Archive for February, 2008

Mystery photos 4 & 5: NE and WY

February 29, 2008

Daily snow the past few weeks has us dreaming of sunny drives along the Lincoln Highway, so here are a couple summertime photos from western Nebraska and western Wyoming. Can you correctly identify either location?



To see them larger, click on each one for a connection to Flickr. Once there, click “All Sizes” above the each image to see them even larger.

"Historic LH" sign marks Summit Garage in CA

February 28, 2008

Folks in California just can’t stop marking, promoting, and preserving the Lincoln Highway. Gary Kinst, editor of LHA’s California chapter quarterly newsletter The Traveller, sent a couple photos from the recent dedication of a “Historic Lincoln Highway” sign at the Summit Garage in Altamont. From left are Deborah DuBois, Mike Kaelin. Al Vieux, and Linda Krhut.


Al, a cattle rancher in the area since 1951, owns the garage. In a few days, Deborah and Linda will be opening “Creative Cave” antique and stained glass shop there. (Linda had been involved with Tri-Valley Youth Services that occupied the building last year – see LH News entry for 2/15/08). Mike is the Alameda County rep./consul for LHA California, and an ad hoc advisor to the Summit Garage. And to make our story complete, Gary formerly owned 5 automotive garages in the East Bay area, and now writes and researches garages and the Lincoln Highway in addition to his day job.


Forbes Trail was precursor to much of Pa’s LH

February 27, 2008

A new web site commemorates the 250th anniversary of Forbes Trail, hacked through the forests of Pennsylvania in 1758 during the French and Indian War. General John Forbes led an expedition from Philadelphia over the Allegheny Mountains to capture French-occupied Fort Duquesne, at what later became Pittsburgh. Among the 6,000 British and colonial troops was young George Washington, a 26-year-old colonel with the Virginia troops. The site is a project of French and Indian War 250, the organization spearheading the commemoration of the French and Indian War.


Forbes Trail (also commonly called Forbes Road) was closely followed or paralleled by the Lincoln Highway and US 30 across the state. Only mid-state does it deviate, when the military road jogs north to Carlisle, near Harrisburg. The Lincoln/30 stays south through Gettysburg and Chambersburg.


The web site features seven “gateways” – Philadelphia, Lancaster, Carlisle, Fort Loudoun, Bedford, Ligonier, and Pittsburgh – where visitors can click to learn its connection to the trail and what historical remnants survive.

A long-anticipated book is due in May. Pennsylvania’s Forbes Trail: Gateways and Getaways along the Legendary Route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh ($18.95) will feature more than 40 themed tours with info on activities, lodging, and dining.


I asked French and Indian War 250 Marketing Director Karen Lightell about the difference between calling it Road and Trail. She said they “chose ‘Forbes Trail’ to avoid confusion because many people see the Forbes Road as extending only from Carlisle to Pittsburgh—i.e., the road the Forbes Expedition actually built. They traveled from Philadelphia on existing roadways. ‘Forbes Trail’ is meant to imply the entire experience ‘today’ of the corridor along the original Forbes route as described in the book.”

More Sleepy Hollow Tavern history recalled

February 26, 2008

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran another article today recounting some history of Sleepy Hollow Tavern. Former workers, owners, and customers offer a variety of fond recollections. As Julie Donovan, public relations director for the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, said, “It seemed no matter who owned it, it was always busy. It was definitely a Laurel Highlands landmark, and I hate to see it go.”


Above: A photo that was on the wall of Sleepy Hollow when I first visited in 1989 shows the 1930s sandwich stand and gas pumps.

Although a descendant of former owners says it was always Sleepy Hollow, my recollection from a 1989 visit is that that’s correct for the restaurant but not the land around it. The area was known as Kelley’s Hollow; co-owner Joe Neiman’s habit of dozing in his rocking chair in the 1930s led to jokes about Sleepy Hollow, which was used to name the tavern that opened in 1940.


Click the screen shot above for the full Trib article.

Sleepy Hollow Tavern fire being investigated

February 25, 2008

Cy’s matchbook
Above: A vintage Sleepy Hollow matchbook, courtesy Cyrus Hosmer.

The weekend fire at the former Sleepy Hollow Tavern along the Lincoln Highway in western Pennsylvania has left the building charred and condemned. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, after burning overnight Saturday onto Sunday, firefighters were called back at 11:30 Sunday morning when the roof reignited. The second floor, which once housed a dozen hotel rooms, has fallen into the first floor restaurant. Click the image below for the full story from the Trib:


Youngstown Fire Chief Barry Banker, who led some 20 area fire crews, said when he arrived, smoke was coming out of the building from every direction. After attempting to enter the 1939 wood-frame structure, they turned back and could only fight it from outside. There were no injuries reported, but KDKA-TV reports that state police are saying the blaze is suspicious in nature.

Sleepy Hollow was a popular stop since being built 1939-1940, but suffered after the westbound lanes of Lincoln Highway/US 30 were moved across Loyalhanna Creek. A small causeway was added, and after some success as a buffet in the 1980s, the business has had various remodelings. The Trib reports that the most recent owners tried filing for bankruptcy in November.

WPXI-TV has a short story calling it a biker bar. KDKA now has their video report online – click the images below:


The surrounding area remains visually stunning: in 2005, the county purchased 1,239 forested acres from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for $900,000 to create The Loyalhanna Gorge Greenway, stretching 3 miles along both sides of the Loyalhanna Creek from the Kingston Dam to Longbridge through Chestnut Ridge.

