Archive for October, 2009

1960s Mansfield Hotel to be razed

October 15, 2009

The Mansfield Ohio NewsJournal reports that the Ambassador Hotel will be razed.


At a sheriff’s auction last Friday, GRE Enterprises LLC turned in the sole bid for the landmark hotel at 191 Park Avenue West, the old Lincoln Highway.

The hotel went for its starting bid, $77,890 — exactly what the former owners owed on taxes.

A representative for GRE said, “We’ll take it down…. The old restaurant that used to be Buckeye Tony’s will stay. The rest of the lot will be cleared and put up for sale.”

The restaurant was also known as the Blue Dolphin in the 1960s when it was the Downtown Motor Lodge.

PA gets new Lincoln Highway board game

October 14, 2009

Students at 61 elementary/middle schools along the historic Lincoln Highway just received copies of The Lincoln Highway Road Trip Board Game, courtesy of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Using pewter-like game pieces (vintage gas tank, suitcase, compass, tourist cabin, postcard, and antique auto) players move along the highway beginning in Irwin. The goal is to be the first to travel 200 miles along the historic highway to Abbottstown.

PA_LHHC board game

A sampling of a few of the 200 question cards (answers at the end):

1) “What Lincoln Highway community had 5 trolley car companies in one town?”  A. Gettysburg; B. Irwin; C. Breezewood; or D. New Oxford.”

2) “Bill’s Place once boasted to have the country’s smallest _________, which tourists often used before leaving the attraction.”  A. Gift Shop; B. Bowling Alley; C. Post Office; or D. Bathroom.

3) “Name the town along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor that you would most likely see bison roam.”  A. Fayetteville. B. Schellsburg; C. Harrisonville; or D. Tatonkaville.”

LHHC summer intern Alex Gra, developed the game, which meets/exceeds PA Academic Standards for Mathematics, Science and Technology, Reading, Speaking and Listening, and History.  In addition to the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, funding support was through The Sprout Fund/Pittsburgh 250/Community Connections in Pittsburgh.

A limited number of the games are available for purchase through the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor website at — click on Gift Shop, then Collectibles; or call the office at 724-238-9030. (Answers: B, C, B)

Welcome signs note Lincoln Highway at Van Wert

October 12, 2009

Ohio’s Mike Buettner sent word of two signs along the Lincoln Highway that welcome drivers to Van Wert, Ohio. The sign shown below (photo by John Renock) is on the Marsh Foundation property at the east edge of Van Wert

OH_VanWert welcome

Buettner, Ohio LHA Director, says a similar sign was erected on the Brookside Dairy property at the west edge of Van Wert:

This project was the brainchild of LHA member Larry Webb, who has accomplished more interesting Lincoln Highway tasks in his home town than any other Ohioan. Money to build the gateway signs was raised by a local group, which has asked to remain anonymous. Larry presented the idea to the “Main Street, Incorporated” group in Van Wert when he was on that committee, and they enthusiastically backed his idea, paying any bills that were not otherwise covered by donations.

The brick pillars are built to the same standards as the original pillars erected in Crawford County and other western counties of Ohio during the 1920s, and were laid up by a local bricklayer. The cement capstones were constructed from a mold fashioned by Richard Taylor of the Mid-Ohio Chapter. The “Welcome” sign was designed by a local architect. The signs were in place just in time for the annual Lincoln Highway “BuyWay” event, which according to Mike Hocker, enjoyed its best year ever.

Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor mtg today

October 8, 2009

The Chambersburg Public Opinion reports that the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor will hold an open house in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to present ideas and discussions for marketing and preserving the Lincoln Highway. The open house will be from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Disabled American Veterans building, 2705 Lincoln Way West.


Representatives will discuss projects such as Franklin County’s Roadside Giant (an old fruit truck at Shatzer’s Orchard on Lincoln Way West, seen above), restoration of a 1930s diner, the MVPA 2009 Transcontinental Motor Convoy, and information about the Lincoln Highway beyond Franklin County. For information, call (724) 238-9030.

Vintage Roadside hits the Lincoln Highway

October 7, 2009

Looks like it might be another tough week to keep up with blogging — kids have the flu and I get more symptoms every hour. But here’s some cheery news (and a photo) from Jeff at Vintage Roadside.


