A lost artifact found!

The above photo from our fall 2008 Forum shows the Terminus at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. We know this photo is from after 1928 as The Boy Scouts placed the concrete terminus post all across the county in 1928. In 1917 a flag pole was erected to the memory of Betsy Ross, creator of the flag of the United States. We can see the pole and base in the photo above. Attached are two bronze plaques on the side facing the Palace. On the side facing us, the bronze plaque read, “END OF THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY.” In the 1970s, someone removed the flagpole and concrete base and lost the components, until now!

Our attentive members, located in the eastern part of the country, noticed this item for sale and notified our California Chapter of the LHA of its existence. I had the great honor to retrieve the object and save it for the Lincoln Highway Association. Gaze upon the beauty below.

The object is bronze and has been bent slightly on the right side due to being torn off the concrete in the 1970s. There are some etched scratches on the top left from what we believe was a back-hoe pulling it off the base. The bronze has taken on an aged patina since being exposed to the damp San Francisco weather between 1917 and the 1970s. This history makes the object the longest lasting of all the various terminus signs or markers placed at this location.

The photo on the cover of The Forum is seen above with an arrow showing the location of the bronze “END OF THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY” plaque. The bushes behind the flagpole are hiding the fountain, which still stands today. The shrubs have long since been removed.

We took the bronze plaque over to the replica concrete Terminus post, installed in 2002 by the California Chapter of the Lincoln Highway. While all the markers and signs describe this spot as the “Terminus” of the Lincoln Highway, the plaque is the only one that says’s “END OF THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY.”

This fantastic find will now be available for viewing and saved for posterity by the Lincoln Highway Association. To read more about the Terminus and this plaque, check out the June 2014 issue of the California Chapter’s newsletter, “The Traveler,” here. The article starts on page 17.

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