Posts Tagged ‘Wyoming’

Past LHA President Christopher Plummer

November 21, 2011

Christopher Noel Plummer, a past president of the Lincoln Highway Association, died November 15, 2011, in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Christopher was born December 19, 1950 in Bedford, Pennsylvania. A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 28 at 11:00 am at the Bridger Valley Baptist Church.

Christopher worked for Tata Chemical in Green River, Wyoming. He enjoyed collecting cars and watching races. He is survived by his wife, Carol Graeber Plummer; son Aaron (Kristen) Plummer of Kennewick, Washington; step-sons Bill (Dawn) Morgan of Overland Park, Kansas, John (Anya) Morgan of Littleton, Colorado, Jeff (Kristin) Morgan of Parker, Colorado; step-daughters Cristel Morgan of Glenrock, Wyoming, and Jennifer Morgan of Ontario, California; 11 grandchildren and a brother Mark Plummer.

Thanks to Kelly Hughes, curator at Bridger Valley Heritage Museum, and Russell Rein for the information. For more, see Crandall Funeral Home.


Virginian Hotel celebrates centennial

June 28, 2011

The Rawlins Daily Times ran a nice article about the centennial celebration at the famed Virginian Hotel along the Lincoln Highway (now US 30) in Medicine Bow, Wyoming.

The celebration was part of Medicine Bow Days this past weekend, when the town’s population of fewer than 300 often jumps five-fold. The hotel hosted a sold-out dinner with actor James Drury, who played the Virginian on TV. Hotel owner Vernon Scott said, “This place means the world to me. It’s something I enjoy, and I hope other people stop in to enjoy (it), too.”

Vernon’s grandparents bought out the majority of hotel shares in the 1930s. Vernon’s mother later took charge, and Vernon took over in 1983. His wife of nearly four decades, Vickie, worked there as a youth at the restaurant and general store.

One customer — who was dancing with her 2-year-old, Summer Apple, in the hotel dining room— said, “Scottie and Vickie have kept it nice, helped with strangers and the community.… I really think they’ve made this hotel the heart and soul of the town.”

Forrest on Lincoln & Transcontinental RR “walk”

October 8, 2010

In honor of the Transcontinental Railroad, Forrest has been taking a virtual walk along its route (ala Forrest Gump), following the westward progress of the Union Pacific from Omaha to Utah. He began April 16 and has logged 1372 miles as of this morning. He writes about the towns and people along the way, often coming upon parts of the Lincoln Highway, which paralells much of the route. Check it out here:

He writes:

When the U.S. government named two companies to build a transcontinental railroad in 1862. no meeting point was set. Enormous financial rewards—paid out per mile of completed track—propelled both sides into a grueling seven-year race across daunting terrain of the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, & Califorina. When completed the railroad connected a post Civil War nation, forever changing the American West. For the next 6 months & 1500 miles Forrest will follow this important and historical route that our ancestors followed so many years ago.

Fire levels Cheyenne's Hitching Post Inn

September 22, 2010

A beloved Lincoln Highway landmark, the Hitching Post in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has been destroyed by fire. Various newspapers covered the fire and aftermath, including an initial story by the Caspar Star Tribune.

This article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle recalls some history:

The Hitch, as it is fondly known, started out as a small motor hotel called the Lincoln Court. Pete Smith opened it in 1927…. In 1946, the Lincoln Court became a charter member of Best Western International. In 1948, the family opened a restaurant at the hotel called the Hitching Post. As more and more rooms were added, the name stuck.

My family stayed at the Lincoln Court about 5 years ago, by then a wonderful mid-century motel, but that older portion had recently been demolished. The remaining and much larger Hitching Post maintained an Old West decor.

The newspaper reported that the motel, lounge, and restaurant served as a longtime second home for Wyoming legislators but had closed amid financial trouble last year and remained vacant. “The hotel has been undergoing extensive renovations and officials of the company that owns it say it was just weeks away from reopening…. The front lobby and an attached liquor store were destroyed.”

The city called in an ATF team of about two dozen agents to help with the investigation, and the blaze was just ruled arson but the investigation is ongoing. Most comments to articles are overwhelmingly nostalgic for what has been lost, with only a few voicing a need for modern retail there.

Thanks to loungelistener for the tip.

Immerse yourself in Denny's Lincoln Highway trip

August 24, 2009

A week ago I reported on Denny’s Gibson’s blog but if you didn’t bother visiting it, go to now and spend a half hour seeing, feeling, and tasting a trip along the Lincoln Highway westward from Illinois. Make sure you click his photos to see them bigger; here are a few.

Denny_NE_CvrdWagonA real heartbreaker, the Covered Wagon attraction near Kearney, Nebraska. Someone was working on the building last year, with plans to restore the wagon and oxen, but now they look worse than ever.

Denny_WY_MedBowW Here’s a great old road segment west of Medicine Bow, Wyoming. A truck used the road while Denny was there.

Denny_UT_FisherMonumentThe pull-off has been paved and ground was recently broken for the Fisher Pass monument south of Grantsville, Utah.

Restored Black and Orange cabins dedicated

July 8, 2009

The Bridger Valley Pioneer reported on last Wednesday’s dedication of the restored Black and Orange Cabins in Fort Bridger, Wyoming. The motel along the Lincoln Highway dates to the 1930s. Many Lincoln Highway fans visited the unrestored cabins at the 2008 LHA Evanston conference. The cabins, with carports, were an extension of the Rocheford Hotel in an attempt to serve travelers who wanted less formal accommodations. The event coincided with the passing through of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s re-enactment of the 1919 military convoy.

