Nearly 85 percent of the original Lincoln Highway is still in use throughout the state of Iowa, and the highway happens to run directly through the center of Nevada.

Belinda Scavone-Martin of Nevada used the fact that she has lived on the historic Lincoln Highway for the past 28 years as a foundation for a business proposal. In June 2012, Scavone-Martin, along with her daughter, Patricia Curler of Nevada, founded the business, Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors.

According to Scavone-Martin, Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors was started to give those who make handmade crafts an opportunity to share their things with others, and to give others a place to sell and promote their products. The crafters and vendors shows are also a great way, she said, for others to meet new people and make long-lasting friendships.

Curler said she wanted to start the business because, "many handcrafters cannot afford to participate in the larger, more expensive craft fairs, and our company provides a more affordable way for people to be able to participate in sales throughout Central Iowa - along the Iowa Lincoln Highway."

To date, the Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors have held three sales. All of the previous sales were located at the Iowa State 4-H Extension building (Christy Hall) near the county fairgrounds. Both Scavone-Martin and Curler concur that one of the direct sales vendors who participated in the sale, "had her best sale ever that day."

In early April, Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors is also hosting an upcoming sale in a new location. Their fourth sale, "The Iowa Lincoln Highway Spring Fling Crafters & Vendors Sale," will be held Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gates Memorial Hall in Nevada. This will be the time Scavone-Martin and Curler have tried a spring event. "There will be over 50 of the top crafters and vendors to suit all of your shopping needs," Curler said.

A little history

The original Lincoln Highway that runs through Nevada holds significant value to the Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors.

Construction of the historic Lincoln Highway started in 1913 in New York City. The highway was rerouted to pass through the Holland Tunnel in New York City.

Being born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Scavone-Martin has numerous childhood memories of driving through the Holland Tunnel. "It is such coincidence [or maybe it was fate] that when I was young I constantly traveled though the Holland Tunnel, and on the Lincoln Highway in New York, and now that I am older, I actually live on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa," she said. Since 1913, the transcontinental highway has massively expanded, and now runs from New York City, N.Y., to San Francisco, Calif. (and straight through Iowa).

Just recently, Scavone-Martin and Curler started a second business, Iowa Jefferson Highway Crafters & Vendors. The mother-daughter tag team created this sister company to the original business, Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors, because they have had so many individuals living along the Jefferson Highway, who have contacted them about participating in the sales.

The Iowa Jefferson Highway also has an interesting history. It was inspired by the original Lincoln Highway. The Iowa Jefferson Highway was built in 1918, and runs from New Orleans, La., to Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.

Although the two highways run perpendicular to each other, they do cross paths and merge for a short distance of 10 miles between Colo and Ames before the Jefferson Highway heads south.

The first "Iowa Jefferson Highway Crafters & Vendors" show will be held Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Grimes Community Center in Grimes. At the Easter Egg Stravaganza Crafters & Vendors Event, there will be a special visit from the Easter Bunny, face painting, arts and crafts projects for children, a lot of games and an Easter Egg Hunt.

As if having two business to run was not enough, the mother-daughter duo recently outdid themselves again. The two just created their third business, Iowa Crossroads Crafters & Vendors. Curler said, "This business was created because we have so much business between our two other businesses, so, we created a new business that combines the Iowa Lincoln Highway Crafters & Vendors, and the Jefferson Highway Crafters & Vendors to make the Iowa Crossroads Crafters & Vendors. The name came to me because of where the Lincoln Highway and the Jefferson Highway ‘cross,’ and become the ‘crossroads.’"

The first Iowa Crossroads Crafters and Vendors event is currently being planned to take place at the Scheman Building (located at Iowa State University). This event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 13. If you are interested in participating in this sale, please email Curler or Scavone-Martin at iowa_crossroads@aol.com.