Archive for February, 2009

Gas stations video can be watched online

February 27, 2009


It’s not Lincoln Highway-centric, but if you like old cars and gas stations you’ll want to watch for FREE the video that accompanies the book I mentioned previously, Fill ’er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Station. The half-hour-long show is on the Wisconsin Public Television web site in 8 segments or can be purchased as a DVD. It’s a fun and informative look at stations, and you don’t need to be from Wisconsin to appreciate the info, the places visited, and the cool films and photos. Click HERE to go to the page of segments plus some related clips such as a look at an 1878 experiment with steam-driven carriages that may have been the world’s first car race. Below is a scene from the video.


Drama of the broken string at eastern terminus

February 26, 2009

As reported here recently, a street sign was dedicated on the Lincoln birthday bicentennial marking the eastern terminus of the Lincoln Highway at Times Square. LHA director Jerry Peppers has been working on getting a permanent marker and was part of the unveiling. Here are some photos from his daughter Amy Peppers that document the unveiling, including the broken string drama.


The sign awaits unveiling with the pull-string secured until it’s ready.


Commissioner of the New York City DOT Janette Sadik-Kahn joins Jerry Peppers to pull off the cover.


But wait! The cover rips and the string pulls off!!


Who you gonna call?


NYC DOT workers to the rescue!




Peppers and Sadik-Kahn pose with Tim Tompkins, President of Times Square Alliance.


And Pepper again shows what he’d really like – a marker, perhaps a concrete post, at the intersection.

Lincoln Highway lecture in Fort Wayne – March 1

February 25, 2009

Jan Shupert-Arick will be discussing The Lincoln Highway Across Indiana at the Fort Wayne History Center on Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. The Lincoln Highway ran through downtown Fort Wayne. Jan, past-president of the LHA, has just published a book by that title through Arcadia (available through Amazon for $21.99).


The free lecture is part of the 2009 George R. Mather Sunday Lecture Series, made possible with support from the Dunsire Family Foundation. Jan is the director of regional services at Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne, and also served as director of education at The Lincoln Museum, which included as part of her work directing a major temporary exhibit, “Coast to Coast on the Lincoln Highway.”

The History Center is at 302 East Berry Street. For more information, call (260) 426-2882, or visit

Lincoln Highway Experience plans unveiled

February 24, 2009

A new mailer/flyer details plans for the museum building being planned by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in western Pennsylvania. The Lincoln Highway Experience will be the largest and most prominent site documenting the Lincoln Highway.


To be located just west of Ligonier, Pa., the Lincoln Highway Experience will tell the story of the highway both in the state and on a national level. Interpretive exhibits will focus on the years 1912-1940 but the emphasis will be on what is still along the corridor, encouraging visitors to get out and drive the road.

The building itself was designed by Venturi Scott Brown Associates, familiar to roadside fans for their pioneering work, including publication of Learning From Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form (1972, revised 1977) by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. The 10,000 s.f interior was handled by Maude Group and Kissiloff Associates and will include two films.


The LHHC has helped secure and administer grants for dozens of regional projects and is now launching its own capital campaign for the Experience. Donors at the $2,500 level will bceome members of The Lincoln Circle, with naming opportunities. The LHHC was designated in 1995 to promote economic development through tourism. Visit for more information about the Corridor.

Inspiring video: restoring neon signs on Route 66

February 23, 2009

If you know of a neon sign along the Lincoln Highway that needs some attention before it ends up being removed or destroyed, here’s an inspiring video about neon signs that were restored along Route 66 in New Mexico. Originally broadcast on PBS station KNME, the 26-minute program won a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Award.

Or view it larger here.

Spreading the word that these signs have historic, architectural, and tourist value is the best way to change opinions; as one sign-maker says (and we hope he now feels differently), “We could just sell them a new sign, it’d be so much easier.”

Ford plant in Pittsburgh to be rehabbed

February 20, 2009

Ford was producing so many cars in the ’teens and that it built satellite assembly plants in cities so Detroit could efficiently ship “knocked down” chassis, and final assembly could be done near the point of sale. Pittsburgh’s plant has long sat decaying on its automobile row, Baum Boulevard, the Lincoln Highway through the east end of town. Now the final tenant is moving out but plans call for a revamping into medical offices.


The Pittsburgh plant at 5000 Baum Blvd (at Morewood) in Bloomfield was one of two dozen that Ford opened in the spring of 1915. Though only 40 cars were produced per day, it served the needs of the region through 1932. The ghost of the Ford Motor Company script can still be seen along the roofline.

