Archive for June, 2009

RoadTrip America reviews L Hwy Companion

June 30, 2009

RoadTrip America

RoadTrip America, a wonderful site for travel news and ideas, gave a very kind review to my Lincoln Highway Companion, calling it

a perfect size and format for riding shotgun on road trips. With 190 pages packed with color photographs and detailed maps, road trip aficionados can easily follow this historic highway…. Reading the book is like sitting in at a “round-table” and listening to people share their favorite discoveries.

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The goal of the book is to make it easy to travel the road but not need a stack of guides and maps, all while not taking away the element of surprise. Click HERE to get it at reduced price from Amazon.

Fort Bridger cabins restored, to be dedicated

June 29, 2009

A dedication of the restored Black and Orange cabins and a reenactment of the 1919 U.S. Army Military Transport transcontinental convoy will be held at Fort Bridger State Historic Site, July 1 at 10 a.m. The cabins are along the Lincoln Highway in western Wyoming. Here are two views from Rick Sebak as the cabins looked last summer.

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The Uinta County Herald quoted Wyoming Lincoln Highway Director Shelly Home that the convoy will arrive in Evanston on July 1, following an overnight stay in Green River and a stop in Fort Bridger for the dedication of the restored Black and Orange Motor Cabins at 10 a.m. Because Uinta County has many miles of old, but drivable, Lincoln Highway, the convoy will follow dirt roads from Granger to Fort Bridger, and over Eagle Rock to Evanston. Admission to the fort will be waived for all attendees.

WY_Sebak_B&Ocabins_60bThe recently restored cabins are along the east side of Fort Bridger State Historic Site. They served travelers from 1926 to 1936. Past LHA conferences have visited the decayed remnants.

Sponsored by the Military Vehicle Preservation Assn., the 1919 Military Transport Convoy reenactment celebrates the 90th anniversary of the event. The convoy will make a brief stop at Fort Bridger for the dedication before continuing on to Evanston. Fort Bridger is located at Exit 34 on I-80. Call (307) 782-3842 for more information.

Ligonier talk, signing, & drive-ins: Sat, June 27

June 26, 2009

On June 27th, your blogger here, Brian Butko, will present a program on the Lincoln Highway at Ligonier Valley Library, Ligonier, PA, which is also hosting a drive-in theater exhibit. The program starts at 11 am followed by discussion and a book signing that benefits the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. Below is the Van-Del Drive-in, along the LH between Van Wert and Delphos, Ohio.

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The library is on the Ligonier “diamond,” or square, at 120 W. Main Street / the Lincoln Highway. After the presentation I’ll be signing my latest book, Lincoln Highway Companion.

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The book signing complements the exhibit, Movies, Motors, & Memories: Pennsylvania’s Drive-In Theaters, which includes photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia. Above is exhibit curator Jennifer Sopko at the drive-in I grew up attending, the former Woodland Drive-In, West Mifflin, PA.

Some of the items include a huge c. 1950 carbon-arc projector, speakers, signs, photographs, artwork, and notebooks containing copies of drive-in ads and memorabilia. Visitors can see the display in the Pennsylvania Room Mondays through Thursdays from 10 am-8:30 pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am-5 pm through July 7, 2009. For more information log onto the Ligonier Valley Library’s website at http://www.ligonierlibrary.org/.

Updates on the 2 Alice Ramsey trip retracings

June 25, 2009

You can follow along with the two teams of women who are retracing the path of pioneer motorist Alice Ramsey. Both are mostly taking the Lincoln Highway across the Midwest.

The better-known trip, by Emily Anderson, can be followed in photos on Flickr. Here’s a sample photo from Snook’s Dream Cars and Auto Museum, Bowling Green, Ohio:

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You also can follow their blog at aliceramsey.org; here’s a portion of the most recent update:

Greetings from Ogllala, NE!  We made it here yesterday at around 4pm.  Unfortunately, our 200 mile day in the Maxwell (Babbs) was cut short because the dreaded noise returned.  The day started out so well — the Maxwell, the Spyker and the Rambler were rolling down the road at 8am. Our first rolling stop was over the original Lincoln Highway bricks in Shelton, NE  that we learned about in South Bend, IN.  We were excited to see Bob and Lennie [Stubblefield] again (3rd time! South Bend, IN Grand Island, NE & Shelton, NE).  This time Lennie ran out to the car to hand us some SUPER cold water!  Thank you both for all of your hospitality and energy!  It really keeps us going!

Unfortunately the car broke down again at the end of yesterday:

How many times can we put a patch on the same problem?  What are we missing?  Where is the closest specialty shop?  Are we driving tomorrow? ………………………

You can also join this Alice Ramsey Yahoo group about women who are driving pre-1916 cars this summer for the commemoration, notably Dana McNair and Dorothy Grace. It also has many interesting photos such as this before they departed Vassar College, and the next one in DeKalb, Illinois:

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Here’s their latest post, documenting from Kearney to Ogallala, Nebraska:

We started out (after tent camping in the thunderstorms) at the AAA office for some more maps. When Dana & I returned to the parking lot, a woman said, “I’ve aged well – I’m Alice Ramsey.” Alice White Ramsey was at AAA because she & her husband are heading to Alaska shortly. She had seen a newspaper article about the trip. When I looked toward the Model T – there were blue T shirts everywhere – Central Elementary kids had swarmed Dan, and were excited to honk the horn. Candi, one adult with them, had said they recently went to the Hastings Museum and were curious about the cars there. The kids moved on to the Cadillac horn, then the dogs.

The women’s club building and the canal were cool in Kearney.