Kelly & I are on a road trip from Portland, OR to Nashville, TN for the National Trust annual conference and we’re driving the Lincoln Highway across Wyoming & Nebraska. We’re writing our blog and visited the Black & Orange cabins today in Fort Bridger, Wyoming. We linked to your post about the cabins to give people more history about them.

Read their adventures at

CO motel tries for Lincoln Highway connnection

October 5, 2009

The Boulder Daily Camera has a nice story on the Circle Motel in Lafayette, just north of Denver on the Lincoln Highway’s Colorado Loop. Like many mid-century motels, it wavers between identies of classic architecture (it was once the Lafayette Cabin Camp) and a modern trouble spot. Preservationists want to preserve it as a symbol of city’s early highway history while critics consider it blight.


Kenneth Foote, a member of Lafayette’s Historic Preservation Board, said the motel on the edge of Old Town is the last building left that’s associated with the city’s early highway history….

“This building has outlasted its life span,” said owner Mike Macinko. “It should be scrapped. There’s infinitely more bad history here than good.”

The motel, one of the few options for those who don’t have the money for a down payment and don’t want a long-term lease, has long had a reputation for attracting drug dealers, sex offenders and others living on the edges of society….

Count former owner Phyllis McGlathery as a preservation proponent…. She became interested in the property’s history after receiving a letter from the National Park Service about the Circle Motel’s connection to the Lincoln Highway. A historic survey commissioned by Lafayette in 2008 described the Circle Motel as the “best example of properties related to the 1920s-1930s rise of the auto-related retail and service economy” in the city. According to the survey, the property represents the prominent economic role of the Denver Loop of the Lincoln Highway….

Macinko, the owner, said he’s not interested in applying for local landmark designation…. His plans include razing all the buildings and replacing them with small, energy-efficient apartments. In a nod to the motel’s lengthy history, he said, he would try to incorporate the look and feel of the place in a new design and keep the original cottage….

The article includes a history of the property and long list of criminal problems there in the past 5 years.

Ideal Section signs to be dedicated on Saturday

October 2, 2009

Join the fun tomorrow, October 3, when plaques will be dedicated in Indiana at both ends of the Lincoln Highway’s Ideal Section, an early study of modern highway construction. The west sign will be in front of the First Midwest Bank in Dyer. The east sign will be in front of the Home Town Motel in Schererville.


Above is the original Ideal Section monument; below is a great old photo in Dyer from Kathy Powers, Dyer Historical Society.

Reception at 1:00 p.m. CDT, Dyer Historical Society
• Greet Art Schweitzer, local LH advocate and preservationist
• Browse the museum and see a newly donated 1928 LH  post
• Meet LH authors Cynthia Ogorek and Jan Shupert-Arick.
• Enjoy refreshments provided by the Dyer Historical Society

Program at 1:30 p.m. CDT
• Presentations by LHA and Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana

Plaque Dedications at 2:30 p.m. CDT
• Depart museum and go to the west end of the Ideal Section to dedicate a new plaque
• Then go to the east end to dedicate the second plaque in Schererville

IN_Dyer sign

Kathy offers some history behind the new markers:

Art Schweitzer, Schererville Historical Society, began this project several years ago. Because of state mandates there were many delays. When I approached our town manager, Joe Neeb, he picked up the ball and began working on the project. He arranged a meeting with the Schererville town manager, Bob Volkman, Schererville Town Council member, Tom Schmidt, Art Schweitzer, Cynthia Ogorek, author of “Lincoln Highway around Chicago,” Dennis Hawrot, Betty Jonas, and myself. Plans and ideas were discussed. Bob Volkman contacted Décor Iron Works who built posts for the signs and each town’s public works men installed the signs. Our sign is on a state poured concrete pad on a break-away post in front of First Midwest Bank. The sign itself was paid in large part by monies received from Bank Calumet thanks to Cal Bellamy. The Dyer Historical Society also contributed money.

Motorcycle trip along Lincoln Highway on Flickr

October 1, 2009

A Flickr user named Bill posts photos of road trips taken on his the Honda ST1100 named “SilverSTreak.” He recently documented his wonderful cross-country journey along much of the 1913 alignment of the Lincoln Highway at