Posts Tagged ‘roadside’

Denny Gibson's new Lincoln Highway adventure

June 29, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
We’re once again lucky to have Denny Gibson traveling and documenting part of the Lincoln Highway, this time some of the roads to and from the 2011 LHA conference in Lake Tahoe. You can follow his adventures beginning at www.dennygibson.com/lhfest11/day09/index.htm when he visits bits of the Lincoln in Utah. He starts with the beautiful little Lambs Canyon bridge (below). Then it’s across the Utah desert (below #2) and into Nevada.

At the conference, participants rode the old road at Clarksville, Cal., in Model A Fords (below). We’ll save more for our next blog entry….

Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival in IA this week

May 16, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO


Plans are underway in Tama, Iowa, for the 32nd Annual Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival. It starts Friday, May 20, 2011 @ 10 am and runs through Saturday, May 21 @ 11 pm. The celebration honors the concrete bridge renowned for having “Lincoln Highway” sculpted into its side rails.

Friday opens with the carnival and food vendors to the Tama Civic Center area. The Tama Citizen of the Year award will be presented by the Tama Firefighters at 7 pm. Saturday May 21 will again feature carnival and food vendors. The day begins with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9:30 am followed by the annual parade at 10 am. Free entertainment will run through out the day in front of the Tama Civic Center. Turtle Races will be held in front of the library from 1-4 pm. Preparations are underway, with the Chief of Police and Sergeant searching the area for turtles whose speed will qualify them as race material. Visit www.tamatoledo.com for a full schedule.

Blair blog a fun trip along the Lincoln Highway

April 26, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
Jeff Blair has been walking the Lincoln Highway across Indiana to promote the highway but also asking for pledges of support to be split evenly between the Alzheimer’s Association in Indiana and the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association. He has reported on his walk daily since he headed west from the Ohio border on April 14. His blog at www.blairwalk.com/daily-blog is a fun read and many await his daily updates. As he nears the completion, just yesterday he wrote:

I can tell we are tiring …the decibel level of groaning when we climb out of the car to check in to a new motel rises each day.  But we eat a good meal, get a good night’s sleep, and everyone is ready to go again the next day.

Jan and Bill Arick walked with Jeff a couple days, as many others have. Jan wrote, “The success of this walk is an incredible story and Bill and I have been honored to be part of it. Crowds and school kids have been turning out along the route. Mayors are walking and holding dedication ceremonies!  People are stopping along the road and handing Jeff donations!  It’s so neat to see the support for Jeff’s efforts.”

Here are some photos from Jeff’s blog, starting with a Lincoln Highway sign near Townley; New Haven City Hall; the Bonnie Doon in Mishawaka; B&J’s American Cafe in LaPorte; and making the turn at Oak Knoll.

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum rebuilt, reopens!

February 7, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The York Dispatch ran a nice story (and the photo below) about the reopening of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, a popular Lincoln Highway roadside attractions west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Seven months after arson destroyed Ed Gotwalt’s business, the museum opened Saturday. State police have no suspects for the blaze that destroyed the museum and its 10,000-piece elephant collection. “I’m very blessed,” Gotwalt said. “I’m very excited. I want to share this with the world.”

The new museum features two elephant sculptures made from salvaged pieces of the destroyed elephant souvenirs. You can visit at 6019 Chambersburg Road/U.S. 30 in Orrtanna, between Chambersburg and Gettysburg, from 10 am – 5 pm daily; admission is FREE. Contributions made to the Tammy Lee Cullison Save the Animal Fund, in memory of Gotwalt’s daughter, will be given to the SPCA in Gettysburg and Chambersburg and an animal sanctuary in Tennessee.

Repairs planned for Tama LH bridge after mishap

January 10, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The Tama-Toledo News reports that the most famous Lincoln Highway bridge — in Tama, Iowa — was hit recently by farm equipment, damaging one of the concrete rails which spell out “Lincoln Highway” and causing $1,500 damage.

In evaluating this damage, Schoonover Tuckpointing, Vinton, also found areas where cement is “spalling” – breaking up, flaking or pitting concrete. In addition, cracks caused by settling were also found. Total cost of these repairs and some spot painting was set at $4,382.

Mayor Chris Bearden urged city council members Monday night to approve the repairs. “The bridge is the only one in the country”, Bearden said. “It needs to be in top shape for the 150th anniversary (of Tama coming up in 2012.)”…. Tama’s bridge under went a renovation in 2006 costing $10,675 according to City Clerk Judy Welch.

The council also approved the purchase of seven new Lincoln Highway banners to replace ones street commissioner Stuart Eisentrager said are faded and showing signs of aging due to weather exposure. The new banners cost $153 each or a total of $1,071 plus shipping. The old banners will be offered for sale by the city with the sale procedure to be announced.

Familiar bypass problem for Tama-Toledo, Iowa

January 6, 2011

Anyone who has seen the Pixar movie Cars — or thought for a moment about how roads have changed over the past half-century — knows that bypasses around towns have a tremendous impact on traffic patterns. The latest to experience this shift are Tama and Toledo on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. As reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the 7,500 vehicles that daily went through the towns on U.S. 30 have been reduced to a trickle since a bypass opened. Motels and restaurants such as the King Tower Restaurant, below, are feeling the impact.

Since acquiring the local landmark eight years ago, Kristy Tovar has made a decent living running the King Tower Restaurant on the east side of Tama. Since the $82 million bypass opened, though, King Tower is no longer visible from the highway. Tovar’s anything but confident about the restaurant’s future.

