Archive for March, 2008

It's Spring! And an easy Mystery Photo

March 21, 2008

With this being the first full day of Spring, maybe we can start our fair-weather road trips soon, but for now, rain and snow are still hitting parts of the Lincoln Highway. Click here to see my sampling of weather conditions along the Lincoln.

I went looking for photos from last Spring. Below is a Springtime view of a courthouse along the Lincoln – anyone know where? Like the last Mystery Photo, clues make it easy to identify.


Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne to close

March 20, 2008

The Lincoln Museum, which has hosted an exhibit on the Lincoln Highway, will close June 30, 2008, after 80 years as a major resource for the study of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. It is operated by Lincoln Financial Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Lincoln Financial Group. The foundation owns one of the most extensive collections of Abraham Lincoln-related items — 230,000 items valued at $20 million — including a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and one of 13 Thirteenth Amendments signed by Abraham Lincoln. Also among the 79 artifacts are a cane he carried and his children’s toys. The collection also includes 350 documents signed by Lincoln, some 18,000 rare books and pamphlets., and 200,000 clippings.


The museum cites declining attendance, averaging 40,000 per year, according to an article in The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne. Priscilla Brown, vice president and chief brand officer for Lincoln Financial Group, said, in the paper’s words, that “the collection’s dispersal to other sites will better match the Lincoln Financial Foundation’s mission for the items, which is to ensure they get maximum exposure and remain accessible to the public…. The museum isn’t being closed as a cost-cutting measure and that it does not reflect any failure of the local museum staff.” The museum has about 20 staff members, most of whom will lose their jobs, and a “substantial” volunteer base.

The Lincoln Museum’s 19th century 5,000 photos and 7,000 prints is one of the most extensive in the world. According to Lincoln Financial, “Through invitation, the Lincoln Foundation will host a national informational session with potential public partners in late March to provide an understanding of the collection items and, in turn, discuss options for increasing visibility.”

An editorial laments the loss to the city, and the foundation’s reasoning that dispersing the collection will allow more people to see the parts in bigger venues:

Fort Wayne has lost out. A huge historical resource is, for all practical purposes, gone.

Oh, people will be able to drive to some other location, somewhere, and see some of the items, and they will be able to repeat the old refrain, “That was once in Fort Wayne….”

One expert told me [that] reactions have ranged from regret to anger to disappointment to shock to disbelief.


The image above, from the museum’s web site, shows a re-creation of Lincoln’s White House office, where visitors can view personal artifacts belonging to Lincoln, official documents, a chair from the Lincoln White House, a Senate copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, a Leland Boker souvenir edition copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, and personal and official letters of President Lincoln.

A second press release explains how Lincoln Financial plans to take a two-pronged approach to make its Lincoln Museum collection more accessible and visible in celebration of the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial in 2009.

US 30 bridge named for PA veterans

March 19, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell signed six bills into law on March 17, one of which renames the bridge carrying US 30 over Main Street in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, as the Veterans Bridge. See the actual House Bill 363 here.

According to the bill, the “designation honors the commitment, service and sacrifice of this country’s veterans and will serve as a tangible reminder of the courage and patriotism of the veterans who served this Commonwealth and this nation.” It will take effect in 60 days.


US 30 here is a bypass of the original Lincoln Highway that runs perpendicular to the Irwin business district. The above postcard copy shows the bridge under construction ca. 1939, with the business district behind it. The LH was being realigned in anticipation of the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s western terminus opening in 1940 about a mile to the east.

Harmon uncovers more 1919 Motor Convoy docs

March 18, 2008

In 1919, the Transcontinental Motor Convoy crossed the U.S. to test the mobility of the military during wartime. It is perhaps more famous for a Lieutenant Colonel who decades later would become President Dwight Eisenhower. Twenty-four officers and 258 enlisted men took 81 motorized Army vehicles from Washington, D.C. to Gettysburg, and then followed much of the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco, arriving 62 days later. So much for mobility!

Lincoln and Lincoln Highway researcher Craig Harmon has lately been on the trail of primary sources from the convoy; below are just two of the many revealing documents Harmon has unearthed – another one about camp sanitation is especially intriguing! They add invaluable information to the tale of that cross-country trip. See his website for more information, or ask there to be added to his email updates.


