Archive for December, 2009

Lincoln Highway bypass will alter Tama, Iowa

December 30, 2009

The WCF Courier of Eastern Iowa ran a lengthy feature about the impact of a coming US 30 bypass around Tama and Toledo, Iowa. Parts of the current road bypassed the original Lincoln Highway long ago, and even this 4-lane has been under consideration for decades. The 7.5-mile project is set to open next year.

Here are excerpts:

The $24 million expansion is expected to draw manufacturing and other industries that need access to a major highway. Unfortunately, some are concerned traffic-dependent businesses, including restaurants and hotels, could see a drop in customers….

The highway has been important to Tama and Toledo over time. Tama was home to the Lincoln Highway at the turn of the century. When most of the road was rebranded U.S. 30, the thoroughfare maintained its relevance.

Big T’s Maid Rite has been a longtime institution at the intersection of U.S. highways 30 and 63 in Toledo. Cars come and go as travelers stop for coffee and pie. Others want the “mo” – a Maid Rite with onions and mustard.

Manager Brad Crawford expects business to drop off after four-lane opens. There’s less impetus to pull off the highway and grab a bite to eat when cars are travelling at 65 mph, he said.

“Any business is going to be affected by that,” Crawford said. The main hope for businesses, like Big T’s, is that the brand is strong enough to keep people coming back.

The mostly demolished Mountain View Inn

December 21, 2009

Kristin Poerschke of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor sent some photos of the Mountain View Inn east of Greensburg. The property was bought recently and much of the historic hotel was demolished for a planned shopping plaza. Kristin’s picture might look like the same building as in this vintage postcard but it’s not; the original section was razed and only sections built in the past decade were retained.

Utah railroad murals centennial today

December 17, 2009

Craig Harmon launched a new web page today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of murals inside the restored Union Pacific Depot in Salt Lake City. The city, on pioneer trails and the Transcontinental Railroad, also hosted the Lincoln Highway. The station, originally just called the Oregon Short Line Depot, is at Third West and South Temple streets.

Artists John McQuarrie & August C. Wocker were commissioned in September 1909 and by December the murals were finished. McQuarrie also made the bronze for the Betsy Ross Memorial Flag Pole at the Lincoln Highway’s western terminus.

In 1979, the paintings were restored by Scott M. Haskins, who also supplied current photos to Harmon such as the above. Learn more at Harmon’s page:

Lincoln Highway Assoc posts basic maps online

December 14, 2009

Paul Gilger, head of the mapping committee for the Lincoln Highway Association, has uploaded a national and statewide maps of the Lincoln Highway to the LHA site. Though they only show basic routings, the maps should be a huge benefit to fans thinking of following the first coast-to-coast highway.

Paul explained a little about the layout and process of creating them:

Once you get to the United States map, you click on the individual states to go to that state map.  (There is also a place to click at the top of the page to get to the states.)  Once on the state maps, you can click and go from state to state.

As you can see, at this scale, these maps can only be very generic, and can only show the general layout of the Lincoln Highway.  Included are the county names, the names of major cities, and the route signs for the major highways that follow the Lincoln. To see the exact location of all the alignments, it is still necessary to purchase the Lincoln Highway Driving Maps CD.

It has taken 2 years to format these maps, and then another year to set up the map pages.  A very big thank you goes to our webmaster Jimmy Lin who worked hand-in-hand with me.  I provided the map artwork, and then Jimmy set up the pages and their various cross-links.  He also provided many graphic refinements to the maps.

You’ll find the maps at

To purchase the Driving Maps CD, visit the Lincoln Highway Trading Post.

1928 Lincoln Highway concrete post for sale

December 10, 2009

Anyone hoping to own – or donate – a 1928 Lincoln Highway marker has another one to choose from, oddly the second rare LH artifact offered for sale this week. Such concrete directional posts once lined the highway but have mostly disappeared. The national Lincoln Highway Association urges that any found or for sale are not merely kept as souvenirs but donated for historical displays or even put back along the coast-to-coast road for others to enjoy.

The 8-foot-long post, presently in Potter, Nebraska, can be had for $1,200. You’ll find it on Denver’s Craigslist.

Ohio Lincoln Highway abutment for sale on eBay

December 7, 2009

Those wishing to decorate their yards, or preserve a piece of history for a local historical society, can bid on an abutment that was not only used on the Lincoln Highway but retains the porcelain plaque to prove it.

Up for auction on eBay through Wednesday is the concrete bridge abutment and marker, located in a front yard in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The starting price of $800 has no bids yet. Here’s the description:

Lincoln Highway Concrete Bridge Abutment. It has the original Ceramic Lincoln Highway logo. It weighs approximately 800 pounds. It was removed off the last bridge on route 30 in Hancock county, Ohio in the early 1980’s. It is 33 inches in height, 13.5 inches wide and 21 inches from front to back. The ceramic logo does have several cracks in it. The cement abutment does have some cement missing from the bottom portian. The winner of the auction will have to arrange for pick up and delievery of the item.

Let’s hope it ends up somewhere not only cared-for but accessible for public enjoyment.

Lincoln Hwy gazebo in Oregon … Illinois, that is

December 4, 2009

Another new gazebo is spreading news of the Lincoln Highway in Illinois. Though the town of Oregon is not on the coast-to-coast the route, it played a part in the road’s development and history. The Ogle County News reports that officials unveiled the addition to the Ogle County Courthouse lawn with hopes that tourism dollars will follow. The image below is a screen capture from that article, and excerpts follow.

“This area draws tourists and tourism draws dollars,” said State Representative Jerry Mitchell (R-Rock Falls) during a grand opening ceremony for the structure Nov. 28. “Hopefully, tourists will stop at the gazebo and spend some time and money here.”

The gazebo is one of 16 constructed along the Illinois Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway and its corridor in northern Illinois.

It was recently constructed on the northwest corner of the courthouse square, facing Ill. 64 just one block west of Ill. 2.

Bonnie Heimbach, project director for the Illinois Highway Lincoln Coalition (ILHC) said Oregon qualified for a federal grant to help construct the gazebo because the city was part of early marketing efforts soon after the coast-to-coast highway was opened in 1913.

“Oregon is not exactly on the highway, but it is mentioned as early as 1915,” said Heimbach.

The Lincoln Highway is located south of Oregon and runs east to west, through Franklin Grove and Dixon. It was the first highway in the United States to connect the east and west coasts.

Oregon and Ogle County are included in the Lincoln Highway corridor because Lorado Taft’s Black Hawk statue was part of the cover of the original promotional flyer that advertised the first all-weather transcontinental highway, said Marcia Heuer, executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce….

Each gazebo was constructed for $16,000 with a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). That grant provided 80 percent of the funding for each gazebo with local groups providing the remaining 20 percent.

WIFR-TV also covered the story.

Lincoln Highway/Route 30 Christmas ornament

December 2, 2009

Glenn Wells of alerts us to a Lincoln Highway/US 30 Christmas ornament. Glenn says he and his wife got it from Ornaments To Remember:

Glenn writes, “They have other route numbers available too, including Route 66 and US 1, but Susan rejected them because ‘Everybody does Route 66’ and the US 1 sign said ‘Historic’ instead of replicating the actual sign.

Glenn adds that the proceeds from Ornaments To Remember fund a non-profit:

The Learning Community is an Oregon-based organization offering free resources to help parents and families. We have no connection to either: we were merely a paying customer, and the ornament is really cool! I wouldn’t recommend an inferior item just to help a non-profit, nor recommend an item that helps a for-profit business, but this one is win-win.