Peck’s Alley and Briggs’ Bend
This is the fifth installment in our series showcasing the Historic Markers placed around the original race circuit on the public roads in Elkhart Lake.
As the cars of the 1950 Elkhart Lake race negotiated “Ted’s Turn” a tight 110 degree right hander, the field then headed west on a gentle uphill run. The first marker Peck’s Alley, is 0.1 tenth of a mile west of County J on Birchwood Drive (County JP, back in 1950 County X). The second marker on this part of the circuit is for Briggs’ Bend at the intersection of North Turtle Bay Road. This right hand bend in the road is followed with a sudden 15 to 20 foot drop in elevation.
The first historic marker found on this section of the circuit is for “Peck’s Alley” and it reads; “Named for D. Cameron Peck president of the Chicago Region SCCA in 1950. A well-known collector of antique cars, he judged the concours events”. This marker was donated by John Lamm in loving memory of Dorothy and Paul Lamm. (Historic Race Circuits of Elkhart Lake). There is however, a minor discrepancy with the information on the Peck’s Alley marker. Peck was not the President (Regional Executive) of the Chicago Region SCCA in 1950, that position was held by Fred Wacker. Still, Peck was very instrumental in the forming of the Chicago Region and the existence and success of the Elkhart Lake Road Races. Peck served as National Secretary of the SCCA in the late 1940’s and he urged and advised Fred Wacker to organize the Chicago Region in 1948. Peck, who lived in Evanston, Illinois also participated in the Region’s early meetings and events. Additionally, D. Cameron Peck served as SCCA National President for two years (1950 and 1951) sanctioning and overseeing national events including the first Elkhart Lake races. He also organized and judged the Concours d’ Elegance events in Elkhart Lake all three years (1950, 51, and 52).
The second marker is for “Briggs’ Bend” donated by Mike Froh, Susie White, John Langenfield, Lynn Langenfield and it reads; “Named for Steven H. Briggs who in 1950 exited the course to the left at high speed in his Jaguar XK-120 and was saved from serious injury by his wind screen” (Historic Race Circuits of Elkhart Lake). The account of this off course excursion is that Briggs’ Jaguar went through a barbed wire fence and the wind screen deflected the wire up protecting the driver. Steve Briggs also was an early and active member of the Chicago Region and served as chairman of the Region’s Social Events Committee in 1952 and in 1954 was a member of the Region’s Membership Committee.