Lincoln Highway Association
California Chapter

Minutes for the January 13, 2001 Meeting

Northminster Presbyterian Church
Sacramento, California


Mary Salazar President
Norman Root Vice-President
Jack Duncan Historian
Lauretta Powell Treasurer
Jimmy Lin Recording Secretary
Wes Hammond Newsletter Editor
Jim Armstrong
Jim Barrett
Roy Brister
George Clark
Cleona Duncan
Fred Kearney
Donn C. Marinovich
Michael Pope
Dean Salazar
Bob Salinas
Lee Schegg President, Nevada-Sierra Chapter
Joe Schlechter
May Tribbett
Ron Tribbett

The meeting was originally planned to meet at Caltrans, but it was moved at the last minute.

The originally scheduled speaker, Joel Windmiller, was unable to attend the meeting, so we had a general show-and-tell meeting.

First, Mary Salazar received e-mail from the national headquarters praising the chapter newsletter, The Traveler, edited by Wes Hammond.

Wes then talked about the next few issues. The newsletter will start a series of postcard views of the Lincoln Highway, using George Clark's postcard collection. The first issue will cover four states, and each additional issue will cover two states. Other future topics include military bases along the Lincoln Highway/US 50 between Pleasanton and Livermore, and the highway from Placerville to Echo Summit.

Mary then talked about the Lincoln Highway tour on Labor Day, which was being coordinated with the Model A Ford Club of America.

Then Jack Duncan talked about the book he is working on about all of the important highways that have been built between San Francisco and Verdi since 1852. He said the book is "98-99% complete, " and that it's "almost done," but then again, he also said that "it's been 'almost done' for a couple of years."

The book will cover the three wagon roads built in the mid-1800s: the Dutch Flat-Donner Lake Wagon Road, the Pacific Turnpike, and Hennis Pass Road. It also covers the Lincoln Highway, laid out around 1914; the Victory Highway, in 1923; US 40, in 1928; and finally I-80, in the 1950s and 1960s. Jack has received a lot of help from George Clark regarding the Victory Highway.

The goal of Jack's book is precision. With the book, you will know where the various roads are within 10-15 feet. The book will have over 100 pages, with 52 pages of maps.

Victory Highway

Jack then talked about the Victory Highway for the benefit of the chapter. The original boosters of the Victory Highway were people from Topeka, Kansas, who wanted to build a memorial highway to World War I veterans. They also wanted to get federal funding for the road.

At the same time, the California State Automobile Association (CSAA), which is the AAA branch for Northern California, wanted tourists to go to northern California. At the time, 90% of westbound travelers at Ely, Nevada went on to Los Angeles instead of northern California. So the CSAA convinced the Victory Highway Association to build the Victory across northern Nevada, in what is now I-80.

Because there was no easy road between Sacramento and San Francisco, the Victory Highway's alignment followed what is now CA 160, CA 4, I-680, and CA 24 into Oakland. Jack does not yet know where in San Francisco the Victory Highway ended.

The Victory Highway Association wanted to put 11-foot statues doughboy soldiers at each terminus in New York and San Francisco. It also wanted to place a 7-foot doughboy soldier status at each state line, and an eagle statue at each county line. No existing doughboy statues are known of today. There are known eagle statues at Truckee (the statue used to be at the state line), Antioch (used to be at south end of Antioch Bridge), and in Land Park in Sacramento.

By 1928, US 40, the Lincoln Highway, and the Victory Highway all had the same alignment in California. Jack handed out photocopies of an old article from Motorland (the CSAA's magazine, now called Via) about US 40, US 50, the Lincoln Highway, and the Victory Highway, although Jack disagrees with many of the articles' details.

Cleona Duncan mentioned that the Victory Motorcycle Club has a web site with driving directions for the Victory Highway.

Finally, Jack said that he wants the book to cost less than $20, which means that it will have to be black and white.

Next, Wes started a discussion about the "Pacific Highway," which was mentioned in the last newsletter. Basically, the Pacific Highway was what is now US 101 south of San Francisco, I-80 between San Francisco and Sacramento, and I-5 north of Sacramento.

Joe Schlechter talked about some items he picked up at an antique fair. He showed an Official Paved Road Map from after 1928, with the Lincoln and Victory Highways marked. Joe also showed a 1914 map of Nevada with the Lincoln Highway and other named highways. Lee Schegg looked at the map and pronounced it "Rare!"

At this point, two members, for whom this meeting was the first they had attended, were introduced. Both Roy Brister and Jim Barrett have been members for a few years.

Fred Kearney also brought a few old road maps, of the Truckee-Reno area. Before the Lincoln Highway was routed through Truckee Canyon, it went through Stampede Valley. The route is now at the bottom of Stampede Reservoir.