In Lexington NE, we visited with Rick from the Early Cadillac Website – from Dana’s posts re: a hubcap for the 1909 — the saran wrap/ziplock is still working. He inherited a 1906 Cadillac project when his stepfather died. He also has few of his own cars in his building.

Things were going well in North Platte, so we headed on to Ogallala. We are in the next time zone now.

Mosquitos were bad — right next to South Platte River, but a swimming pool at the hotel.

Convoy's national press; South Bend stragglers

June 24, 2009

Many, many newspapers across the country are reporting on stops of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association 90th anniversary convoy as it makes its way across the U.S., mostly via the Lincoln Highway. The convoy launched from Washington, D.C. on June 13 and at times has as many as 150 historic military vehicles. An example of an article announcing its plans can be found in the Lexington [Neb.] Clipper-Herald, which reports that the military convoy will stop at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles at noon on Friday, June 26. The MVPA has posted numerous photos on Flickr such as this one from near Jefferson, Iowa:

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A parade through South Bend was part of the LHA conference last Friday. Here are some photos after the group left the overnight stop at a fairgrounds; some of the vehicles were awaiting repair such as the first one below.

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The Transcontinental Motor Convoy of 1919 was a project of the Army’s Motor Transport Corps. The group decided to organize a military convoy to drive from coast to coast, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, traversing the newly created Lincoln National Highway, conceived just seven years earlier. It took 62 days to travel 3,251 miles, averaging a little more than 50 miles per day, to cross from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, Calif. It is best known today for Dwight Eisenhower being one of its young officers. The MVPA is anticipating the 2009 trek across the U.S. to take 26 days. For more information, visit www.mvpa.org/.

Lincoln Highway fans should read Sebak's blog

June 23, 2009

Speaking of PBS producer Rick Sebak, you’ll feel you’re with him on you own Ride Along the Lincoln Highway when you read his blog. His next dozen entries will be about his trip to the Lincoln Highway Association conference in South Bend. His first two posts have not even gotten him out of Ohio as he stops and enjoys the wonders along the way. Check it out at www.wqed.org/tv/sebak/blog/.

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Sebak wins LHA's first Gregory M. Franzwa Award

June 22, 2009

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PBS producer Rick Sebak received the first Gregory M. Franzwa award that recognizes the individual or group who does the most for the Lincoln Highway Association. Franzwa was a founder, past president, and long-time journal editor of the association.

Sebak’s 2008 program, A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway, greatly increased membership and interest in the road. Mindy Crawford sent the photo above showing Sebak with LHA secretary Sue Jacobson and president Bob Dieterich. Here’s a teaser to Sebak’s PBS program:

Alice at South Bend; another Alice on the road

June 19, 2009

The 2009 Lincoln Highway conference was a lot of fun — so much so that I couldn’t keep up with this blog! Tuesday evening found us at dinner with  special guest Emily Anderson, who along with copilot Christie Catania is retracing Alice Ramsey’s pioneering 1909 trip. That’s them below along with dad Richard Anderson, who built the car from parts.

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But that’s not the only Alice Ramsey trip re-creation!

Dana McNair alerted me that she and Dorothy Grace are also driving much of the Lincoln Highway in commemoration of Alice Ramsey’s 1909 trip. Dorothy is driving a 1913 Model T and Dana is driving a 1909 Cadillac.

We stopped for the best chocolate cake in the world at Niland’s Cafe in Colo, Iowa, and got to put our cars in the gas station for photos. We stood at the confluence of the Jefferson and Lincoln highways. How cool is that!

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Friday morning found them eating breakfast in Missouri Valley, Iowa, when they saw Emily drive by! You can follow their journey at aliceramsey-theroadtrip.blogspot.com/.

UPDATE

Dana just sent this update from Nebraska:

We are so enjoying this trip. We are definitely driving without fanfare. We are just having fun, stopping to visit folks who have been kind enough to offer us lodging or a visit. Camping or fixing cars along the way, sometimes under trees by the side of the road, sometimes in truck stops, it all depends on the autos and whether they are having a good day or not. We have met some great folks, and as it is so low key it is very intimate. We have a lot of new friends in cafes and truck stops.

Sometimes is does get a little discouraging to be confused with the Emily Anderson trip and we do hate to disappoint people but what we are doing does count in it’s own way and the purpose has always been just to drive the drive and have fun together. So, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your writing back to us, truly it makes us feel good about our trip that at least someone is keeping track of us besides our mothers.

Lincoln Highway fans converge on South Bend

June 16, 2009

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I spent Monday driving across Ohio and Indiana, heading to the annual Lincoln Highway Assn. conference in South Bend. I followed many old stretches of the LH and took many photos — so many that the 6 hour trip took me 14 hours. my camera is overloaded, its batteries are dead, and my head is kinda hurting but it was a great time, I got great photos, and met some very nice people. Here are some photos from the trip.

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Apple truck is final PA Roadside Giant

June 15, 2009

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The fifth and final project in the “Roadside Giants of the Lincoln Highway” series is an antique truck celebrating farming heritage. Designed by the Franklin County Career & Technology Center students in Chambersburg, the 1920 Selden Apple Truck replica truck is fully dimensional and features a steering column and bench seat plus wheels that spin. The 11-foot tall, 2-ton antique truck  is located at Shatzer’s Fruit Market along U.S. 30 heading east. A dedication was held Tuesday, June 9, 2009.

The hood sign reads “Lincoln Highway Fruit Growers Serving Franklin County Since 1907.”

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Read more in the Chambersburg Public Opinion HERE.

And read about other Roadside Giants across the U.S. in Roadside Giants the book, available from Amazon by clicking HERE.


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