Posts Tagged ‘old roads’

Lincoln Highway Dedicated 100 years ago tonight!

October 31, 2013

The Lincoln Highway was dedicated on October 31, 1913 — 100 years ago tonight. Bonfires, parades, concerts, and speeches were held all along the coast-to-coast route on Halloween.

West of Chambersburg, Pa., Shatzer’s Fruit Market (2197 Lincoln Way West) has been serving the public since 1933. Outside is one of the decorated fiberglass pumps sponsored by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor along with one of LHHC’s interpretive panels. ~ Photo by Brian Butko, October 2007.

Have you wondered if there was any significance, or is the date a coincidence? Most likely, the LHA’s directors chose it knowing it was a time for public celebrations. The U.S. was just beginning to celebrate Halloween in 1913 but there was a centuries-old tradition of bonfires, parades, and dressing up on All Hallows’ Eve that recent immigrants had brought here. LHA leaders were masters at harnessing public relations, and what better date to choose for fanciful nighttime celebrations than the one day a year that such activities already took place?

The San Francisco Chronicle (October 26, 1913) reported, “It is the idea of the boosters of the transcontinental motorway that the dedication be a sort of spontaneous expression of gratification and it has been left to each city and town along the route of the proposed highway to devise and carry out its own plan of celebration.”

On the 31st, the Chronicle added, “The exercises will be a fitting Halloween celebration, but overshadowing all the goblins and ghosts of the evening there will be the spirit of the great national boulevard.”

In the dedication proclamation from Wyoming, Governor Joseph Carey stated, “It is thought especially fitting that on the evening of October 31st there should be an old-time jollification to include bonfires and general rejoicing; this for the purpose of impressing upon the people and especially the younger generation-the services and unselfish life of Lincoln, and for the further purpose of painting a big picture so far as amusements are concerned of the highway which is to cross our state.”

Some of that wording likely came from an LHA press release, as an article in the November 1 Salt Lake Tribune noted it had been “the request of the directors of the Lincoln Highway to make October 31 an evening of general rejoicing.”

And so the Lincoln Highway was dedicated that night 100 years ago in a spirit of pride and optimism. May we do the same for the coming century.

Familiar bypass problem for Tama-Toledo, Iowa

January 6, 2011

Anyone who has seen the Pixar movie Cars — or thought for a moment about how roads have changed over the past half-century — knows that bypasses around towns have a tremendous impact on traffic patterns. The latest to experience this shift are Tama and Toledo on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. As reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the 7,500 vehicles that daily went through the towns on U.S. 30 have been reduced to a trickle since a bypass opened. Motels and restaurants such as the King Tower Restaurant, below, are feeling the impact.

Since acquiring the local landmark eight years ago, Kristy Tovar has made a decent living running the King Tower Restaurant on the east side of Tama. Since the $82 million bypass opened, though, King Tower is no longer visible from the highway. Tovar’s anything but confident about the restaurant’s future.

“I never really thought that having this highway change would make that much difference, because most of our customers were local. I’d probably say business has been cut at least in half or more,” she said….

Since the days when it was known as the Lincoln Highway, Highway 30 has been the lifeblood of Tama-Toledo. Visitors recall the distinctive Indian head souvenirs sign at King Tower, which has been open since 1937, and the Lincoln Highway bridge that was an early architectural feature of the first transcontinental highway….

Brad Crawford is manager of the 54-year-old Big T Maid-Rite in Toledo. He said rumors are already flying about big restaurant chains like McDonald’s snapping up the good real estate along the bypass to open new restaurants.

Crawford is saving to buy a service sign on the bypass, but the cost will cut into funds he’d otherwise spend to advertise in the local newspaper and high school yearbook.

Lincoln Highway, vintage roads in 2011 atlas

May 12, 2010

Rand McNally has launched its 2011 Road Atlas with  updated maps, more city and national park insets, five new “Best of the Road” tours, and most exciting to Lincoln Highway fans, the marking of historic highways. The company describes this as “The addition of specialty highway shields to show historic and scenic routes including Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the Great River Road, the Great Lakes Circle Route, and the Lewis & Clark Trail Highway.” The 144-page atlas (suggested retail $13.95) is arriving in stores or visit randmcnally.com/.

Ship Hotel / Lincoln Highway book reviewed

April 13, 2010

Still trying to catch up, and here’s one exciting reason I’m behind — my new book on the Ship Hotel is out and I’ve arranged some signings. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette just published a very nice feature review about the book and of the Ship itself.

2010 Lincoln Highway conference set for Illinois

February 11, 2010

The City of Dixon, Illinois will host the 2010 Lincoln Highway Association National Conference from June 22 – 26. The fun-filled event will feature bus tours of historical sites, a book and collectibles sales room, an art show, a cruise night, a session of presentations, and a visit by President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.

Amazingly, the Illinois Chapter worked hard to contain costs and rolled back the registration cost to the 1999 price!

The Quality Inn and the Comfort Inn are the two official main hotels for the Conference. The Loveland Community House will be the location of two banquets, the book room, the art show, and the conference speakers. It will not be within walking distance of the hotels but they will help with carpooling.

Tuesday, June 22

Board of Directors Annual Meeting
Evening Welcoming Banquet

Wednesday, June 23
Bus Tours, East and West

Thursday, June 24
Bus Tours, take opposite tour

Friday, June 25
Speakers
Evening Awards Banquet

Sunday, June 26
Post-Conference Triangle Tour: Lincoln Highway, Dixie Highway, and Route 66, Starts in Joliet

Learn more at http://illinoislincolnhighway.tripod.com/2010.html

42N blog visits Iowa Lincoln Highway bridge

January 12, 2010

Dave Chase posted a short story about the Lincoln Highway through Mt. Vernon, Iowa, on his blog 42N, which details life around the 42N latitude. His photo shows the Union Pacific tracks on the west end of town that are crossed by a bridge that carries the Lincoln Highway.

