Archive for February, 2009

Lincoln Highway runner to finish Ohio today

February 16, 2009


Eric Ebbinger has been getting lots of press the past week for running the Lincoln Highway across Ohio in 5 days to honor Abraham Lincoln. Ebinger, 31, of Norwalk, started the 241-mile trek on Lincoln’s 200th birthday (Thursday) and plans to finish today, on President’s Day. He’ll start the final 27 miles at 9 am in Massilllon, heading eat towards East Liverpool.

This Mansfield News Journal article mentions how hard it can be to find the LH. This Mansfield article mentions the many challenges, including:

With winds gusting up to 30 mph at his back on the first day, Ebinger said he pushed himself too hard. He paid for it Friday.

“I had a really rough day,” he said after taking an ice bath. “I had to have an emergency massage in Bucyrus. “My legs were filled with lactic acid. I didn’t properly rehab the first night.”

That wasn’t all. “I had blisters all over my feet,” Ebinger said. “It felt like I was running on broken glass.”


Eris posts daily updates on his website,, which is the source of these photos. Starting at the top, Gerry Payne as President Lincoln met Eric at the square in Wooster after a 32 mile day; wife Misty helping to coordinate things; Greg and Bel, owners of the Oak Park Tavern on Route 30 east of Mansfield, opened their restaurant for Eric and crew of about 10 to gave them water, bananas, and Gatorade; Gerry Payne and Eric walking a portion of the original brick Lincoln Highway near Wooster.



New York's Times Square signs Lincoln Highway

February 13, 2009

LHA director for New York Jerry Peppers joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan to unveil a Lincoln Highway street sign in Times Square yesterday, the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. It is said to be temporary or at least the first until a larger one can mark the spot as the Eastern Terminus of the coast-to-coast road.


Peppers says the sign is “on a post at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street just a few feet from where I posted the marker in the WQED special. It simply reads Lincoln Highway and is not exactly what we want [a plaque with an explanation], but it is a start.” The New York Times ran the above photo and a short blog entry, including this quote:

“As a wonderful tribute to the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birthday, we have placed a historic marker to celebrate the construction of our nation’s first transcontinental highway,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “It memorializes Times Square’s connection with the route’s storied history, and reminds all of us that New York City remains the gateway to the rest of America.”

It also quoted Peppers, who has worked at bringing this to fruition:

The Lincoln Highway brings together the ‘Main Street Across America’ and the nation’s most famous intersection — Broadway and 42nd Street. It’s particularly important to mark the eastern terminus of the Lincoln Highway, where it will serve as a reminder to millions of New Yorkers and visitors from all across the globe who pass through here of our nation’s history and the City’s connection with the rest of the country’s early highways.

In the 95 years since the establishment of the Lincoln Highway, there has never been a sign or marker at the Eastern Terminus, unlike the Western Terminus which has had various signs over time. The Lincoln Highway’s identity was never strong in urban areas, where streets and street names were already entrenched.

Temp Eastern Terminus marker to be dedicated

February 12, 2009

New York City will erect a temporary marker today denoting the Lincoln Highway’s Eastern Terminus at Times Square in commemoration of Lincoln’s Birthday. The New York Daily News reports:

This morning, City Hall will take the first step toward placing a marker bearing Lincoln’s name in Times Square. Why Times Square? Because 42nd St. and Broadway was the starting point for the first transcontential highway in the U.S., a route that bore the name of the 16th President. Conceived in 1913, the Lincoln Highway predated the Lincoln Memorial in honoring America’s foremost leader. It led drivers west to a Hudson River ferry to Weehawken and then clear across the country, to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. In much of the country, stretches of the Lincoln are revered as Americana. But the mile-long New York portion – the shortest but most-traveled stretch – has been all but forgotten. No more. The city today will erect a temporary “Lincoln Highway” sign as the start of the process for installing a formal testament to Lincoln and to the role Times Square played at the dawn of the automotive age. Well done.

NY LHA director Jerry Peppers said he was surprised to hear about it two days ago: “Although I supplied a form of marker and a form of plaque, I do not know what they intend to post. I am told that Mayor Bloomberg himself will be at the unveiling around 10 AM Thursday, depending on his schedule.” Below is Peppers in Times Square with his own very temporary LH marker.


A brief AP story published a couple hours after the event paraphrased an official: “New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (SAY’-dik-Kahn) said the historic route exemplifies a modern goal: finding innovative transportation solutions.”

LHA founder ailing

February 11, 2009

Gregory Franzwa, founder of the modern-day Lincoln Highway Association and editor of the LHA Forum, is ailing. LHA president Bob Dieterich reports that cancer has left him sometimes too weak to walk or talk. This follows soon after his scare with lung cancer, which he kept to himself then humorously documented in Folio. That’s the newsletter of his Patrice Press and it’s more like a full magazine eagerly anticipated by its readers. Here’s wishing Gregory and wife Kathy all the best. You can send him your good thoughts as well, or better yet, a good joke at <>.