The Post-Gazette reports that the last tenant — the flagship Paper Mart store — closed after 25 years there:

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center bought the building about two years ago and began clearing tenants out as their leases ended. Papermart was the last tenant when its lease expired in January. UPMC extended the lease on a month-by-month basis, but the cost had gone up….

Frank Raczkiewicz, a spokesman for UPMC, said the building will be “another cancer research facility” and that the medical giant, which is based in Oakland with headquarters Downtown, has already outgrown the Hillman Cancer Center.

Drawing: Ford Motor Company

"Route 30" film at Ligonier this weekend

February 19, 2009

Route 30: Three Stories, One Highway, a film written, produced, and directed by John Putch, will be shown in Ligonier, Pa., this weekend at the Ligonier Theater, 210 W. Main St. Times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.


Route 30 features three interconnecting comedic stories. The cast of 15 includes TV stars Dana Delaney, Dave Delouise, and Ed Gotwalt of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum (below, in his own poster pose).  The film was shot in October 2007 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, mostly along the Lincoln Highway/US 30.  Putch is the son of Bill Putch and Jean Stapleton, best known as Edith Bunker of All in the Family. The two founded Totem Pole Playhouse along US 30 in Caledonia State Park,  between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, and so is where Putch spent his youth. Mister Ed was a regular performer there too.


For more info call (724) 238-6514 or visit

It will also be shown in Connecticut at the Kent Film Festival on Friday, March 27.

Bicentennial honors Lincoln Highway namesake

February 18, 2009


The 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth on February 12th has launched numerous events to honor the 16th president of the United States, 1861-65, Lincoln’s name was invoked almost 50 years after his death in naming the Lincoln Highway, and so the bicentennial brought about the marking of the Lincoln Highway’s eastern terminus.

Here’s part of an article announcing the Proclamation of the Lincoln Highway, from the New York Times on September 13, 1913:


Also related to the anniversary,  Craig Harmon of the Lincoln Highway National Museum & Archives reports that the Ukrainian Embassy contacted him about his 2nd annual Lincoln essay contest, specifically regarding “What Abraham Lincoln Means To Me,” an invitation of essays from world leaders. The embassy soon followed up with an essay written and signed by Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine! His essay includes this heartfelt sentiment: “His energy, inspiring faith in triumph of humanism, in vistory of freedom over slavery, as well as his selfless work to achieve his ideals became the model that I try to emulate in my everyday life.”

Below is the wreath laid at the Lincoln Memorial on his birthday by Harmon, reresenting the Lincoln Highway National Museum & Archives.


Portrait credit: Brady National Photographic Art Gallery (Washington, D.C.), photographer. “Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing left.” 1864 January 8. Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress.

Video clip from Lincoln Highway educational DVD

February 17, 2009

Here’s a clip from an Indiana Lincoln Highway student curriculum project that the Indiana LHA has been working on. The Lincoln Highway Story is a Chamberlin Video Production, financed by the Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum. Full-length DVDs will be available at this summer’s LHA conference in South Bend, Indiana.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Utah main street stars in Disney movie tonight

February 16, 2009


Magna, Utah, just west of Salt Lake City along the Lincoln Highway, is the setting for Dadnapped, premiering on the Disney Channel at 8 pm tonight. The movie features Disney’s stable of teen stars like Emily Osment and others from Hannah Montana. The photo above showing the town’s Empress Theater and others can be seen on the Flickr page of DWRowan. The town (renamed Mercury in the film) was spruced up and altered some for the film but many buildings will be recognized such as the Empress. Filming was late in 2007. The trailer also features some scenes of the town.

Osment will be promoting it on The View this morning, other Disney stars are on other ABC shows today, and with two music videos premiering later, Disney at one point reportedly billed tonight’s schedule (perhaps overbilling to us older than teens) as “the equivalent of the Beatles and Rolling Stones appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show on the same night.”

The plot? “Melissa has a bad case of sibling rivalry, only her competition is a fictional character in her father’s best-selling novel about a teenage super spy. When her father is ‘dadnapped’ by a group of overzealous fans, it’s up to Melissa to muster the courage and know-how to find him… which suddenly puts her in the midst of her own adventurous plot.”

ABC in Utah reports that Salty Pictures Inc., the production company that made Dadnapped, received $400,000 in economic incentives from the state. In return, the company spent almost $2.7 million in Utah. Filming for Dadnapped wrapped up in June of last year.

Other shows filmed around Magna range from an episode of Everwood (2003) to Stephen King’s The Stand (1994) to Carnival of Souls (1962) at Saltair.