Newsletter · Volume 21: Iowa

From Van & Bev Becker:

With sadness, we note the end of an era. The Lincoln Highway Orchard on the west side of Cedar Rapids where the original route joins Hwy 30, is cluttered with closed signs. Where once there were hundreds of producing apple trees, now there is only a short row on each side of the house. Only 22 trees remain.

This once-thriving business has been sacrificed to make way for a Hwy 100 bypass around the northwest side of Cedar Rapids.

The Iowa DOT apparently does not understand the difference between a one-year cycle on a field of corn and a 10+ year cycle for an orchard. We have spoken often with the owners and after years of fighting the DOT, they were flustered, fatigued and resigned to the end of their orchard and chosen way of life.

As regular customers, I guess we’re going to have to find a new source for quality apple cider. Some members will recall their cider served at our Iowa LHA meetings served at the History Center and the Cedar Rapids Library.

The Sioux City Journal reports on a new website covering Iowa auto trails:
[The link in the story doesn’t work!! If someone knows what it is please let me know.]
I was able to find IDOT’s historical on-line photo data base though at:

Iowa Public Radio News took home a number of awards in the 2006 Iowa Broadcast News Association (IBNA) and Iowa Associated Press (AP) contests, including Kyle Gassiott – 1st Place – Best Student Radio Feature – On the Road on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. [Anyone know if this show is archived on web?]

New Gazebo adorns old gas station site in Lisbon, IA from the

Newsletter · Volume 21: Illinois reports that the city of Lynwood, IL voted to contribute funds for the construction of an interpretative gazebo on the Lincoln Highway. This is part of a project by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition for 20 such gazebos across IL on the LW:

Check out Jim Frazier‘s Photography blog on the LH in IL:

IL’s RoadDog reports:

Ground was broken this past Saturday in New Lenox for the new $225 million Lincoln-Way West High School. Upon completion, it will serve 2,500 students and have three wings. It will join three other Lincoln-Way high schools: North, Central, and East. One of these has a LH concrete marker, but I don’t know which one.

Matteson, IL’s mayor vetoes a new Walgreens on the Lincoln Highway as “a real negative impact on the quality of life in the area”:,061BIZ3.article

Local watering holes and live music on the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb:

Saving the house where Lincoln slept in Sterling, IL:

More articles about the murals in DeKalb from the Northern Star:
and from

A nice article about downtown Geneva from

Fulton, IL folk art – willow chairs:

From – Take a trip around Illinois with Abraham Lincoln:

sends this report on DeKalb’s Cornfest:

One of the major Lincoln Highway celebrations in Illinois will be held in a different location next year because of planned roadwork. For the last 29 years, it has been held right on Main Street which is the LH. It is blocked off between 4th and 1st streets.

Close to 100,000 people attend to eat, eat lots of sweet corn (free for awhile on Saturday) and listen to some great music.

Possible alternate locations are Dekalb’s Taylor Airport or NIU’s Convocation Center. It is not clear whether it will move back in 2009. I definitely hope it returns. Nothing like eating corn and listening to music RIGHT on the old LH and not getting run over by an auto.

The 30th Cornfest is set for Aug. 24-26. Country band Sawyer Brown and Idol finalist Becky Covington are scheduled to appear already, along with local favorite groups.

From the Rockford Register Star – Read about the IL Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway’s ambitious mural project at:
plus their history article at:

Newsletter · Volume 21: Indiana

From April’s Chicago Tribune comes an extensive article about writer Pamela Selbert‘s recent road trip on the Lincoln Highway in Indiana:

A very interesting article about 73rd Ave. in Merrillville, IN – the Sauk Trail, and later the Lincoln Highway, from, 73rd Avenue was ‘human epic in continental settlement’:,nostalgia.article

Here’s the website for the South Side Soda Shop and Diner in Goshen, IN:

Newsletter · Volume 21: Ohio

Unbelievably, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has a 9 page on-line article about eating your way across the Lincoln Highway in Ohio – Savoring the Lincoln Highway, Where diners serve a mean apple pie and the little towns are sweet, by Michael Sangiacomo:
[I wonder where he got that idea? Maybe great minds just think alike or great stomachs! :)]

Tom Lockard has some more suggestions for my Ohio LH Eats:

Hi Russ – I enjoyed your latest LH E-newsletter, but wish I had sent in some Ohio roadfood suggestions before you published your list, rather than after the fact. I’ll pass them along now, though, for the benefit of your hungry readers.

