Archive for January, 2009

Details on Lincoln Highway at inaugural parade

January 15, 2009

Following up on my post earlier this week, if you’re looking for the Lincoln Highway section of the Inaugural parade next week, Craig Harmon tells me they’ll be in the 3rd section – Navy about half way back.


Lincoln Highway Museum director Harmon notes the event corresponds perfectly with the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, hence the theme of his contingent, “Lincoln is the Key – A New Birth of Freedom.” A Lincoln reencator will be atop his 1968 Maxim fire engine, holding a Liberty Key presented to the US by General Lafayette in 1825.

Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Transcontinental Motor Convoy will be vehicles and the director from the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum of Asheville, NC, and sons of two men who were crucial in leading that convoy on motorcycles. Also along will be actor Mickey Rooney, who sang a Lincoln Highway-related song in his 1939 movie Babes In Arms (he’s been to every inauguration since 1933!!). Marching along will be 38 soldiers carrying state flags from 17 states crossed by the Lincoln Highway or an Offical Feeder. They will be dressed in authentic WWI uniforms rushed for the event by Wendy Partridge, a Hollywood costume designer from Calgary, Canada.

New and old Reno arches spotted in street views

January 14, 2009

I’m proofreading the final design draft of my Lincoln Highway Companion book and had to zoom in on Reno. The Truckee River is so narrow through the city that it was missed by the mapmaker. While there I checked on the new and old Reno arches in Street View:


The new arch (built 1987) spans Virginia Street at Commercial Row; the Lincoln Highway passes underneath it.


The old arch was built in 1926 and spanned Virginia Street till 1963; it was rebuilt across S. Lake Street at the edge of the Truckee River and adjacent to the National Automobile Museum.

Albums document Lincoln Hwy diner disassembly

January 13, 2009

The Review of East Liverpool, Ohio, has published a couple galleries of reader photos featuring Crosser’s Diner, a long-time eatery along the Lincoln Highway in Lisbon. I recently reported here and here that it’s being taken apart. The newest one shows the diner being disassembled for an uncertain future:


Click the screen shot to see the collection – photos are by Patti Schaeffer:


An album from August titled “Death of the Crosser Dinette,” documents its decline. By then, the roof had collapsed, stopped only by the counter, hence the roofline bowing that we reported earlier. You can see water damage and that the wooden framing in the middle was probably not salvageable.


Click the screen shot to see the collection – photos by madbunny/Brin Metzendorf:


Lincoln Highway to play role at Inaugural parade

January 12, 2009

The presidential Inauguration Day Parade next Tuesday, January 20, will include a Lincoln Highway-related contingent. Craig Harmon of the Lincoln Highway National Museum & Archives (no longer located at the address on his web site) has gathered historic vehicles to represent the 90th anniversary of the transcontinental Army Motor Transport Convoy that followed much of the Lincoln Highway in 1919. It took some 80 vehicles 63 days to drive from Washington to San Francisco; its most famous participant turned out to be Dwight Eisenhower, then a lieutenant colonel in the Army.

ABOVE: A 1918 Harley-Davidson with Sidecar from the collection at Wheels Through Time will participate in the inaugural parade, as seen on the CAIM site.

One of the groups joining him is the Wheels Through Time American Transportation Museum in Maggie Valley, N.C. The motorcycle museum will bring a small fleet of WWI era motorcycles to Washington, D.C. Harmon has participated in previous inaugural parades, recognizable in  his vintage fire truck. Mickey Rooney will again be joining him due to his singing a Lincoln Highway-related song in the 1939 movie Babes In Arms.

Harmon has been diligently researching the convoy for years. According to an article in Classic American Iron Magazine:

During the parade, sons and grandsons of Captain Arthur Herrington and Lt. Ralph Enos, two of the Army motorcycle pilots who completed the 1919 transcontinental convoy, will be riding along. Both Herrington and Enos had a long relationship with the motorcycle and automotive industries. Herrington, an accomplished racer for Harley-Davidson, worked for the Motor Company both before and after the war, and would later partner with Walter Marmon to create the Marmon-Herrington company, of which he would become president in 1931. Herrington would also create the first prototypes of the Marmon-Herrington Calvary Scout Car — what would later become the “Jeep”. Enos’ impact on the motorcycling world would be just as profound as that of his contemporary, as he would later go on to manage the Harley-Davidson factory racing team, contributing largely to Mr. Red Parkhurst’s world’s records at Daytona Beach in 1920. Soon after, he would serve briefly as assistant sales manager for the Excelsior Organization before returning to H-D for almost another 15 years, and by 1942, he would become the head of the Army’s motorcycle and bicycle division during WWII.

