Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Nebraska’s 1733 Ranch in 1915

November 1, 2016

A century ago, Lincoln Highway tourists crossing Nebraska often stopped five miles west of Kearney for a photo at the 1733 Ranch. Its sign “1733 miles to Frisco, 1733 miles to Boston” was iconic … except that both mileages were wrong and the Lincoln Highway never went to Boston.


The 1915 LHA guidebook lists Kearney as 1752 miles from San Francisco and 1632 miles from New York City. So why 1733, and how did Kearney come to promote itself as the “Midway City”?

History professor John T. Bauer wrote in the Summer 2015 issue of Nebraska History that the 1733 mileage is derived from the railroad route between the two, which the city embraced as early as 1890.

When the LHA movie caravan crossed the country in 1915 to produce a promotion film, hundreds of photos were taken by Edward Holden, secretary to LHA vice president and field secretary Henry C. Ostermann. The above photo then leads to an interesting question; the  1733 Ranch name has long been said to stem from new owners in 1917, but this 1915 photo indicates otherwise.

The modern LHA now sells a CD with 300 of Holden’s photos at the Lincoln Highway Trading Post.

The ranch itself is long gone—only the 1733 Estates remind us of that long-ago era.

"Route 30" film at Ligonier this weekend

February 19, 2009

Route 30: Three Stories, One Highway, a film written, produced, and directed by John Putch, will be shown in Ligonier, Pa., this weekend at the Ligonier Theater, 210 W. Main St. Times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.


Route 30 features three interconnecting comedic stories. The cast of 15 includes TV stars Dana Delaney, Dave Delouise, and Ed Gotwalt of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum (below, in his own poster pose).  The film was shot in October 2007 between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, mostly along the Lincoln Highway/US 30.  Putch is the son of Bill Putch and Jean Stapleton, best known as Edith Bunker of All in the Family. The two founded Totem Pole Playhouse along US 30 in Caledonia State Park,  between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, and so is where Putch spent his youth. Mister Ed was a regular performer there too.


For more info call (724) 238-6514 or visit

It will also be shown in Connecticut at the Kent Film Festival on Friday, March 27.

Saltair UT in Carnival of Souls movie, 1962

March 2, 2008

Carnival of Souls, a low-budget horror film directed by Herk Harvey in 1962, never achieved much fame or acclaim, yet it’s become a a cult favorite and is often mentioned as an influence by other filmmakers. It’s theme of a woman caught between life and death was unusual for its time and is cited as a reason that it rises above similar films. For Lincoln Highway fans, it offers a glimpse of Saltair, the famed lakeside bathing resort west of Salt Lake City, opened 1893 and connected to the city by rail. It later became a regular stop for cross-country travelers.
Above: The Moorish domes of Saltair are represented in the Carnival of Souls movie poster.

The lead character, Mary, is in a car wreck and assumed drowned. Instead, she apparently lives, becoming a church organist, but is haunted by a ghostly man. Her journey culminates in a trip to an ominous pavilion, which takes place at Saltair.

The creepiness in Carnival of Souls comes mostly from the dreamlike atmosphere instead of cheap scares or special effects. The pavilion keeps drawing her until she visits it in the climax. This clip, part 11 of 11 on YouTube, features great views of Saltair before it burned again in 1970. The first minute is spent with Mary reflecting, but then she is spooked, screams, and finding herself in her 1960 Chevy, backs out of a garage. At 1:56 we see her driving the approach road to Saltair and seconds later walking through it. About 3:30 ghouls arise from the lake to dance (or at least that’s my amateur interpretation of the action). About 5:50 they begin chasing her – she tried hiding among the support poles underneath. Views of the exterior start at 6:53 and a minute later it returns to the scene of the crash that started the movie and we learn her fate. WARNING: The scares are tame and the pace slow by today’s standards but nonetheless might be unsettling to some.