  • The Orchard Tree, Van Wert – If you happen to pass through Van Wert on a Monday, (as I have recently twice) Balyeat’s is closed.This place is on the left just a bit further west of downtown and it is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s a breakfast special for $3.89, almost all of the sandwiches are under $4.00 and dinner entrees are less than $10.00.
  • B & Mary’s Diner, Canton – Formerly the City Diner, a genuine Kullman Diner built in Newark, NJ and first opened in Canton in 1958. Before it became B & Mary’s, business had slowed considerably, but the last time I was there the joint was jumping. Still much of the same diner food we all love, but since the new owners are African-American, some great barbeque is now on the menu.
  • Nicole’s Family Restaurant, East Canton – This is my wife’s favorite place along the Ohio LH, primarily for their delicious broasted chicken (breast, leg, thigh and wing for only $6.99). They usually host at least one classic car cruise-in a year and are good LH supporters. Closed Monday.
  • Al Smith’s Place, Bucyrus – A popular place for Sunday dinner, this family restaurant features such “house specialties” as roast beef
    dinners and roasted turkey dinners complete with three sides for $8.70. Their hand-dipped onion rings (enough for two) are not to be missed at $6.15. If you have enough room, try any number of delicious homemade pies. There’s a nice adjoining motel in case you are too full to continue your LH journey.
  • Oak Park Tavern, Mansfield – A hidden gem between Mansfield and Mifflin near the Charles Mill Dam and an occasional monthly meeting destination for the Mid-Ohio chapter of the Lincoln Highway League. There’s always a good seafood selection in the $12 – $16 range and a wide array of steaks.

I could go on, but will stop for now. As for Indiana, I’ll await your list in the next newsletter, but will pass along one place in Warsaw that you have probably checked out – Schoop’s, Hamburgers since 1948. This is one of those retro diners, but the food is good, plentiful and inexpensive. It sits on the north side of the current Route 30 where it is joined by an earlier LH alignment. There’s a “jumbo” pork tenderloin sandwich for $4.35.

Mike Hocker, Executive Director of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway reports – Earlier Lincoln Highway Routes Now Being Marked:

When ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) designated the Ohio portion of the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast road, as an historic Ohio byway, it made sense to mark the 1928 route. This was the route that was last placed by the national Lincoln Highway Association, a group of private businessmen who’d seen the need for a transcontinental paved road to encourage the government to pay more attention to the motorcar as a way of transportation for the future. But there were earlier and alternate routes that existed that were equally as significant to the impact the road had on developing the auto economy of the U.S.

For the past two years, the OLHHC (Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor) in conjunction with the Ohio Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association has been working with ODOT and all other levels of government to place one hundred logo signs with an added date sign below that expresses the year or years the alignment existed, and also includes directional arrows. If you see a Lincoln Highway logo sign with a surrounding brown field that contains the word “historic,” it will be ODOT’s designated byway, that of the 1928 route. But soon you will see red, white and blue Lincoln Highway logo signs with a smaller white sign mounted below on the earlier routes.

With the third annual BUY-WAY Yard Sale coming up August 9 through 11, we are hoping to have all the signs installed to help travelers find their way shopping across the state. Most of these alternate routes will be having yard sale events, so there is the opportunity for shoppers to travel more than one route from point A to point B… or at least travel one route going, and the other route returning from their travels.

As an example, the route from Mansfield east to Ashland via US Route 42, (on US 250 through Rowsburg and New Pittsburg to Jefferson) is not part of the 1928 route, but was the official highway from its inception in 1913 until the association’s last action in 1928, which moved the route to SR 430 and old Route 30 (now 30A) via Mifflin, Hayesville, Jeromesville, and to Jefferson.

