Van Wert, Ohio at the center of two highway garage sales

One of the very rare times that it has happened, the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way yard sale and the U.S. 127 Corridor Sale will be taking place on the same weekend this year and Van Wert is the only place in the country where these two sales intersect.

Van Wert at crossroads of highway garage sales, The Times Bulletin (Van Wert, OH), July 30, 2008

Traveler guide for Ohio Lincoln Highway Buy-Way now available

A Lincoln Highway BUY-WAY Yard Sale Travelers Guide is being distributed along the corridors of Ohio’s portion of America’s historic first coast-to-coast paved road. The guide is a free and useful tool for people planning to travel the fourth annual BUY- WAY Yard Sale which will take place Aug. 7, 8 and 9.

Bucyrus, Ohio gets ready for Lincoln Highway yard sale

The Bucyrus Tourism and Visitors’ Bureau will participate in the annual Lincoln Highway Yard Sale on Aug. 7 to 9 with more than 250 miles of sales along the Lincoln Highway, U.S. 30, across Ohio.

LHA awards the Ohio Department of Transportation

April 30, 2008 Press Release from the Ohio Lincoln Highway League:

The 14th Annual Business Meeting of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League was held on April 26, 2008 at the Elks Hall in Galion, Ohio. The Ohio Lincoln Highway League is the state affiliate of the Lincoln Highway Association, a historical interest group which endeavors to promote and preserve the history of the Lincoln Highway—the first transcontinental automobile route in the United States.

Among the highlights of the meeting was the presentation of the “Exemplary Friend of the Lincoln Highway Award” to the Ohio Department of Transportation. This is an award given by the Lincoln Highway Association to individuals or groups for outstanding contributions to the association’s promotion and preservation efforts. In this case, ODOT was honored for their part in constructing the splendid new Lincoln Highway Bridge at the I-75 interchange with State Route 696 at Beaverdam. The bridge features four large Lincoln Highway logo signs which face four-lane traffic on I-75, and four smaller logo signs set in brick pillar replicas which face traffic on State Route 696—a renumbered roadway (formerly U.S. 30-North) that was once part of the historic Lincoln Highway route. The brick pillars are reminiscent of twenty other pillars which were originally set along the route of the Lincoln Highway during the 1920s.

odot award
Photo by John Renock

On hand to accept the etched glass award on behalf of ODOT was Kirk Slusher, P.E. (right), who is the Planning Administration for ODOT District One at Lima. The presentation of the award was officially made by LHA President Jan Shupert-Arick of Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the request of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League, Kirk took a few minutes to discuss the history of the project and explain how transportation enhancement funds became available for this aesthetic bridge. It was then pointed out by members of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League that in their opinion, this award was merited not only for ODOT’s vision regarding this wonderful new bridge, but also for its continuing assistance in such matters as the posting of green interchange signs and brown historic byway signs which help travelers rediscover the route of the Lincoln Highway as it traverses 241 miles across Ohio.

Lincoln Highway news in Ohio

From the – “Lincoln Way Elementary School gained distinction for its heritage on the Lincoln Highway Friday, earning a proclamation from the mayor of Wooster and an official replica of the historical markers that lined the original 1928 route.”:

An article about the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way yardsale from

“Buy-Way Sale a big hit in Crawford County”:

Canton Lincoln Highway bricks preserved for the Great Platte River Road Archway Museum in Kearney, Nebraska:

[Anyone have a semi to deliver these?]

and an update:

The last half of this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about the National Hamburger Festival is all about the Lincoln Highway Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon, OH:, July 31 contained the following letter:

With great interest, I read the article “Book traces the nation’s first coast-to-coast route” (July 23). My parents, Moses and Lydia Gingerich, with five children, made the trip in 1921 with a remodeled 1915 Model T truck on the graveled Lincoln Highway, Route 30, leaving from Bucklin, Kan., in Ford County near Dodge City. How often I would sit and listen to the story of their eight-day trip to Hartville, Ohio, patching tubes, driving on gravel roads and living in a remodeled small pick up truck. My Amish family, too poor to afford a train ticket, was advised to buy the pickup and resell it in Ohio. Precious memories for me – I was born in 1924.

John E. Gingerich, Lake Township

Tragedy at an on-grade railroad crossing in Bucyrus on the LH from the Ahnentafel Blog:

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: 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: