Archive for August, 2010

LHHC offers "Ultimate Road Trip" in October

August 31, 2010

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor is sponsoring a one-day bus trip along the Lincoln Highway from Greensburg to Everett, Pa., (and back) on Monday, October 11, 2010. The “ultimate road trip” will be guided by Lou DeRose, the ultimate Lincoln Highway fan, and Olga Herbert, the Executive Director of the LHHC. Both know this route inside and out and will share little-known facts about this country’s first coast-to-coast route.

In addition to photo ops at four Roadside Giants and four Lincoln Highway murals, bus guests will be treated to a lunch buffet at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort followed by a private tour. The day begins with a private guided tour of the historic Compass Inn in Laughlintown led by Innkeeper Jim Koontz.

After lunch they’ll head to Everett for a photo op of another Roadside Giant followed by visits to Bedford’s art deco Dunkle’s Gulf Station and the 1927 Coffee Pot. Dinner is at the historic Jean Bonnet Tavern with time to browse the Cabin Gift Shoppe.

Departure is from either Greensburg’s Hempfield Square or Latrobe 30 Shopping Plaza.

Make your reservation TODAY at where you can pay online or call (724) 238-9030. The travel package ($115 per person) includes the guided tours of Compass Inn and Bedford Springs, lunch at Bedford Springs, dinner at Jean Bonnet Tavern, and a photo memento. Sorry, no refunds.

Lincoln Highway class offered in Gettysburg

August 30, 2010

A 2-day Lincoln Highway course is being offered in this fall by the Continuing Education division at HACC-Gettysburg Campus.

“Lincoln Highway: Past and Present” will run Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6-9 pm, and Saturday, Oct. 2, 8 am–6 pm. Cost is $65 and deadline to register is Sept. 22.

For 200 years, Americans had been fascinated by the thought of practical, coast-to-coast travel. The first successful attempt was the Lincoln Highway, a patchwork of trails, roads, and main streets, which would have a dramatic impact on this country. Students will examine the history, development and decline of the highway and its impact on everyday life. The class includes a field trip along the Lincoln Highway as far east as Coatesville.

For more information, call the continuing education office at HACC-Gettysburg Campus at 717-338-1010 or visit

Bridge fix to close part of Lincoln Highway

August 27, 2010

PennDOT District 11 is advising motorists that Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) will be closed in both directions in the area of the Greensburg Pike overpass in North Versailles Township, Allegheny County, during the weekend of Aug. 27-30. Motorists will be detoured onto Greensburg Pike — the original Lincoln Highway.

The $4.5 million project will replace the bridge that carries Greensburg Pike over Route 30. The project includes removing the existing steel bridge and replacing it with a new single span composite steel multi-girder bridge. The closure will run from 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, continuously through 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 30. Read more HERE.

Iowa Lincoln Highway Motor Tour spans state

August 26, 2010

The Iowa Lincoln Highway Association’s Third Annual Motor Tour of the Lincoln Highway across Iowa is about to launch. This year’s tour is themed as “From the Wide River to the Loess Hills” because it begins with a pre-tour event on Thursday August 26 at the Wide River Winery in Clinton and concludes on Sunday August 29 at the Loess Hills Winery in Crescent, Iowa. The route travels nearly 330 miles across Iowa. If you’d like to see some of the antique cars participating, or meet some of the entrants, chec the schedule  at

More info on the tour can be found on the Iowa LHA website at

Grant Wood window back along Lincoln Highway

August 24, 2010

Van and Bev Becker alert us that the historic Grant Wood window damaged in the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids has been restored and reinstalled along a route of the Lincoln Highway. It is in its original location in the Veterans Memorial Building and facing 2nd Avenue, which was the Lincoln Highway from 1916–1928. Restoration has taken two years and as Van says, it is a significant step in recovery from what is being called the 500-year flood. Attendees of the 2006 LHA conference in Cedar Rapids will recall the window. Wood, who lived in the city, is best known for his painting American Gothic.

Eeastern Iowa News (source of the image above) reported that “200 people gathered on the Second Avenue Bridge to welcome back the famous window at the Veterans Memorial Building. The window, dulled by the years and further damaged in the June 2008 flood, was rededicated with Fourth of July speeches that celebrated patriotism and service .”

John Watts, co-owner of the Glass Heritage company in Davenport that spent the past year restoring the 24-by-20-foot window, said… ‘It is the first and only Grant Wood stained glass window. Everyone kept that in the back of their minds while working on it.’ Watts’ workers cleaned each of the window’s 8,000-plus pieces, painstakingly restoring color where needed. Cracks were soldered or glued and then reassembled in 58 panels.