Another example: the route from Mansfield westward originally traveled along SR 309 to Galion and entered Bucyrus along Hopley Avenue until about 1921, when it was moved to exit Mansfield along West Fourth Street, go through Crestline, Leesville and on to Bucyrus via the recent two-lane US 30 (now C. R. 330) into Bucyrus.

And the route from Upper Sandusky westward originally traveled along SR 53 and SR 81 through Forest, Dunkirk, Dola and Ada until about 1919, but passed through Lima and Elida along SR 309 to Delphos in the early days (until about 1915). By 1919 it was moved to the present day 2 lane U.S. 30 and through Williamstown, Beaverdam, Cairo and Gomer.

The OLHHC thanks ODOT and the county, city, village and townships who will be installing these signs. By marking these earlier routes the public will be better educated about the history of the highway, and will be able to enjoy more of the paths that early motorists once traveled.

Wooster, OH’s Lincoln Re-enactor Pete Raymond keeps busy, from the

From the Ada Herald is an article about the 13th annual meeting of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League in May:

Janet Jones from Main Street Van Wert Inc. reports:

Thought you might want to know about anther LH corridor project – this one in Van Wert, Ohio, just east of Fort Wayne. Van Wert is applying for Transportation Enhancement dollars to help with our Main Street streetscape project. We have not received our drawings yet but should have them soon, but this will give you an idea of what we are planning.

First Main Street is Lincoln Highway. At the new ADA curbs we will be inlaying the Lincoln Highway logo. We are looking at several different materials.We discussed tinted cement or engraved granite inlay or a bronze plaque inlay. In this phase it will be at all four corners of the 3 major intersections. Our benches and trash receptacles will have the L in wrought iron on them.

In our second phase, we are planning to install several of the wrought iron arches which went over Main Street in 1900. These arches will incorporate both Van Wert and the Lincoln Highway.

Please know that all of this will be done with taste and will maintain the integrity of the Lincoln Highway.

— Jane A. Jones, Program Manager

Main Street Van Wert, Inc.
118 West Main Street
Van Wert, OH 45891
Phone/Fax: 419/238-6911

A nice run down on Van Wert municipal development projects from the Greater Fort Wayne Business Daily:

From the Delphos Herald, a story about the annual Peony Festival in Van Wert, since 1902:
and check out the Our Little Acre blog about the festival and Van Wert:

Newsletter · Volume 21: Pennsylvania

PA’s Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor has some great articles online on their News page. Here you can read about Clara Gardner – the Ship Hotel “Baby”, the reopening of the Bedford Springs Hotel, the premier coverlet collection in Latrobe, renovation of the Historic Wills House in Gettysburg, and other PA LH activities:

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review discusses the history and future of Wilkinsburg:

About this Brian Butko comments:

Wilkinsburg is just a couple blocks from the Frick where I gave my early-travel talk last month, and it (the Frick) has a great car and carriage museum. Right on the line between Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg is Peppi’s, better known as the former Charlie’s Scotty’s Diner.

Yes, the main drag was the Lincoln AND William Penn Highways — the forlorn remnants of the Penn-Lincoln Hotel prove it.

Indeed, there are fine homes, businesses, and hope for the future. Still, I think most LH tourists would hit the accelerator on their drive through town. Like many towns (and boroughs) where steel and other big industries were once king, empty storefronts predominate. For those who do slow down, there’s a great bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln at the intersection of the L and WP highways, and the deco diner is truly a miracle in a region where most diners have moved out. (PA is surely the biggest old-diner exporter, as there were so many, and they remained mostly original, but now the population is not there to support them while growing areas are hungry for such places, and at bargain prices.) Across the street, a corner gas station is being replaced by a drugstore. It’s good to hear that there’s hope for the housing — every town in the region has mini-mansions, usually at hilltops where steel executives once lived, but now the gems are surrounded by boarded-up, overgrown cousins.

Likewise experiencing a turnaround a mile to the west is East Liberty, once home to what’s called the first drive-in gas station (on the LH) but ripped apart by urban redevelopment in the 60s, notably a traffic circle around the business district. It’s suddenly become the place to grow and go, making for some interesting contrasts. On its western end, many old auto dealers still line Pittsburgh’s LH-era “automobile row.”

