Across the Continent with Effie Gladding

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO

BkCvr_LH Effie Gladding.jpg

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

“We were now to traverse the Lincoln Highway and were to be guided by the red, white, and blue marks; sometimes painted on telephone poles, sometimes put up by way of advertisement over garage doors or swinging on hotel signboards; sometimes painted on little stakes, like croquet goals, scattered along over the great spaces of the desert. We learned to love the red, white, and blue, and the familiar big L which told us that we were on the right road.”

After her return, Gladding wrote the foreword to the LHA’s first road guide, directing her words to women motorists.

Effie’s story and lots more can be found in Greetings from the Lincoln Highway, my big book of LH history now in its 3rd edition!

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