Abe Lincoln, Underbrink's Bakery put area in spotlight

Posted: Jun. 8, 2013 8:33 pm Updated: Jun. 23, 2013 12:15 am

By DOUG WILSONHerald-Whig Senior Writer

Travelers and tourists have a chance this week to read about Abraham Lincoln's Quincy and Pittsfield connections on one website and read about Quincy's Underbrink's Bakery on another site.

Quincy and Pike County are featured in the Leisure Group Travel Magazine's weekly e-newsletter. The story -- "Abe & Architecture" -- lists a travel itinerary for people who want to visit the area.

Holly Cain, executive director of the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the story and two-day tour itinerary was part of a package deal for buying a one-page ad in Leisure Group Travel Magazine.

The second national publicity boost came on the Huffington Post website. The GypsyNesters Monday blog tells about Underbrinks Bakery and Leroy Rossmiller's insistence on quality ingredients, traditional baking equipment and no shortcuts. A video with that story shows Rossmiller explaining why his playfully gruff demeanor with regulars at the bakery led to him calling himself the Nut Roll Nazi after the Soup Nazi character from "Seinfeld."

Rossmiller said it was fun making the video, but he's not expecting to become a star.

"They were neat people. We had them do some hands-on stuff like making a nut roll or icing some angelfood cake. It was fun," Rossmiller said.

One part of the interview involves Rossmiller saying that tourists make his job harder.

"Tourists never know what they want and they need you to tell them about everything," Rossmiller said with a laugh.

The video, of course, is designed to help bring tourists to town and to Underbrinks.

The GypsyNesters have become nationally known for their travel blog. David and Veronica James, sold their home after the last of their children went to college. They bought an RV and began touring, blogging and shooting video of the places they visit.

They are now touring the Great River Road and visited Quincy as part of a tour arranged by the Illinois Department of Tourism. The GypsyNesters blog also shows the Hotel Nauvoo, Quincy's Villa Kathrine, the John Wood Mansion, Quincy Bayview Bridge, the Abbey, the Town & Country Inn and the log cabin village on Quinsippi Island.

Cain said social media, traditional news and advertising all are helpful in getting out the word about Western Illinois attractions.

"The ads help, but any time we can get editorial space on a website or in a magazine or newspaper we see it reflected in the number of visitors," Cain said.

The appearance of two stories featuring the area on national sites in the same week is not unusual, Cane said.

"We've been doing a little more national exposure," she said.

She welcomes publicity in the spring, which signals the start of the tourist season.