Archive for May, 2009

Highway authors, artists wanted for conference

May 14, 2009

Attendees to the 2009 LHA conference in South Bend, Indiana, are looking forward to meeting authors and artists on June 18th. If your work focuses on the Lincoln Highway or Dixie Highway, please contact Jan Shupert-Arick at (260) 452-8140 and ask to be part of the authors and artists celebration. There is no charge to participate — bring your books/artwork and a table covering. The public is also invited to meet the authors and artists.

Inspiring story on Shisler's Cheese House in Ohio

May 13, 2009

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently profiled Rita Shisler, owner of the wonderful Shisler’s Cheese House along the Lincoln Highway in eastern Ohio. It’s a fun read and an inspiring story.


Rita’s advice on running a successful business:

Work hard and hire people who are a good fit for your business. You have to love what you do. It reflects back on to your business. People like doing business with happy people. They want to be part of it.

Shisler’s Cheese House is on the corner of US 30 & Kidron Rd., Orrville, Ohio, (330) 682-2105.

Lincoln Highway is a hit … times 100,000

May 12, 2009

The odometer on this blog just rolled 100,000 hits. Launched in October 2007, the purpose remains to keep readers and myself informed and entertained. For your enjoyment, here’s a view from Wyoming of Hostler’s General Store, and a Muffler Man-turned-Jack Hammer at the minor league Silver Cross Field between the original Lincoln Highway and the current eastbound routing (aka US 30) in Joliet, Illinois.

I hope these and the rest of the blog inspire you to hit the (two-lane) road and create your own road trip memories. And please send us some of your photos to post.



ABC News follows Route 66 west

May 11, 2009

abc_12_090508_ssvI managed to catch pink eye – ouch – so can’t type much but thought Lincoln Highway fans might be interested in seeing how ABC News weekend anchors are traveling Route 66 west (unexplainedly skipping Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas). Kate Snow and her sister drive the first two segments in a 1958 Ford Fairlane hardtop convertible (seen here at the former U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock, Texas). Read the story HERE.

NOTE: ABC has disabled embedding. Below is the first segment from another source.

Here are the ABC links, including the second video: ONE and TWO.

The final two segments will feature the two male anchors heading further west.

12 days of blogging the Lincoln Highway out west

May 8, 2009

Photographers Eric Mencher and his wife Kass have been photographing the Lincoln Highway since 1997. Eric is staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer. They began with Pennsylvania and last year completed the entire length from coast to coast. They’ve just begun another two-week trip that will take them from Wyoming into Utah and Nevada.


You can follow their adventures at which Eric will update every day or so. The first entry doesn’t have much yet, only four images shot from their room at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Last year he posted a handful of photos from their trip through Wyoming and Nebraska. You can find them, along with other photos mixed in, at:

DeWitt sewer work unearths LH concrete post

May 7, 2009

An article in the Quad City Times reports that a Lincoln Highway marker was unearthed during sewer work in DeWitt, Iowa. It is one of a couple thousand concrete posts planted in 1928 with help from the Boy Scouts that marked the route, but most have gone missing.


I checked with Van Becker, LH expert in Iowa, who told me that Iowa LHA state director Jeff LaFollette was contacted by Matt Proctor, DeWitt Director of Public Works. Proctor provided the above photo of the marker after a power wash. Matt wrote, “It was knocked over in the 300 block of 11th Street (old Rt 30, north side).  Before I could get there, the contractor and inspector pulled the [brass Lincoln head] off.  I raced there and saved the concrete marker.  I am going to get it cleaned up.” From the article:

City Administrator Steve Lindner said the city plans to have the marker restored and placed along 11th Street, the Lincoln Highway route through DeWitt…. The marker was sitting on a hand truck in the middle of the City Council chambers during Monday night’s regular meeting.

Van Becker adds:

Once it is restored and placed I will get a photo and GPS location. With this addition, I now have documented the existence and location of 94 (YES, 94) known 1928 LH markers in Iowa. This is a Left Turn marker [and] there was only one marker placed on 11th Street, and, it was a Left Turn marker. Probably safe to say it is number 972. Old number 972 was originally placed “100 yds E of 5th Ave. & 11th St” in DeWitt as instructed by Gael Hoag, Field Secretary of the Lincoln Highway Assn.