Harmon also has WWI-era uniforms being reproduced. An article from CTV in Calgary, Canada, relays the story of Wendy Partridge, who is making the outfits that will march past the Obamas and then will join the parade too. She has been working for the past 3 weeks to design and create the authentic uniforms.

“I’ve been working seven days a week basically 15 to 18 hours a day locked behind a sewing machine or behind the cutting machine trying to pull it off…. I’m just blown away. I think to be a part of this, or to be a witness to this historic event, is just thrilling. There are no words to describe it really.”

Partridge has designed hundreds of costumes for Hollywood. But when the curator of the Lincoln Highway National Museum saw her work in the movie Passchendaele, he contacted her to create authentic World War I army uniforms for the museum’s Inauguration Parade entry…. In total, Partridge has created 37 uniforms and an Abe Lincoln outfit…. Partridge is not being paid to provide the uniforms for the museum’s parade entry. She calculates the cost of her time, the material, and labour at about $40-thousand.

Lincoln Highway roadhouse in family photos

January 9, 2009

In November I reported that Sylverta Blaugher had written about visiting her family at the Cove Mountain Tea Room on the Lincoln Highway east of McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. She sent more than a dozen wonderful family photos. Here are a few to get you dreaming of roadhouses a half-century ago.

Sylverta says, “The earliest photo is 1946 when my Great Uncle Harry and Great Aunt Pearl Forrester bought the Tea Room. They renamed it Forrester’s Place. After they died, cousins from Ohio bought the property to use as a hunting lodge when they came in to go deer hunting.”

butko_uncle-harryUncle Harry, Brownie the dog, cousin Joan Hocker, and Sylverta’s mom Irene Beltz.

butko_bob-hockerOn the rooftop lookout: Irene with Brownie, cousin Bob Hocker, Irene’s classmate Bob Heller, unknown.

butko_sylvertaSylverta on a cinder pile, with the roadhouse in the background, October 1955.

butko_60s-ireneIrene, 1971.

butko_house007bA composite photo of the house in the 1970s. Vandals began destroying the property and the house was demolished. New owners built an A frame further back on the property. Here’s the site today:


Moondance diner from NYC set to open in WY

January 8, 2009

Another diner loss for New York City is a gain for Wyoming. The Moondance Diner sat near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in Lower Manhattan, which served the Lincoln Highway when it was re-signed in 1928. After nearly 80 years there, the diner had to move in 2007 and was bought by Cheryl and Vince Pierce of La Barge in southwest Wyoming, 72 miles north of the Lincoln Highway. Here are two views before departure from Forgotten NY:



The Pierces paid $7,500 for the diner then had to move it, but red tape and a rain storm slowed the 2,400-mile trip through nine states. Then snow collapsed the roof last winter. According to the Jackson Hole Star Tribune, the diner is opening this month, perhaps tomorrow.

One of the last free-standing diners in Manhattan, the Moondance served up cheeseburgers, fries, milkshakes and malts to working-class New Yorkers, artists and actors for decades. The diner gained national prominence after being featured in the film “Spider-Man,” and was included as a backdrop in numerous TV episodes over the years. The Moondance became a victim of the times, however, and was scheduled for demolition in 2007 to make room for condominiums.

That paper’s photo, below, shows owner Cheryl Pierce with letters stored from the historic neon-lit, revolving crescent Moondance sign. The menu will include traditional diner fare such as burgers, meatloaf, homemade fries, and milkshakes/malts from an antique soda fountain.


Those wishing to visit can turn north on US 30 where it famously breaks away from the Lincoln Highway at Granger, Wyoming, between Fort Bridger and Green River, then at Opal turn north on US 189.