Rochelle's Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival

August 22, 2010

The 13th Annual Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival in Rochelle, Illinois, takes place August 20–22. If it’s too late by time you read this to make the drive and attend at least they have this colorful brochure available online listing the events. Click the link below the image to read it:

Lincoln Highwayman — the film

August 19, 2010

In  discussing this summer’s journeys of James Devitt Jr., aka the Lincoln Highwayman, I mentioned a film The Lincoln Hiighwayman, based on a 1917 one-act play written by Paul Dickey. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1919 movie released by William Fox Film Corp. It featured William Russell (b. 1886), wh0 Fandango describes: “Although largely forgotten today, virile-looking, six-foot, two-inch William Russell was one of the most popular stars of early American films…. succumbing to pneumonia at the young age of 42.” Other credits to the film can be found at IMDB. A brief review of the play can be found in this April 1917 clipping from The New York Times.

You can purchase the movie still shown below from

Fandango reprints a synopsis by Janiss Garza in All Movie Guide. Being on “a coastal highway” makes it sound likes it’s not the Lincoln Highway:

The Lincoln highwayman is terrorizing motorists on a coastal highway and the latest victims are a San Francisco banker and his family on their way to a party. While the masked highwayman holds them up at gun point and steals the women’s jewels, the banker’s daughter Marian (Lois Lee) finds herself strangely attracted to him. When the family finally arrives at the party, they tell the guests their tale. Steele, a secret service man (Edward Piel), takes an interest in their encounter and starts working on the case. Jimmy Clunder (William Russell), who arrives late is talking to Marian when a locket falls out of his pocket. Marian recognizes it, and Clunder claims that he found it on the road. She begins to suspect that he is the highwayman, as does Steele, Clunder’s rival for Marian’s love.

Lincoln Highwayman follows the road westward

August 16, 2010

James Devitt Jr., who goes by the name Lincolnhighwayman (in the tradition of a 1917 play and 1919 film), is traveling the Lincoln Highway this summer. He hopes to turn the journey into a book that “will be a mixture of popular history and an old fashioned traveler’s tale … like Shelby Foote meets Mark Twain.” James is already the author of The Malone Chronicles, a novel set in 1939 about a boy who runs away from home. Follow the current trip at Here’s a video of his Ford Model A touring the battlefields at Gettysburg, Pa.

Review of Shelton's Lincoln Highway Festival

August 11, 2010

The Grand Island Independent ran a nice follow-up to the Lincoln Highway Festival in Shelton, Nebraska, including a walk through of the LH Visitor’s Center there. Following are some parts of their story.

But now as the 80-year-old Nebraska president of the Lincoln Highway Association, Stubblefield is doing more than watching the highway and its traffic — he’s helping preserve the history of its creation.

He helped create the Lincoln Highway Visitor’s Center located at C Street and Highway 30 in Shelton and shares time staffing that center with other volunteers of the Shelton Historical Society. All are just a cell phone away to greet visitors and open the center’s doors at the back of the historic First State Bank building….

Once inside, it’s everything Lincoln Highway.

Pens, postcards, water, letter openers, ashtrays.

There’s Lincoln Highway cigars — just 9 cents in the day — and of course, there’s Burma Shave memorabilia.

“Do you know where Jerome’s Tepee was in Grand Island?” Stubblefield inquired as he pointed to an original black pennant professing the tepee in Grand Island to be in the “center of North America.”

It was right by the big Husker Harvest Days billboard located at Highway 30 and Husker Highway, Stubblefield said, on the north side of the road.

“It was what was called a tourist trap,” he chuckled.

One of the most stunning displays in the visitor’s center is a row of original metal Lincoln Highway mileage markers. They were purchased by the Automobile Club of Southern California and erected along the highway to give travelers an idea of distance to the next stops.

“Brule 1 mile, Big Spring 11 miles,” stated one sign. “Paxton 10 miles, North Platte 43 miles.”

Stubblefield and other members of the association (there are 100 in Nebraska and 1,100 nationwide) have purchased the signs at auctions, antique stores or wherever they are found.

Effie Gladding's Lincoln Highway book online

August 9, 2010

Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books, offers more than 33,000 free ebooks of previously published titles, all digitized with the help of thousands of volunteers. Now available is an early road book, Across the Continent by the Lincoln Highway by Effie Price Gladding. Other ebook sites have already taken the file and reposted it but without the images (or I assume permission), and PG warns that these are most likely spammers. You’ll find the safe original here:

As I wrote in my Greetings from the Lincoln Highway book:

Effie Gladding had just returned from three years touring the world when she departed San Francisco on April 21, 1914. She and her husband Thomas first drove the El Camino Real 600 miles south before turning and meeting the Lincoln at Stockton. In a 262-page book she titled Across the Continent by the Lincoln Highway, she doesn’t reach the focus of her title till page 108, then detours off it for another 47 pages near the end, skipping most of Ohio and Pennsylvania. But it was the first full-size hardback to discuss transcontinental travel, as well as the first to mention the Lincoln Highway.

Click the link above or go to Project Gutenberg’s main page for the book for other ways to download the text and images.