The post numbering was devised by the LHA’s Russell Rein, who transcribed Hoag’s log. Contrary to popular belief, there were not 3,400 concrete posts at about one per mile; Russ counted just 2,436 posts. There were also some 4,000 signs for city streets, which rarely are mentioned (though Russ and his marker counts are in my Greetings from the Lincoln Highway book).

Fort Wayne to mark Lincoln Highway route

May 6, 2009

The 1915 routing of the Lincoln Highway through Fort Wayne, Indiana, will soon be marked with red, white, and blue markers. The [Fort Wayne] News-Sentinel reports that the new signs for the old road will be dedicated by Mayor Tom Henry on May 21, 2009. Currently the only nod to its existence are at each end of the 1915 Harrison Street Bridge, noting the distance to New York (724 miles) and San Francisco (2,660 miles).


Two weather-beaten stone signs easily missed by passing motorists, there are few visible reminders of downtown Fort Wayne’s importance to America’s first transcontinental highway….

“Now you’ll be able to drive around Allen County and know where the road was,” said [Jan Shupert-Arick,] Fort Wayne resident and author of a new book about “The Lincoln Highway Across Indiana.”…

“Right now, it can be frustrating (to find the old highway) in urban areas. There are dead-ends and other obstacles,” Shupert-Arick said, noting that the soon-to-be posted route won’t direct anyone “where it’s not safe.”…

When Henry proclaimed May “Historic Preservation Month,” he said, “We understand that moving forward into our future includes honoring our past, and we know how important it is to the vitality of our city to ensure strong revitalization efforts.”

Marker dedication will be at the Lincoln Highway Bridge—Harrison Street at the St. Mary’s River.  Call (260) 427-1127 for details, or visit

Drive to Virginia finds 2 closings in Breezewood

May 5, 2009

Last weekend I drove mostly 2-lane roads to Norfolk, Virginia, and back to Pittsburgh, some 900 miles. At Breezewood, Pa., a couple long-time Lincoln Highway landmarks were out of business: the Family House Restaurant and adjacent Penn Aire Motel. I’ve stayed at the motel and it was fine but certainly on the familiar decline from 1950s fabulous to no-longer-AAA-rated. The restaurant seemed to thrive but Turnpike traffic was noticeably down this trip.



On a brighter note, the trip to Virginia included favorite roadside stops like Dinosaurland and some new ones in the Shenandoah Mountains. Flickr friend loungelistener cued me into a couple cool places on US 50 just west of Winchester, Virginia, including the curved-layout Hayfield Motel and the tiny Amherst Diner, where I had a nice breakfast.



While researching my Roadside Attractions book, I wanted to stop at Doumar’s Cones & Barbecue, opened 1934 in Norfolk and now I had the chance. Here’s 87-year-old Albert outside the cool carhop drive-in with his family’s 1905 waffle cone maker! Albert claims it was his Uncle Abe who invented the ice cream cone during the 1904 St. Louis Exposition.


Last chance to visit Calif LH ghost town this Sat

May 4, 2009

Don’t forget that this Saturday, May 9, will be the last chance for the public to visit Clarksville, California, and one of the longest (and off-limits) sections of original Lincoln Highway between Sacramento and Carson City, Nevada.

As reported here earlier, the long-abandoned town of Clarksville, just outside of El Dorado Hills, California, is set to be cleared and developed in the next couple years. The property is now private land but the owner has agreed to open the site for the annual Clarksville Day historical celebration. About dozen structures remain from the town that, if not large, was once thriving. Cars will be able to drive the Lincoln Highway this one last day; click HERE for a full schedule of events.


Above, the Clarksville Region Historical Society crew, preparing the site for the festival, stands on the Lincoln Highway. Photo by Pat Thomsen, Secretary, CRHS.

Update: The local newspaper just did  a preview story.