Craig, from Mechanicsburg, PA reports on his April day trip LH
jaunt, from Yahoo’s roadsidefans discussion group:

I took a short jaunt on the Lincoln Highway yesterday. I exited Interstate 81 at the Lincoln Way exit near Chambersburg. I went downtown briefly to visit the Olympia Candy Kitchen, a candy and gift shop that has been in business since 1903. It was good to see the store busy with Easter Candy buyers in anticipation of tomorrow’s holiday. I walked down the street to take a look at the Capitol Theater and I also saw that the historic Molly Pitcher Waffle House is back in business. It was closed the last time I was there in December.

I then returned to the Lincoln Highway and headed west toward Fayetteville. The Lincoln Highway pretty much follows Route 30, but does head off now and then onto the old road. I made a few stops at some antique stores before coming to my one of my favorite roadside attractions, Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum ( Mr. Ed sells fresh roasted peanuts, lots of old fashioned candy, fudge, and of course many elephant souvenirs.

I have been there many times so I already have their mugs and T shirt, so yesterday I bought peanuts, rootbeer barrels and a small red elephant knickknack. I also visited the free museum filled with all kinds of elephant memorabilia from stuffed elephants, glass elephants, toy elephants to even an elephant potty chair.

And since the Totem Pole Play house is nearby (where Jean Stapleton often performed, because her husband ran the place) there is even an autographed cast photo from All in the Family hanging on the wall.

Outside at Mr. Ed’s there is a big fiberglass elephant named Miss Ellie. She talks to you and flaps her eyes and ears as she speaks. On the other side of the yard is another large elephant by a pond and a few giraffes. A sign invites all to enjoy the yard and gardens.

After my visit at Mr. Ed’s, I continued down the Lincoln Highway to Gettysburg. I took a short detour to visit a round barn. The barn was closed, but will reopen in May to see fresh fruit and vegetables. I then continued on to Gettysburg where I drove past the battlefield and had a late lunch at the Lincoln Diner, right in the center of town. I enjoyed my pizza burger and fries. This is quite an attractive diner and has a dining room built onto the back if one prefers a non-smoking environment. I then headed home via Route 15. All in all it was a fun day.

Brian Butko reports about the oldest bridge on the

A new report does not bode well for what is perhaps the oldest bridge on the Lincoln Highway, but you can email words of support.

The bridge over Poquessing Creek, at the border of Philadelphia and Bucks Counties, PA, was built in 1805 for the Byberry- Bensalem Turnpike, and improved in 1917 as Lincoln Highway traffic began to overwhelm it. Since busy Roosevelt Boulevard bypassed it in 1921, it has slipped into oblivion, leaving it a very rare remnant in a very urban environment (right behind a Lincoln Motel). The bridge leads into Benjamin Rush State Park but straddling the county line has led to unclear ownership and lack of upkeep.

The report cataloged and ranked 125 Philadelphia-area stone arch bridges, which is the problem – unlike some, the Poquessing Creek Bridge is not needed for traffic, and is not eligible for listing on the National Register because of scouring (the undermining and deterioration of the base due to water erosion), making it “not a strong candidate for preservation.” It is ranked 62, but only about 40 bridges will receive any maintenance or preservation.

Former LHA state director John Harman, who talked with the consultant, reports:

The bridge is artificially ranked as high as it is (right in the middle of the 125 bridges) because of its historic value associated with the Lincoln Highway. Otherwise, it would be lower. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has also recently advocated for the bridge’s preservation and higher priority status.

You can see the full Draft Management Plan at

with details on pages 126-127, aka B44-45, but the 28MB file takes a while to download even on fast connections.

For a summary of this bridge, go to

In the Search line, choose the county Bucks, and a map will sooncome up with a list of bridges. Click #24 PHILADELPHIA – BUCKS CO LINE. You will get a map of the bridge and an overview. Click on Report and you’ll get more info in a new window.

If you’d like to send comments, go back to the main page and click “Your Comments/Contact Us.”