Fire Destroys LH Landmark near Ligonier, PA

February 24, 2008

US 30 eastbound was closed for 8 hours overnight as fire destroyed the Hollow Tavern in Unity Twp, Westmoreland County, just west of Ligonier, and about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Built 1939-40 as a restaurant and hotel along the Lincoln Highway in the Loyalhana Gorge, it was perhaps best known for a small concrete causeway across the water. The 2-lane LH ran past its door, but when westbound lanes were moved to the other side of the water in the 1950s, half their customer base disappeared. They fought for, and won, the small access crossover.
PA Sleepy Hollow

The location, popular for its view, had housed a gas station and sandwich stand since the 1920s. The area was known as Kelley’s Hollow but acquired the Sleepy Hollow moniker from one of the owners’ habit of dozing in his rocking chair. The building resembled a big log cabin, and its old wood construction made fighting the fire difficult. Click HERE for no-narrator 1-minute video of the blaze from KDKA-TV (after a 15-second commercial).


Also, click on the image above for a brief text report from WTAE-TV.

LHA's spring 2008 state meetings set

February 23, 2008

Here are some upcoming Lincoln Highway Association chapter meetings.

LHA banner

Iowa will hold a membership meeting on Saturday, April 12, 2008, in Denison, Crawford, County.

California’s spring meeting also will be held April 12, in East Castro Valley/Hayward.

The Ohio Lincoln Highway League will hold 14th annual state meeting on Saturday, April 26, at the Elks Club in Galion. It will be hosted by the LHA Mid-Ohio Chapter. Tours of local attractions will follow.

LHA’s Indiana chapter will host a lunch meeting, to be joined by Illinois, May 10 in Schererville that will include a ceremony honoring Art Schweitzer, leading expert on the Ideal Section.

Follow the links for more information.

Proclamations honor LH's favorite Boy Scout

February 22, 2008

One of the highlights of the Summertime Fun event I arranged last year at the Senator John Heinz History Center was to award Bernie Queneau with a proclamation from the mayor of Pittsburgh. It mentions not only Bernie’s participation in the cross-country safety demonstration tour along the Lincoln Highway in 1928, but also his earning a doctorate, service with the Navy in WWII, and his expertise in metallurgy. He also received a proclamation from the LHA, presented by Rev. John Harman. The occasion for all this was his 95th birthday on July 14 – Bastille Day, Bernie likes to remind us! Also attending was his wife, LHA past president Esther M. Queneau.

Bernie Queneau 7/07
Above: Bernie in front of a photo of himself holding a CA flag at the end of the LH, 1928.

Recently, mayor Luke Ravenstahl hosted a ceremony for some of the proclamation recipients, including Bernie. Here’s part of the mayor’s intro to the recent event:

For many years, Pittsburgh Mayors have been recognizing outstanding citizens and organizations by issuing them proclamations.

It is my goal to highlights some of our most unique Pittsburgh citizens and organizations, by presenting their proclamation in person.

It gives me great pleasure to be familiar with all of the important activities Pittsburghers are involved with.

I say it all of the time, but I truly believe that Pittsburgh is America’s most livable City because of its people.

We are people of superb nature, who will always reach out a hand to help others—we are Pittsburgh proud.

Today, I have looked through a number of recently issued proclamations, and it is my pleasure to meet those outstanding individuals, and personally present them with their proclamation.


You can see a video of Proclamation Thursday on the City of Pittsburgh’s Cable Station, channel 13, at 3:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. through February and March.

A poem lamenting change along the road, in life

February 21, 2008

On, an entry by Vi Ransel will sound familiar themes to many Lincoln Highway News readers.

Above: Another farm sprouts housing along the Lincoln Highway, west of Chicago, June 2005.

In Memoriam

The place I grew up in the 50s is gone now.
Oh, the land is still there,
but the quilt-like farm fields blanketing the rolling hills,
the deciduous forests and the meandering streams
have been overtaken and replaced by an invidious, invasive species
of four-lane byways with a broad, medial stalk of conquering concrete
sprouting small, almost identical malls like profligate weeds dispersing seeds
every mile or so along the length of the Lincoln Highway.

One last dairy farm remains, attached to the Route 30 vine.
Contained by concrete, cows graze in green pastures
as fossil fuel-burners blindly whiz by emitting a life-exhausting fog.
The farm, a delicate anachronism, is out of place in its own place,
a symbol of a sustainable way of life set like a jewel
on the artificial energy-sustained existence
clinging tenuously to the grid by an electrical thread
generated by the last drops of once living,
long dead bodies of the plant and animal ancestors
of those same dairy cows.

Vi’s works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is “Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

RoadDog lends personal touch to NIU story

February 21, 2008

NIU_Black_Ribbon Our good friend RoadDog regularly writes about the fun side of old road travel, but he’s also been following the story of tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University, which lies along the Lincoln Highway on the west side of DeKalb. He and his wife Liz graduated from there in 1973 and like so many, find it hard to reconcile a place you love with someone’s senseless act. They took time yesterday to revisit the campus and favorite places in town. Here are some excerpts from their experiences:

Flags from Sycamore to Dekalb were at half mast and many of the signs at local establishments had words of comfort regarding the tragedy. Same with flags and signs along Lincoln Highway, Il. Route 38.

We saw at least six news vans parked along the spaces closest to Cole Hall. This is now five days after the event.

We went outside again to the two tents set up to cover the boards on which people were writing their feelings. There are now four. It was nice that someone had supplied Sharpies of different colors to express the grief. Most just said something about prayers. However, some were quite poignant. A lot said, “We are all Huskies today,” some of which were from people from other schools.

Came home and Liz found that the NIU site on Legacy now has 371 pages with about ten entries on each page.

This Still Hasn’t Completely Registered.

To read all three of RoadDog’s heartfelt entries, click here: 1, 2, 3.

Click here to read bios of the five fallen students and a schedule of memorial services.