WY_RW_B&Orange sign

WY_RW_B&Orange entry

WY_RW_B&Orange cabin7

Randy Wagner, who provided the photos above, wrote, “The ribbon-cutting coincided with the arrival of the Military Convoy and some 250 folks attended. The contractor told me he was able to use abour 90 percent of the original building material.  The registration office is a complete reconstruction as it was destroyed by fire some 20 years ago. They are not available to rent although a couple have been furnished (bed, dresser, chair, stove and not much else) and are open for inspection.  More will be furnished as period furniture becomes available. The state doesn’t want to compete with the two small motels that struggle to stay in business in Fort Bridger.”

WY_SH_MVPA Church Butte_66

LHA director for Wyoming Shelly Horne reports on the day that MVPA leader “Terry Shellswell had invited some of us to join the convoy in Green River. When we got there he offered Joe Cox (a local LHA member) a ride with a retired Air Force Colonel in his jeep (above) and invited me to ride with him in his jeep with he and his wife at the head of the column. He asked my wife, Deann, to lead a small column down the interstate that was not able to travel the old road. We followed the LH from Green River to Little America, then picked it up again in Granger to Fort Bridger with a rest stop at Church Butte.” He spoke briefly at the Blakc and Orange Cabins “before the ribbon cutting (which appropriately was a tree branch cutting).  The convoy was fed Buffalo Burgers and we were gone again.  We picked up the LH east of Eagle Rock a few miles.  As we were heading up the grade past Eagle Rock, I looked back at the convoy.  It was strung out for several miles and was quite a sight.”

A word from Wyoming on windfarms

July 6, 2009

Former LHA president Randy Wagner always makes clear his opposition to windfarms and their impact on the view along Western roads like the Lincoln Highway, so as an Easterner, I asked him to explain. Below is his response.


Windfarms are destroying the natural Western landscape and are bringing to an end the wide open spaces that those of us that live here have so long enjoyed. Wherever they grow, they dominate the viewshed like nothing else ever invented by man. While normal man-made visual intrusions, like power lines and oil wells, tend to fade from view in 3-5 miles, windmills boldly stand out for up to 30 miles, always on the skyline. An example would be the once beautiful Lincoln Highway drive from Fort Bridger to Evanston, a journey through a pristine landscape since 1913 that is now a windmill forest. Another example is closer to home: Cheyenne residents have forever enjoyed an unobstructed view of the Laramie Mountains and the Sherman Summit to the west. Now a windfarm blocks the view and the feeling of living in the wide open, unspoiled west is forever gone.

I could go on and on about the facts that wind energy is highly inefficient and can only be economically justified with heavy federal (taxpayer) subsidies; that windmills are very high maintenance items; that they don’t work on those hot, still, muggy days when energy is in high demand; that they are seriously altering the habitat for native wildlife species such as sage grouse and pronghorn antelope; that Wyoming is destroying its landscape to send power to Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Counter viewpoints are welcome.

Lincoln Highway is a hit … times 100,000

May 12, 2009

The odometer on this blog just rolled 100,000 hits. Launched in October 2007, the purpose remains to keep readers and myself informed and entertained. For your enjoyment, here’s a view from Wyoming of Hostler’s General Store, and a Muffler Man-turned-Jack Hammer at the minor league Silver Cross Field between the original Lincoln Highway and the current eastbound routing (aka US 30) in Joliet, Illinois.

I hope these and the rest of the blog inspire you to hit the (two-lane) road and create your own road trip memories. And please send us some of your photos to post.



12 days of blogging the Lincoln Highway out west

May 8, 2009

Photographers Eric Mencher and his wife Kass have been photographing the Lincoln Highway since 1997. Eric is staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer. They began with Pennsylvania and last year completed the entire length from coast to coast. They’ve just begun another two-week trip that will take them from Wyoming into Utah and Nevada.


You can follow their adventures at which Eric will update every day or so. The first entry doesn’t have much yet, only four images shot from their room at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Last year he posted a handful of photos from their trip through Wyoming and Nebraska. You can find them, along with other photos mixed in, at:

Medicine Bow Wyoming to celebrate centennial

March 2, 2009

Medicine Bow, along a beautiful stretch of the Lincoln Highway in eastern Wyoming, will celebrate its centennial this summer with a weekend celebration. The town is best known for its Virginian Hotel, named for the Owen Wister  novel The Virginian. Wister wrote the western while in town and the hotel/saloon was built shortly after. This video gives a brief taste of the town:

The special events take place June 25-28 during the ”Medicine Bow – 100 years of History” weekend. The kick-off event is a showing of the 1914 silent film The Virginian directed by Cecil B. Demille, accompanied by live music. Other events include a world-class quick draw shooting contest, parade, pancake breakfast, and street dances.


Visitors can stay at The Virginian and even try the Owen Wister Suite. (That’s it above when Rick Sebak and the PBS crew stopped by.) The writer’s log cabin has been relocated to across the street. At the Dip Bar & Diner check out the western art paintings that adorn the ceiling, walls, and the floor, or the bar made from the longest slab of jade in the world.