“I never really thought that having this highway change would make that much difference, because most of our customers were local. I’d probably say business has been cut at least in half or more,” she said….

Since the days when it was known as the Lincoln Highway, Highway 30 has been the lifeblood of Tama-Toledo. Visitors recall the distinctive Indian head souvenirs sign at King Tower, which has been open since 1937, and the Lincoln Highway bridge that was an early architectural feature of the first transcontinental highway….

Brad Crawford is manager of the 54-year-old Big T Maid-Rite in Toledo. He said rumors are already flying about big restaurant chains like McDonald’s snapping up the good real estate along the bypass to open new restaurants.

Crawford is saving to buy a service sign on the bypass, but the cost will cut into funds he’d otherwise spend to advertise in the local newspaper and high school yearbook.

Vandals cut down Shoe Tree in Nevada

January 5, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
The famous (and world’s largest) Shoe Tree along the Lincoln Highway at Middlegate, Nevada, was cut down overnight last Thursday. The 70-foot cottonwood towered over U.S. 50 about 125 miles east of Reno. A gallery of photos such as the ones here can be found on Flickr.

According to the Lahontan Valley News, there are no suspects or motives:

There are a lot of angry people,” said Middlegate bartender Travis Anderton, describing the reaction from his customers. “That (the tree) helps out business. People come out to see the Shoe Tree.”… Anderton’s grandmother, Fredda Stevenson, is planning a memorial at the site of the tree on Feb. 13 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The destruction of the Shoe Tree bothers Stevenson, who bought the Middlegate Bar and Restaurant 26 years ago. “I watched it grow up as a little tree,” said Stevenson, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years.

“We cried. It’s like losing a member of the family,” she said.

Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, is another person who is outraged and hopes authorities can tie the loose ends together in finding the culprit or culprits.

“It was a quirky landmark on the Loneliest Road in America,” he said.

Click HERE for a page full of fond recollections. Note that comments on one of the news stories also included this viewpoint:

“That used to be a beautiful shade tree in the middle of the desert. It has since become an eyesore with all those stinky shoes hanging in it. An Historical landmark? Give me a break!… Good riddance to an ugly dead tree.”

Thanks to Loungelistener and Denny Gibson for the tip.

Lincoln Highway diner demolished (?) in NJ

December 9, 2010

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
UPDATE: The local newspaper now reports the diner was moved to Pennsylvania.

A vintage diner along the Lincoln Highway in New Brunswick, NJ, has been demolished, reportedly on December 7, 2010. The 1941 Fodero-brand Mack’s Diner stopped serving food in 1968. It became a grocery, then was bought in 1976 for $7,250 and operated as All Ears’ Records until criminal activity closed that business in 2005.

A 2008 article in MyCentralJersey.com noted that owner Tareq Algharaybeh was hoping to find a buyer for the dilapidated diner:

Flanked by a record shop and a mini market on French between Seaman and Suydam streets, the Mack’s turquoise shell glimpsed daylight recently. Last month, the advertising posters that have for years obscured nearly its entire facade were taken down.

For about a week, the words “Mack” and “Diner,” on either side of the brick and aluminum portico tethered to the patina of decades, were again visible.

Inside, what appears to be the diner’s original tile and wood counter teeters against the test of time. But other than the ventilation hoods, stripped of their exhaust fans, little trace remains of the diner’s days and nights as a restaurant.

But Algharaybeh, who bought the diner two years ago, says it is otherwise sturdy…. Algharaybeh, who also owns and runs Sam’s Pizza and Chicken two blocks south on French Street, has little use for this period piece. With three years left on the lease for the pizza establishment, Algharaybeh wants to move that business, which he has operated for 20 years at French and Alexander streets, onto the Mack’s lot.

Latrobe drive-in theater safe for now

November 18, 2010

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
For years, reports have floated that the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was to close and be replaced by development. Most recently, Target has been the retailer of choice, but the drive-in along the Lincoln Highway has made clear it’s stance: posted on the marquee is “No Target did not buy us.” Top photo by Kristin Poerschke, bottom by me (Brian) on a recent visit.

Amazing 1959 film of Iowa's US 30

September 16, 2010

YOU WILL LOVE this video of central Iowa’s US 30, filmed in 1959 to show congestion and the need for road improvements. Highway Relocations was created by the Iowa State Highway Commission (ISHC), now IDOT, to show the downside of gas stations, rest stops, and the skinny two-lanes they populate. Filming started just east of State Center at the junction of Iowa 64 (now Iowa 330) and US 30 (the Lincoln Highway) and continued west along US 30 through State Center, Colo, Nevada, and Ames, ending just west of Boone. The film is 16 minutes long and covers 55 miles. {Note: Please read the comments for more info on  the cars and the year it was filmed.]

Amazingly, most of it was filmed by a camerman perched atop a ladder connected to a car and extending approximately 22 feet in the air above the roadway! The camera, on a 1958 Ford Ranch Wagon, followed and filmed a 1958 Plymouth Fury. “The unidentified cameraman had the precarious task of trying to hold the camera steady and stay on the ladder, notably without a safety harness or other protective device.”

“As part of the Iowa DOT’s effort to preserve and archive its historical resources, the original Highway Relocations 16mm film was recently professionally cleaned and restored to its original film quality.”