Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Get Ready Sutherland!

It might not look like a lot is happening to get ready for the 2013 centennial of the Lincoln Highway (Highway 30), but a lot has been going on behind the scenes, and as the days start to warm up all of my Sutherland family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, even complete strangers will be asked to pitch in with one project or another.

Lois Buchholz's tiny service station.
First off, I want to congratulate Lois Buchholz and Charlie Funk for the amazing privately-funded transformations they have made on their buildings along Sutherland's main street and Highway 30. The work they have done has made a lot of difference in our little town.
One of Charlie Funk's buildings on First Street all spruced up.
After getting a new roof last summer, not much has happened with the little filling station on the west edge of town. Lon Wisdom and the industrial arts department at the Sutherland Public Schools are hard at work refurbishing the old Frontier Oil sign and a vintage gas pump.

Awaiting a refurbished sign and a mural
A local artist should have a rendering available in the VERY near future for a mural to be painted on the front of the blue building next to the service station, the former walk-in cooler for Saxtons. I haven't heard yet if there's going to be jobs for "novice" painters on this project, but if there is, rest assured I will put out the word.

As far as the service station itself goes, at any time the boards protecting the windows can be pulled out and the window sashes removed for stripping, sand blasting and reglazing. The frames will need to be hand-stripped (sand blasting could cause MAJOR damage to the building), then they can be replaced.

The wood trim needs to be measured, new boards cut, painted and replaced. A sample needs to be taken of the crown molding so it can be recreated and replaced. The stucco needs to be patched, then painted. The color scheme is going to be stucco - white; trim - red; window frames - black. Samantha at the Village Clerks office is researching what a period-looking door would look like so it can be replaced.

Other projects include recreating historic billboards that can be found along the Lincoln Highway. This first one is in Franklin Grove, Illinois. We kind of blindsided Vicki at the Growth Committee meeting Wednesday night, but we hope to be able to paint it on the wood fence at Ozzies. The mileage would be replaced with Frisco 1373/New York 1538, Ogallala 31, North Platte 21.

The second one is an historic billboard that could be found at Big Springs, Nebraska. The arrow and wording would remain the same, but the map at the bottom would be replaced with one that reflects our local area. Jim Bliss of Sutherland Sportsmens Cove has graciously given permission for this one to be painted on the wooden fence at his place of business.

I've been told that 50 degrees is about the lower threshold for a paint job, but I'm hoping these billboards can be done in stages as 50* days come along - power washing; priming; white paint; graphics. Anyone with expertise in any of these areas is welcome to pitch in! We'll be playing a lot of "Tom Sawyer" this spring, getting people to help out with painting projects.

Who knows, if we get really industrious, there might even be a "pole painting" project in the works.

As I'm sure most of you know, the 2013 Cattlemens Ball is going to be hosted at Sutherland's Hanging H Ranch just west of town on June 7 and 8. The goal is to have ALL of these projects completed by that time. That time frame will coincide nicely with the official Auto Tour of the Lincoln Highway which should come through Sutherland on June 28.

If you have a club or organization who would like to help with one of these projects, feel free to message Nebraska Outback on Facebook, or, if the temperature warms up to past 50 degrees, take a drive along the highway. You just might see someone working on a project and you can pitch in.

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