Above, this report runs 35 pages and includes 20 b/w photos. Below, notice the official letterhead!


Click on the image below from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, Abilene, Kansas, to visit its page about the convoy.


New Chicago Lincoln Hwy book gets local review

March 17, 2008

I received an advance copy a couple weeks ago of The Lincoln Highway Around Chicago by Cynthia L. Ogorek and have been enjoying it. A full review will run here shortly, but till then, you can read what the The Times of Munster, Indiana, says about it here.


Above is a photo from the book showing one of two streams that were crossed by the Ideal Section, a 1.3-mile “model” stretch of the Lincoln Highway between Schererville and Dyer, Indiana. A man crossing a temporary bridge at far right gives scale to the enormity of the job. Click HERE to enjoy a hi-res version. Courtesy University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, lhc2719.

Mystery Photo 6: LH Food Fuel & Liquor

March 16, 2008

Here’s a late-night photo from the Lincoln Highway in Illinois. Anyone able to identify the city?


UPDATE: OK, it’s been answered – check the comments section. If you want to guess, don’t look at the map below yet!! The first image is from Google Street Views.


I’ve highlighted the map to show the original Lincoln Highway in Red and the rerouting in Blue, where you’ll find the business.


Online photos show Sleepy Hollow after the fire

March 14, 2008

The charred remains of Sleepy Hollow Tavern are sad to see. Johnathan Myers has posted photos of the place showing the destruction caused by a fire that started late February 25 along the Lincoln Highway west of Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Click the link above to view them.


Here’s an early postcard of the tavern in happier times….

Can’t go wrong with “food prepared mother’s way”!

Lincoln Highway Buy-Way set August 7-9, 2008

March 13, 2008

Buy-Way LogoW.gifThe Lincoln Highway Buy-Way, a yard sale running along the road through 4 states, is set for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August 7-9, 2008. Launched in Ohio a few years ago, it has grown to include Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia. Homeowners and businesses set up sales or offer specials along the way, making for a fun yard sale/road trip. Ohio even distributes thousands of free color maps along the route showing the road and Buy-Way business supporters.

OH_81107_1873.jpg Hot Dog Shop
Above: During last year’s Buy-Way, we lunched at the Hot Dog Shop in East Liverpool, Ohio.

For more info, contact:
Mike Hocker, Executive Director
Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor

No bidders at Stone's Restaurant auction

March 12, 2008


The Times Republican reports that only spectators showed up for the public auction of Stone’s Restaurant in Marshalltown, Iowa. The 120-year-old eatery “under the vaiduct” was famous for its lemon chiffon pies, and had become a landmark along the Lincoln Highway:

10 x 10 white square

The public sale that did not materialize Thursday was supposed to auction off Stone’s to the highest bidder, after the Internal Revenue Service recently seized the property from its owners for not paying taxes.

After those few silent moments, the IRS adjourned the sale, according to agency spokesperson Christopher Miller.

In such circumstances, the IRS will generally either decide to readvertise and conduct another public auction sale or release its hold on the property, Miller said, though the actual course of action to be taken for Stone’s Restaurant has not yet been determined.

In the event the IRS releases the property back to the Stone family, the taxes owed and liens attached will all remain in tact, according to IRS rules.

See previous Lincoln Highway News post here.

Illinois LH traveling exhibit at Sycamore Library

March 12, 2008

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Traveling Exhibit is nearing the end of its run at Sycamore Public Library, where it is displayed on the second floor through the end of March. The exhibit traces the history of the route across Illinois from Fulton, on the Iowa border, to Chicago Heights on the Indiana border. The exhibit was created by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition and is sponsored at the library by the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce. Here it is at in July 2007 at the Joliet Area Historical Museum:

IL Joliet exhibit

In April and May, it will be in Chicago Southland, site not yet announced;
June – DeKalb Oasis on I-88;
July, August, September – Morrison (no location yet);
October, November, December – Sterling;
January, February, March 2009 – New Lenox;
April, May, June – Chicago Southland area.

Sycamore is about 5 miles northeast of DeKalb via IL 23. The impressive-looking library was built in 1905 with $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation. It was added to the National Register in 1978. Here’s a photo from its web site and a map from MapQuest showing how to get there from the LH.


Sycamore Public Library
103 East State Street
Sycamore, Illinois 60178
(815) 895-2500

Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday & Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (September – May)