IL and follow a leader. FIX THE WAGON!!!


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