Celebration set for Lincoln statue in Jersey CIty

January 7, 2009

Al Pfingstl, NJ LHA director, writes about an annual celebration at the Abraham Lincoln statue located along the Lincoln Highway in Jersey City, as seen in his photo below. This year is special in that it’s the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

The Lincoln Association of Jersey City is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the memory, preservation, and understanding of Abraham Lincoln and what he stood for. Begun in 1865, it was formally founded in 1867, 2 years after the death of the President and provides a forum to present scholarship concerning the life, career, and legacy of the 16th President of the United States. The Lincoln Association of Jersey City strives to promote fellowship as well as scholarship in the spirit of Lincoln.


On Thursday, February 12, 2009, at Noon at the statue of Lincoln at the entrance of Lincoln Park, Kennedy Boulevard, and Belmont Avenue in Jersey City, First Vice President Guy Catrillo will host the annual monument ceremony. Dr. Jules Ladenheim, a Past President of the Lincoln Association, will deliver one of President Lincoln’s memorable speeches. The ceremony will conclude with a placing of a wreath at the statue.

At 5:30 PM, the Association will host the 144th Annual Dinner at the Casino in the Park, with a featured speaker to be announced. Cost of the dinner is $60 if you reserve a space or $70 at the door.

To reserve a dinner spot or for more information contact or send a check with your name and the names of those attending, and your postal and e-mail addresses to the Secretary of the Lincoln Association, 9120 Columbia Ave., North Bergen NJ 07047.

Diner sleuth drives to Lisbon — news not good

January 6, 2009


Diner fan and fanatic John Shoaf couldn’t just read about the deconstruction of the Crosser Diner along the Lincoln Highway in Lisbon Ohio — he had to drive from West Virginia to see the situation for himself. Sorry to say, not only will St. Louis not be getting the diner, but neither will anyone else. John reports that if there ever was a deal to move it, the buyer never showed or paid. The porcelain enameled panels have been taken off and stored, but by now the wooden framing has been burned!

At least he got a look at it first:

WOW!! B.G. Harley’s design used by Sterling is highly evident in what’s left. Each of the four-foot sections is highly visible. The “frame base flanges/bolts” can easily be seen in how it was constructed, with each four-foot section bolted together till the diner was the size you wanted.

Interesting even more to me: It started as a CURVED ROOF diner in the plant but was given a flat-ish over roof (using the same wood as the curved part so it wasn’t an after add-on) to make it a later updated squared-off design.

Too bad that even one neato four-foot section isn’t going to be saved for posterity, it’s a crying shame. A beautiful example GONE FOREVER

Here’s a photo of a round-roofed Sterling for sale at Antique Car Investments:


Plans for I-80/Lincoln Highway Summit Rest Area

January 5, 2009

Renovation plans have been drawn up for the Summit Rest Area and Information Center along I-80 (x 323) and across from the Lincoln Highway in eastern Wyoming. The site is best known for a giant bust of Abraham Lincoln and a monument to LHA president Henry Joy. The site is atop the Pole Mountains in the Medicine Bow National Forest — the highest point on both roadways.



Plans were prepared by the Roybal Corporation, which worked closely with the Wyoming Travel & Tourism Council to create interpretive exhibits providing information to visitors about things to explore along the I-80 corridor in southern Wyoming.

A video was posted in November 2008 showing the drawings in 3-D:

Also see Reed Construction Data for a few more details.

New roadside book from Route 66 researchers

January 2, 2009

Researchers and photographers Shellee Graham and Jim Ross have a new book out, Roadside USA: Route 66 and Beyond, published by Jim’s Ghost Town Press. Though they’re known for their work along Route 66, they’ve also done extensive photography along the Lincoln Highway — note the “L” pole on the cover.

Shellee told me, “We had a ball driving the Lincoln Highway in Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah. Memorable scenery, people and landmarks — can’t wait to do the rest. It was so interesting looking for the Scouts’ [1928 concrete] Lincoln markers.” The 64-page paperback, featuring 30 postcards, is $10.95 and available on Amazon.