Posts Tagged ‘COlorado’

Whiteley talks tonight about old Colorado trails

March 8, 2010

Author Lee Whiteley will present “Old Trails of Northern Colorado: From Foot Paths to Interstate” at 7 p.m. tonight, March 8, at the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, Colorado. The slide show, sponsored by the Loveland Historical Society, will revisit the Trappers’ Trail, Cherokee Trail, Overland Trail, several auto trails, and the Lincoln Highway’s controversial routing through the state. The program is open to the public; donations are accepted. Call Sharon Danhauer at (970) 290-0169 for details.

Whiteley and his wife Jane are experts on the auto trails through Colorado, including the Llncoln Highway; they wrote the book below to coincide with the LHA conference there in 2007.


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.

Whiteleys inspire "Paving the Way" program

May 28, 2009

Paving the Way: The National Park-to-Park Highway is 2-part program airing on PBS that recalls the journey of 12 motorists who followed the 5,000+ mile circular highway in 1920. The Park-to-Park Highway connected all 12 of the national parks at the time; the 1920 trip took 76 days. Leading the tour was famous AAA trails “pathfinder” Anton Westgard. Check local listings to see when it will air in your area.

ParkHwy_MapABOVE: Route map provided by Terry Coolidge, Wellspring Digital Studio.

ParkHwy_AWestgardABOVE: Photo by A.G. Lucier, provided by John T. Hinckley Library, Northwest College, Powell, Wyoming.

Producer/director Brandon Wade told me that the video was inspired by Lee and Jane Whiteley, who wrote about the highway and the famous tour in their 2003 book, The Playground Trail: The National Park-to-Park Highway. Lee and Jane are known to Lincoln Highway fans for their pioneering work researching the LH route through Colorado, including a small but info-packed book, The Lincoln Highway in Colorado. To learn more about the film, visit where you can also purchase the DVD for $24.95.

Fisher launched highway idea 96 years ago today

September 10, 2008

On September 10, 1912, Carl Fisher invited auto industry leaders to dinner at Das Deutsche Haus (“The German House,” a community center now called the Athenæum) in Indianapolis to announce his idea for a “coast-to-coast rock highway.” His call to action: “Let’s do it before we’re too old to enjoy it!” It wasn’t the first proposed cross-country highway, nor the first to invoke Lincoln’s name, but as the Lincoln Highway it would become the best-known transcontinental trail.

Carl Fisher. Courtesy University of Michigan, Special Collections Library.

A year later, Fisher was returning from the Conference of Governors in Colorado with LHA president Henry Joy and v-p Arthur Pardington. On the train ride home, they drafted the Proclamation of the Route of the Lincoln Highway that was published September 14. Nonetheless, September 10, 1913, has somehow become an urban legend that web sites incorrectly cite as the “opening” of the Lincoln Highway. The US Census Bureau has gone as far as posting the error in print and audio:

There are many dates associated with the establishment of the LH but “opening” is not a term that captures the essence of the road’s genesis as a connection and improvement of existing routes (nor is “completed”).

Interestingly, 20 years to the day after Fisher’s call for action (September 10, 1932), the Westinghouse Bridge above Turtle Creek east of Pittsburgh was dedicated, rerouting US 30 to the massive concrete span and emblematic of the great volume of traffic that the LH had brought to the valley below.