Let officials know this is an extremely rare and prized resource of the Lincoln Highway, especially in the eastern half of the U.S. As interest in the route increases, it will draw visitors from around the world much as bridges do elsewhere on the Lincoln Highway and Route 66.

Also some photos and info here:

From comes a review of the Puerto Rican restaurant Red Rice and Beans Cafeon the Lincoln Highway in
Coatesville, PA:
[Sounds like my kind of place!]

Another article about Laurie Conrad‘s Ship Hotel play — On the Deck of the Ship Hotel:

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes an article about the 18th century Forbes Trail – Retracing the trail to Forks of the Ohio:

Denny Gibson comments about the article: “Early in the article they mentions a Forbes Road marker at Penn & Linden that the Lincoln [Highway] definitely ran past on Penn. It may also have been US-30 at some point but I don’t know. I know there are some places further east where Forbes, Lincoln, & US-30 all followed the same path.”

Brian Butko then reports, “I’m editing an article (for Western PA History magazine) right now on exactly this topic. The planned driving guidewill really help those retracing for the Forbes Road, which is often far off-road. Although the Lincoln Highway follows it in spirit, they’re rarely the exact same path, though a few old inns still line the Lincoln. US 30 in western PA follows the Lincoln except where the route has been shortened, mostly around towns like Bedford, Stoystown, Ligonier, and Greensburg.”

The P-G article doesn’t mention that protesting the Forbes Road route was 26-yr-old George Washington, who wanted to see Braddock’s Road reused. (It had been carved in the first attempt to oust the French in 1755.) That would become the National Road/US 40 – Washington’s interest was that it gave his Virginia colony easier access to frontier lands to invest in.

The Forks of the Ohio is where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. It was the site of French Fort Duquesne, and after Forbes’ 1758 mission, Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh. That’s why the main drag in Bedford and Greensburg (later the Lincoln Highway) is named Pitt Street — they’re on the road (Forbes Road) that went to Fort Pitt, now Pittsburgh. Make sense??

These two forts at the forks were at Pittsburgh’s present-day Point State Park. As mentioned by RoadDog, the first evidence of the French Fort Duquesne was just found, but Pittsburgh will be re-burying it – they want to make the park event-friendly!

From the Tribune-Review, a story about the Ligonier, PA home tour:

Newsletter · Volume 21: Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Garage Sale

This year’s Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Garage Sale is stretching from West Virginia to Illinois. The event is scheduled for August 9, 10 and 11, 2007. Non-profits and families organizing group or multi-family yard sales for the upcoming Buy-Way Yard Sale will be able to list their event free of charge on the official Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway website.Executive Director, Mike Hocker said:

We had well over 650 yard sales last year across Ohio alone, and over 100 listings for group activities last year on our website, where shoppers simply printed out the listing and took it with them to find the deals, so we are pushing that concept again this year.

All they need to do is go to and click on the BUY-WAY Yard Sale logo for information and a listing form they can submit right there online. By listing there, they help ensure that shoppers know where to stop, especially if they are selling unusual or specific items.

In addition to the free web listings, this year the OLHHC is producing a full color map detailing all alignments of the road along with important information, listings of group sales and a list of participating ‘muggers;’ that is, restaurants selling commemorative BUY-WAY mugs. These maps will be free to shoppers and will be distributed along the way before and during the BUY-WAY yard sale.

The ads and listings are available for anyone, and promises to prove very helpful to shoppers and listers, alike, and are available at a nominal charge to cover printing costs.

The website is For information on the giveaway map ads and listings, call 419-468-6773 soon to guarantee getting a space on the map, or email to:

The Bucyrus Telegraph Forum has an article about the Buy-Way at:

For Indiana: non-profits and families organizing yard sales, festivals, concerts, and car shows during the August Historic Lincoln Highway Yard Sale Days to be held across Indiana will be able to list their sales and events free of charge on the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association’s website.

“We had great success with the event last year across Indiana,” says Ken Locke of Warsaw and the newly elected Indiana Lincoln Highway Director. “The event brought hundreds of people to downtown Warsaw and increased sales for local merchants, restaurant owners, gas stations and hotels. Some yard sales reported hundreds of customers here and in Ohio along the corridor.”

