Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Mother Nature again smiles on Red Flag Tour

Oct 02, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor Nice weather, no breakdowns, beautiful scenery. You couldn’t ask for more as another successful Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour was completed Saturday. Cars are shown as they lined up in New London Saturday morning for the trip to Brighton. Not all the cars were electric start as some needed a couple turns of the crank to start. The cars are shown as they are departing for Brighton.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Crisp fall mornings and mild sunny afternoons. Sounds like a perfect setting for a cruise.

That was the weather recipe for the three days of the Sixth Annual Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour Thursday-Saturday in Henry and surrounding counties.

Nice weather shouldn’t come as a surprise, though because it has been the norm for the tour. “We have been blessed with good weather; it has been great every year,” said Jeff Krug of Mt. Pleasant, tour director and president of the Red Flag board of directors.

He said the tour “went very well. We had great participants, no vehicles broke down and everyone finished.”

Wes Rinard of Newton, who has been on each tour summed up the feelings of participants. “It’s a great tour, they do a fantastic job.”

The tour is modeled after a New London to New Brighton that features vehicles from the turn of the 20th Century. The event actually began in England in the late 1890s to celebrate the speed limit increase of steam locomotives from four to 14 miles-per-hour and the abolishment of the requirement that a person carrying a red flag walk in front of the vehicle while the vehicle was in motion.

Tour participants drive their vintage cars a considerable amount of miles. The Henry County tour was the 18th this summer for John and Linda Pole of Cottage Grove, Minn., and the third time they’ve done the Henry County event. “My wife is from Iowa (Jefferson) and she likes to get back to Iowa as often as she can,” Pole chuckled.

The Poles have a dozen classic vehicles and were driving a 1910 Buick Model 14 Buggy About last weekend.

He said they are anxious to return each year to Henry County. “The hospitality and small-town charm attracts us,” he said. “The tour is very well organized and you make new friendships each year.”

There won’t be much rest before the Poles’ 19th tour. “We are leaving Monday for a six-day Model A Ford Tour in northern Wisconsin,” John said as he and his wife were waiting at New London for their departure to Brighton.

Don Pauley of Clear Lake, a Red Flag board member, was touring for the sixth time. He said he got word of the tour when he talked with Krug at the Minnesota tour. Driving a 1917 Maxwell, Pauley said he looks forward to coming to the county in September “I really like this tour. I do about three tours a year and this ranks at the top because of the nice people and scenery. You get to see a lot of places on this tour and they add different places each year.”

Making his second trip to Henry County’s Red Flag Tour was Rick Quirin of Belleville, Ill., and his 1914 Maxwell. Quirin, who owns a vehicle restoration business, said he heard about the tour from some customers. He said his favorite part of the tour is “getting out and driving the car. You have to put yourself in the mindset of the 1910 era. “It’s a lot more fun that way.”

His wife, Jackie, serves as his navigator, a job she said includes a certain amount of pressure. “I have to give him good instructions and get us to where we should be going.”

Krug said he is sure everyone went home happy and with glowing thoughts of Mt. Pleasant. “I had fantastic feedback about how nice of a community Mt. Pleasant is. They were also surprised how much industry we have.”

The tour is now established, Krug noted, and he said he expects continued growth. “As people realize how good this tour is, they will bring their friends next year.”

Henry County’s tour is always the last weekend of September.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.