LINCOLN — Lincoln concluded the town’s 150th anniversary celebration Saturday with a first-time car show, a visit from President Abraham Lincoln and other activities.

The car show, a first for Lincoln, was organized by Marlin Hammond, who said the show exceeded his expectations. He expected only 50 entries, but before the noon deadline, he had 84.

“This is special for the 150th celebration,” he said of the show. “They asked me a couple years ago to think about putting on a car show.

“We have had just fantastic support from sponsors,” he continued. “We’ve got over 40 sponsors helping with monetary donations or with T-shirts or with merchandise that we are using for door prizes. That’s just been fantastic.”

Hammond added they also had a good number of volunteers who helped bring the show together. Volunteers were helping Saturday with parking, registration and distribution of gifts.

“It’s been a great turnout,” Hammond said. “There is such a great quality of cars … and such a great variety.”

Cars in the show took in vehicles from the 1920s up to 2019.

As car entrants sat beside their cars in lawn chairs, Mark Rehagen, of Jefferson City, portraying President Abraham Lincoln, milled among them. He stopped to talk to Cliff Lear, of Sedalia, who identified himself as Robert E. Lee.

“You know the odd thing about Robert E. Lee here, is he drives a Lincoln,” Rehagen said smiling.

Lear was at the show exhibiting his blue-and-white Lincoln Continental Mark V.

“It’s a 1979, there’s not many of them left,” Lear said. “I would have liked to have had a ’74, but I couldn’t find one. I always wanted a Lincoln and I couldn’t afford it when I was younger. Now I have one.”

Rehagen, who has been reenacting since 2002, said he travels all over the state providing educational programs to schools and other organizations. He was invited by the town of Lincoln to participate in its 150th celebration.

“I reenact as I’m called upon to do so especially in schools and museums,” he said. “Primarily in Missouri, but I’ve been to Washington, D.C., Illinois and Indiana.”

He added that he has been coming to the town of Lincoln for 10 years portraying the President for various occasions.

Fred Klafta, of Kingsville, who entered his 1953 Cadillac Series 62 four-door sedan, said the car has been in his family since 1961. His father bought it from a woman in Chicago after her husband died.

“My father was a plumber for 44 years and he found this on a job one day,” he said.

The Cadillac, which has a 1953, 331 cubic-inch V-8, 201 horsepower engine, was purchased with the original paperwork. Klafta said the car was a gift to the first owner’s wife. Inside the owner’s manual are love letters written to her in the margins of the pages.

Klafta said the car has been winning awards since 1972 and is worth “five figures.”

Along with the car show on Saturday, Lincoln ended the 150th celebration with a horse show and several band performances, including well-known band Dirt Road Addiction, that evening.

Hammond, who has lived in Lincoln for 41 years, credits the resiliency of the town’s 150 years to the “family atmosphere.”

“It’s a close-knit community,” he added. “And, they do a lot of activities to help with everything.”

He also credited the town’s school system, local small businesses, and the farming community.

“That stuff has just really, really helped the town and helped what it has accomplished in the last 150 years,” he said. “Pretty good stuff … It’s been a great celebration.”

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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