This year shoppers will again be able to go to a website and print out a listing of participating sites to take with them as they go sailing to find those bargains of a lifetime!

The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association’s website will include promotion of special community events, community festivals, car shows, concerts, farmers markets, etc. All event coordinators should send information to
. Submission deadline is July 15th.

The Indiana Chapter will host information tables and will offer Lincoln Highway related merchandise at the following events:

August 10, 2007
The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association will be in Plymouth, Indiana at the Marshall County Historical Museum on Friday, August 10th to celebrate the unveiling of the new Indiana Lincoln Highway traveling exhibit funded by the Indiana Humanities Council, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, and the South Bend Regional Airport. The Marshall County Historical Society and the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association also contributed to the project. The Marshall County Historical Society plans anopen house on Friday August 10 that the museum located at 123 N. Michigan Street (downtown). Linda Rippy is the contact at 574-936-2306 or email at
Please stop by. There will be many participants in the yard sale event in the Plymouth area. More museum information at:
August 11, 2007
Indiana Lincoln Highway Association members will host a booth at the Old Bag Factory in Plymouth on Saturday, August 11th. Members will sell Lincoln Highway merchandise, share information about the Lincoln Highway, and will be available for media interviews. Contact Bill Arick for more information at 260-471-5670. The Indiana LHA booth is being underwritten by the Old Bag Factory of Goshen, Indiana – a unique shopping experience promoting the arts. Driving Directions and a map can be found at:

Also see the Fort Wayne Observed Blog at:

For Illinois: check the LincolnHighwayIL blog at: Senior Travel has a great website: Lincoln Highway — The Ultimate American Road Trip:

Newsletter · Volume 21: General news

I had a great time at the Lincoln Highway National Conference in Fort Morgan, CO, and was honored to be asked by Jan Shupert-Arick to serve as the Vice-President of the Lincoln Highway Association, and of course, honored to have been so elected. As they say, I serve at the pleasure of my President! I look forward to working with Jan and our Executive Director David Hay, the rest of the Board, State and local Directors and members.

I have a lot of ideas to increase the LHA membership, and to make the Lincoln Highway a more accessible and fun place for families and young people. I will be contacting you in the future for your assistance in compiling information regarding restaurants, lodging, historical, natural and tourist attractions along the LH-way so that this information can be available on-line, and linkable with our mapping project. A lot of things are happening and in the works, and I will be calling on you for your help.

The Fort Morgan conference was a rare chance to explore the early Colorado loop of the Lincoln Highway, and to meet up with all my LH pals from around the country and from Luxemburg. I especially enjoyed the back roads driving, the mountains and the “wide open spaces.” I am still cleaning the dust out of my car!

Kathleen Dow, from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, with the original Lincoln Highway Association archives, reports:

We just got the Indiana and Ideal Section images successfully mounted on the website! If you go here:;c=linchigh;size=20;page=search;view=thumbnail and type in either Indiana or Ideal Section in the top box, you will get the thumbnails of those images. And, as with the other images, clicking on the thumbnail will give you a larger display. Please let me know if you have any questions. We will be working on mounting the remaining images during the next few weeks. Thank you again for the generous gift that allowed me to get this project back on the road again. Hope you all have a wonderful time at the Conference!

The Lincoln Highway now has a page on Rachael Ray’s Everyday with Rachael Ray website. It has a function where you can add places to eat and stay, and upload pictures:
[What’s next – Franzwa on Oprah?]

Michael Wallis‘ new book The Lincoln Highway with photos by Pulitzer award winning Michael S. Williamson, is out and he will be starting on a crosscounty promotional tour on the Lincoln Highway starting in NYC on July 17. Michael is the well known author of 1988’s Route 66 which is credited, in part, for the recent popularization of the “Mother Road.” He was also an advisor, and voice actor as the Sheriff, for the animated Pixar movie Cars. We are hoping that the new book brings increased awareness about the Lincoln Highway.Michael’s author website is at:

The Lincoln Highway Book Tour has its own website at:

Read a review at