New Forum features postcards, Bedford Springs

February 11, 2009

The just-published Winter 2008-09 Lincoln Highway Forum is as always packed with info, including a fascinating cover story (OK, written my me!) on postcard collecting in full, beautiful color. Other features include the story of Beaverdam, Ohio, the restoration of the Bedford Springs Hotel in Pennsylvania, and info on the June 2009 conference in South Bend, Indiana. Become an LHA member here and start receiving it today.


Petersen traces route that became Lincoln Hwy

February 10, 2009

Past LHA president Jesse Petersen has extensively researched the Lincoln Highway in Utah, mapped it, and co-authored a book on it with Gregory Franzwa. His newest project is A Route for the Overland Stage: James H. Simpson’s 1859 Trail Across the Great Basin. The exploration of the Great Basin by army topographical engineer Simpson opened up one of the West’s most important transportation and communication corridors, a vital link to the Pacific Coast that was followed by the Overland Stage and Pony Express.


Petersen writes, “My interest in the Simpson expedition was a result of my interest in the history of the Lincoln Highway. I was attending the Lincoln Highway Association’s 1996 conference in Reno, Nevada, when one of the presenters mentioned that the historic highway had followed much of the route that James Simpson had opened through Nevada in 1859.”

Jess walked or drove the entire trail west and Simpson’s variant path returning east to accurately describe, map, and photograph the route. Published by Utah State University Press, the 240-page, 8.5 x 11 paperback is $24.95 or buy it on Amazon for $18.96.

Walk, Don't Run — on the Lincoln Highway

February 9, 2009

Suddenly everyone is on foot along the Lincoln Highway. Following up on my last post about running the LH (with a quick reference to the 1960 song by the Ventures), Dennis Crowley has announced his plans to again walk part of the route this fall. (I reported on his first leg last October 6 and 8.) Walking America the Lincoln Way will take him from Sacramento, California, on September 14 to Eureka, Nevada, by October 29.


He’ll depart from the Shell Service Station, 4900 W. Capitol Ave  in West Sacramento, and make 6 miles that day, reaching the intersection of Capitol and 26th St. He’ll soon be making it twice as far daily. Dennis says:

The preparations to get things ready to deal with the desolation of Nevada have been more than I realized so I backed things off.  AAA didn’t name U.S. 50 “The Lonliest Road in America” for no reason.  Walking this stretch and on to Salt Lake City next year will make my walk across the Mojave on old Route 66 in California seem like a picnic.  Thanks to technology, however, I should be able to make this walk safe and comfortable.  I am doing a lot of research into satellite personal locator beacons, satellite phones, gps, and other such things such as portable lightweight solar panels to keep batteries charged and allow me to run my portable DVD player.  Afterall, I need something to do on my days off right?


Runner to cross Ohio on Lincoln Hwy Feb 12-16

February 6, 2009

Long-distance runner and Lincoln enthusiast Eric Ebinger will launch a run across Ohio on the 200th anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth on February 12.  Appropriately, he’ll be following the Lincoln Highway for its 241 miles. Ebinger, of Norwalk, will start at the Indiana state line near Van Wert, and follow the route completed in 1928 for five days. His wife Misty, who grew up in Orrville, is coordinating.  “My wife and I are looking forward to meeting the people along this wonderful scenic highway, and perhaps drawing attention to a man whose wisdom and grace guided our nation through its most turbulent period.”


Ebinger will travel sixty miles each of the first two days, completing half the run in two of the five days.  “From Van Wert to Mansfield is nice and flat,” Ebinger said, “which should make for comfortable running. That allows three days for the second half, which is filled with hills.” Ebinger has received numerous emails through his website,, from runners across the state who plan on joining him for different parts of the run.


More overnight stops for L Hwy News lodging

February 6, 2009

I’ve added about a half-dozen more places to the Lodging on the Lincoln Highway link to your right.


Nebraska: tornado damage, jockey dedicated

February 5, 2009

The January 2009 newsletter of the Nebraska Lincoln Highway Association includes a number of interesting stories and a feature on theaters along the route. That story noted that a drive-in theater in Kearney was badly damaged in the May 29 tornado, and insurance was not adequate to replace the screen, so it was torn down in July (seen here still on Google Maps). The state’s two remaining ozoners are not on the Lincoln.



The same tornado also badly damaged the old Continental grain elevator in Shelton, and so it will be torn down too.


In happier news, a bronze statue depicting a 1920s gas jocky was dedicated in Ogallala at the Sprce Street Station, a 1922 Standard station restored in 2003. Sculpted by Nebraska artist Gary Ginther, “it is meant to capture the friendly hometown Nebraskan in his work-torn overalls, dirty oil rag, $2.95 work boots, and strong rough hands with an inviting welcome to service the community.”