Posts Tagged ‘markers’

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.

Blog mentions Lincoln Highway in Linn County IA

August 11, 2009

The blog 42N Observations comments about life near the 42N Latitude, particularly around Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This post from a while back has four photos of Lincoln Highway segments and monuments in Linn County. Click HERE to visit, and click the photos there to see them larger.


Lincoln Hwy sign dedication today in Fort Wayne

May 21, 2009

UPDATE: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports the 30 signs will be placed along the route by mid-June. Clikc the image to read more and see a photo of the unveiling.

IN_Fort Wayne signs

Lincoln Highway route markers will be dedicated this morning in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at 11:30 a.m. Mayor Henry will dedicate the new markers at the Lincoln Highway Bridge — Harrison Street at the St. Mary’s River.  The markers will allow motorists to follow the historic corridor through the city.  Call (260) 427-1127 for details.

IN_FortWayne markers

Click the map above to see it larger. Note that the exact original route can no longer be followed in parts, such as east of town near the cloverleaf.

Waymarking Lincoln Highway markers of all sorts

December 6, 2007

Waymarking is like a scavenger hunt for interesting places. Using a GPS locator, waymarking not only means marking a location using latitude and longitude coordinates, but categorizing it and adding unique information for others to learn about it. That’s why those of us who only see the results online can still follow along in the fun. There are more than 70 Lincoln Highway markers of all sorts on, from murals to brick monuments in Ohio, and especially the 1928 concrete posts (originals and reproductions). Waymarkers post an image or two at each location and supply a description. Here are some nice examples, all used with permission.

This marker painted on a pole just east of Central City, Nebraska. was located by plainsdrifter358, aka Barbara and Bill.


The marker below comemmorates the 1927 concrete bridge that carried the LH/Delphos-Upper Sandusky Road over the Ottawa River near Gomer, Ohio, taken by Stephen Shepherd.

OH_Waymarking bridge, Gomer

The interesting monument below, probably overlooked by LH fans, was found at 1600 Plainfield Road in Joliet by a member cldisme.

IL_Joliet Statue

According to the plaque at its base, this

life-size cold cast bronze sculpture of a 1915 Joliet road worker, seated on a hand-cut ceramic mosaic column, represents the historic Lincoln Highway and the birth of our modern day highway system. Also, included in the mosaic is an image of Abraham Lincoln medallion. The sculpture is dedicated to the men and women of the Will-Grundy Counties Building Trades Council and the construction companies of the Contractors Association of Will & Grundy Counties who make our roads possible.

On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials led by Carl Fisher, created the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA), “to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to the lawful traffic of all description without toll charges” and to be a lasting memorial to our 16 th president, Abraham Lincoln. Prior to the Lincoln Highway, the existing roads were nothing more than dirt paths, which became impossible to traverse even after the lightest rain. There were very few filling stations along the proposed route, few places to eat, and even fewer places to find lodging.

Since highway maps and signage did not exist, a uniform way of marking the highway became a necessity. A design was created that consisted of a concrete post, a blue arrow, and Lincoln’s image on a medallion. On July 8, 1928, the Boy Scouts of America installed the concrete sign posts next to 3,100 miles of roadway at all important turns and junction points from New York to San Francisco.

Check out the site for dozens more Lincoln Highway markers along (and sometimes far from) the road.

Millionaire's Marker Mystery west of Chicago

November 9, 2007

A New York Times story I found from December 1913 reported that 88-year-old John Stewart of Elburn, Illinois, was giving away huge sums of money, including $50,000 to improve the Lincoln Highway. He asked that markers be set at each end of the road section that his donation improved. Were those markers ever placed?
Stewart NYT

Elburn is a small town some 40 miles west of Chicago, and just west of Geneva, nestled between the original Lincoln Highway (still called that but better known as Keslinger Road) and IL 38. A 1921 shortcut connected Keslinger Road to IL 38 via Elburn’s Main Street, and a few years later, Keslinger was bypassed entirely. Though rural, suburbia continues to fan out from Chicago; check out this planning map to see how quickly the landscape is changing.

Stewart was in Europe at the time, but the article was datelined Chicago, so it began as a local story. No wonder—he also gave $100,000 to granddaughter Esther Richards as a wedding present, and to all his grandchildren, he bequeathed his estate valued at $750,000. My favorite inflation calculator says that alone is the equivalent of $15.1 million today!

Stewart 3

I checked with some town planners and officials, but no one has heard of the markers. What they didn’t say was that the local elementary schoool is named for John Stewart! Or that the town has preserved his mansion!

Stewart 6

The Great Lakes Leadership Campus on IL 47 occupies the Stewart estate. Director Annette Sheehan (who graciously OK’d use of the photos here) says, “To my knowledge, there are no markers bearing his name on Route 38 through Elburn. I don’t know if there ever were—I’ve never heard about any such markers.” The GLLC website says the 15-bedroom Victorian mansion was built in 1897 for John, Martha, and their 5 children. Its lavish appointments like hand-cut lead glass windows, tiled fireplaces, inlaid wood flooring, wooden ceilings, and in all a hundred types of wood led to the home being featured on a 1908 postage stamp. John Stewart served three terms in the state legislature, and interestingly, funded the paving of Elburn’s Main Street.
Stewart 4

I asked Kathleen Dow at the LHA archives at the Special Collections Library, University of Michigan, if Stewart shows up in their holdings. She found nothing in LHA minutes, correspondence (particularly checking the pledges), or brochures of major expenditures and donors. Could it be that, since the LHA never reached its goal of $10 million, pledges didn’t have to be paid? Kathleen replied, “From what I’ve seen in the LHA correspondence, some pledges were contingent on the pledge goal being reached before any checks were cut (many of the donors, or would-be donors, were businessmen, of course). So, yes, I think a number of pledges were never kept. I think there were also some quibbles about businesses, both small and large, pledging 1% of a year’s profit (I believe that’s what was initially solicited).”

So was the $50,000 ever donated? If so, were markers erected in Elburn or elsewhere? Or did the LHA not get the funds because they never reached their $10 million goal?