Posts Tagged ‘Turnpike’

Rare pike milestone to be reinstalled in PA

July 3, 2008

D. Lowell Nissley, author of Lincoln Highway: The Road My Father Traveled, will be replanting one of the rare Lancaster Turnpike mile markers in eastern Pennsylvania this summer. The ceremony is set for Friday, August 8, 2008, subject to change. Location will be the Deerfield Corporate Center on US 30 in Frazer, at the first traffic west of Route 401. The Lincoln Highway follows much of the 200+ year old pike from Philadelphia west to Lancaster.

Lowell explains, “About 40 years ago the property where my wife grew up was sold with a very uncertain future. There was a 1795 marker (21 M to P) on their property so I rescued it and it has served a as bench outside our front door all these years. Now things at the property have stabilized enough for the replanting of this marker.”

The ceremony will commemorate the Lancaster Turnpike, the families who lived on the milestone property, and East Whiteland Township’s role in the revolutionary and transportation history of the United States.

This simple granite milestone once stood at the edge of the Lincoln Highway on the old Brackbill/ Haldeman/ Malin farm, which is now the Deerfield Corporate Center. Marking 21 miles to/from Philadelphia, it was placed along the road soon after the Lancaster to Philadelphia Turnpike opened in 1794, the first hard-surfaced road in America. There were once 64 of these stones, one per mile, but no more than a third of them remain, and not a single one between Berwyn and Downingtown.

1818 Chambersburg PA tollhouse donation, rehab

December 27, 2007

A 189-year-old tollhouse along the Lincoln Highway/US 30 west of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, will be donated to the local historical society for offices and a museum. According to an article in the Chambersburg Public Opinion, the tollhouse is owned by the developer of a limestone quarry that has just won a 3-year battle to quarry 89 acres of surrounding land. St. Thomas township supervisors unanimously approved the general plan, and directed St. Thomas Development to the township planning commission, which will make a formal recommendation to the supervisors. The company plans to subdivide the land around the tollhouse and donate it the Franklin County Historical Society-Kittochtinny. Access and parking will have to be added.

PA_St. Thomas tollhouse

The small stone house just west of Campbells Run Rd was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It served as was Tollhouse No. 2 on the Chambersburg & Bedford Turnpike (named for the its termini). Such turnpikes covered Pennsylvania in the early 1800s but fell into disrepair with the rise of canals and railroads. Bicycling, auto travel, and the Lincoln Highway revived them, though the LH worked to eliminate all tolls. Rehabbing the site also would add another tourist attraction to the 6-county Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.

A news staff editorial supports the developer’s plan: “The more legitimate attractions Franklin County boasts along the Heritage Corridor, the more attention it will get from the state in terms of grant money and tourism development.”

Film of S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel, 1972

December 2, 2007

The S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel was perhaps the best-known, most-visited landmark along the 3,300+ miles of Lincoln Highway. The famous roadside attraction was 17 miles west of Bedford, Pennsylvania, but unfortunately burned in 2001. With my Lincoln Highway Companion book ready for the editors, I’m starting on my next book, a fun look at the Ship. I first wrote about the Ship in 1989 and have been gathering information, recollections, and photos since then.

People took lots of snapshots there, and though they probably took movies, few of those surface, so it’s exciting to see this rare film from 1972! (Total time 3:32) Roger Shaulis shoots out the back window as they speed east on the Lincoln Highway through the Seven Mile Stretch, passing coal trucks. About 45 seconds in, they arrive at the Ship and go to the deck for the view and some goofing. The family jumps on the Turnpike for the final minute, passing through three tunnels on their way to New Jersey.