Dave took his photo from the original 1915 LH bridge. He has a link to bridgehunter.com that features images of that arched span, including the photo below by our friend J.R. Manning (you may have seen him on the road in his yellow Model A). His 2007 view is looking north from a preserved brick stretch to the rehabbed bridge, now for pedestrians only.

Lincoln Hwy gazebo in Oregon … Illinois, that is

December 4, 2009

Another new gazebo is spreading news of the Lincoln Highway in Illinois. Though the town of Oregon is not on the coast-to-coast the route, it played a part in the road’s development and history. The Ogle County News reports that officials unveiled the addition to the Ogle County Courthouse lawn with hopes that tourism dollars will follow. The image below is a screen capture from that article, and excerpts follow.

“This area draws tourists and tourism draws dollars,” said State Representative Jerry Mitchell (R-Rock Falls) during a grand opening ceremony for the structure Nov. 28. “Hopefully, tourists will stop at the gazebo and spend some time and money here.”

The gazebo is one of 16 constructed along the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway and its corridor in northern Illinois.

It was recently constructed on the northwest corner of the courthouse square, facing Ill. 64 just one block west of Ill. 2.

Bonnie Heimbach, project director for the Illinois Highway Lincoln Coalition (ILHC) said Oregon qualified for a federal grant to help construct the gazebo because the city was part of early marketing efforts soon after the coast-to-coast highway was opened in 1913.

“Oregon is not exactly on the highway, but it is mentioned as early as 1915,” said Heimbach.

The Lincoln Highway is located south of Oregon and runs east to west, through Franklin Grove and Dixon. It was the first highway in the United States to connect the east and west coasts.

Oregon and Ogle County are included in the Lincoln Highway corridor because Lorado Taft’s Black Hawk statue was part of the cover of the original promotional flyer that advertised the first all-weather transcontinental highway, said Marcia Heuer, executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce….

Each gazebo was constructed for $16,000 with a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). That grant provided 80 percent of the funding for each gazebo with local groups providing the remaining 20 percent.

WIFR-TV also covered the story.

Fisher Pass monument dedication this Saturday

September 29, 2009

A monument for Lincoln Highway “father and founder” Carl Fisher will be dedicated this Saturday, October 3, 2009, at Fisher Pass in central Utah. Family member Jerry Fisher, who wrote The Pacesetter biography of Carl, will sign books afterwards. The site of the monument is at a crest on UT route 199 between Clover and Terra, Utah.

UT_FisherPass invite

Guiding force Rollin Southwell writes:

Its been a long haul and we have lost a few of our committee members that gave their time and first $1000.00 for this project. They are the late Thomas A See and the late Norma Berns. But with the help,support and donations we are ready. A great big thank you goes to Stephen Ehninger of EFT Architects, Jerry Timmins, Jack Mason, Kenn Gillette with UDOT-Region 2, American Road Magazine, National Lincoln Highway Assoc. and State Chapters.

Fisher Pass was part of a plan by the Lincoln Highway Association to shorten the route across the Great Salt Desert. Using what was then calledJohnson Pass and building a road across the great Salt Flat (Goodyear Cutoff) would shorten the distance between Salt Lake City, Ut and Ely, NV by some 50 miles. Though the Cutoff was never compleed, Fisher Pass was finished. The State of Utah received Fisher money with interest, but the agreement was never completed as it was to include a monument to Fisher. The RG Southwell Foundation has led the charge in recent years to finally complete the task. Learn more at fisherpass.com/.

New Alice Ramsey centennial trip photos posted

September 8, 2009

Alice_Dana Dorothy trip

The Alice09 Yahoo group has 20 new photos from the centennial re-enactment of Alice Ramsey’s pioneering drive across the U.S. Visit groups.yahoo.com to sign up. There were at least two such trips this summer; this one found Dorothy Grace and Dana McNair driving much of the Lincoln Highway in commemoration of Alice Ramsey’s 1909 trip, Dorothy in a 1915 Model T and Dana driving a 1909 Cadillac.

Dorothy just posted the photos in the “July 3-6” album, such as these below: Ruth, Nevada, and the California state line.

Alice_Dana Dorothy RuthNV

Alice_Dana Dorothy Cal

Learn more at aliceramsey-theroadtrip.blogspot.com/ where you can also read all about their daily adventures on the road.

Three more blogs of Lincoln Highway adventures

July 22, 2009

Following up on last week’s Lincoln Highway adventures of Bill and Karen, another couple, Dave and Peg, are driving a 1929 Model A across the country. They picked up the Lincoln Highway west of Canton, Ohio, and are heading to California. (Note, they just detoured off the LH to see Mount Rushmore.) Follow along at model-a-adventure.blogspot.com/.

IA_DavePeg_Model A_Bridge Tama

Another couple, Kathie and Tony Mandra, have already reached the west coast but you can read of their trip, and side trips, at
lincolnhwy.blogspot.com/.

IA_Mandra_Woodbine Brick Station

And Chris Hutter is riding his 2006 Harley Davidson FLHR west from Pittsburgh. Follow him at hutmo.blogspot.com/.

IN_Goshen Hutter0328