Lee Schegg, President of the Nevada-Sierra Chapter, told us that President Clinton signed a bill for the Interior Department to assess the value of the Lincoln Highway. It will consult with Kevin Patrick to map out the Lincoln Highway across the country on USGS 7.5-minute maps.

Norman Root passed around pictures of landmarks of the Lincoln Highway in California that were sent to Kevin to help with the study.

Jimmy Lin mentioned that an e-mail list of California chapter members should be set up to facilitate easier communication among members.

Mary passed around pictures of Donner Pass Road.

Next, Lee talked about the two known concrete Lincoln Highway markers in Truckee. Mary said that one of them was at 13569 Donner Pass Road, on the lake side of the road. Then, Lee amended his statement and talked about the three known concrete Lincoln Highway markers in Truckee. One of them is at the corner of Ute and the old highway, not in its original location. The rebar is exposed. The last one is in the Donner Tract subdivision. The precise location is hard to describe.

Roy Brister then talked about the Hayes Antique Truck Museum. The museum has a concrete Lincoln Highway marker and a wooden part of the highway that went through a desert. He is working on a Lincoln Highway display for the museum. The area is 30' × 16', and he said that he welcomes any help that anyone can give. He also reminded us that there was a National Antique Truck Show on June 8-9.

Norm passed around a book, Snowbound Streamliner, about rescuing a train and its passengers from an avalanche in 1952.

He also talked about the National Conference, which the chapter is hosting in 2002. He handed out our chapter's bid for the conference, a rough agenda and logistics, and a hotel map and diagram.

Finally, he talked about a slide show presentation that he has given several times about Lincoln Highway bridges in California.

Mike Pope, a fellow Caltrans worker, talked about his plan to bicycle on the Lincoln Highway across the country. Norm would be giving support and public relations to the project. Mike then started looking at a book, All the Way to Lincoln Way by Bill Roe, which was about another bicycle trip across the country on the Lincoln Highway.

Cleona said she found out about a new book about the first attempts at driving across the country. She would give name of the book to Wes for the newsletter.

Wes then said that he wrote the president, Jess Petersen, of the Association about lack of Lincoln Highway Forums, the national newsletter. Greg Franzwa, the acting editor, had called Wes in November about the Auburn story that ran in The Traveler.

Mary said talked to Jess about the Forum, and he said that the next one should be out "any minute now."

Lee said that the best thing to do to get the Forum going again would be to volunteer to be editor of the Forum. The quality of the publication is high, but maintaining that quality takes time and money. He believes that some members are leaving due to the lack of timely Forums. The membership of the Association has not grwon in several years, and the national headquarters cannot keep track of all the inquiries coming. He said there has been a problem of marketing the Association. (Lee also recommended going to the national conference, to hear the diversity of viewpoints on the highway.)

Dean Salazar suggested that there needs to be parties along the old Lincoln Highway. Wes noted that Route 66 Magazine is a nice, commercial magazine.

Lee said that the Association needs support from the towns along the route; otherwise, the Association may die out. He also noted that some chapters were not active, such as the Nevada-Sierra chapter, and sme were growing, like California, while other chapters are strong, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Nebraska, and Utah.

Back to the bicycle tour, Mike said the tour was scheduled for early to mid-June, but it was still in the early stages of planning. He said that perhaps Association members could offer "lodging" for him and the other 2 or 3 cyclists that would be joining him. He planned on cycling 100 to 150 miles a day.

Norm talked about his latest findings regarding concrete markers. He saw a marker at 3400 Engel Road (don't remember which city). He asked the owner of the property and found out he had five markers!

He also found out that four markers are now at a Seventh-Day Adventist religious retreat at Applegate. There is another broken marker at Applegate; maybe the other part of that marker is in Winters. And there's another one in front of the Tortilla Flat Mexican restaurant in Placerville.

Looking at a book which has the original locations of the markers, Norm did not see any at Applegate. He suspects that one of the markers now there is from an Auburn underpass.

Jim Armstrong asked Norm whether the state was relinquishing control of CA 160 through Sacramento and the West Sacramento Freeway.

Norm said that the state was indeed letting CA 160 through Sacramento revert to city control. He didn't know about the West Sacramento Freeway.

Finally, Norm talked about how hard it is to make your own concrete Lincoln Highway marker. He has found making the colored concrete for the "L" the most challenging.

Mary said that there would be a separate meeting for planning the 2002 national conference.


Mary then announced that this meeting was also an election meeting. The new officers would serve two-year terms. All existing board members except Lauretta Powell agreed to serve again. Joe Schlechter volunteered to take over treasurer duties from Lauretta. A voice vote confirming the (somewhat new) board was unanimous.

The next general meeting will be on April 14 at the McClellan Aviation Museum in Sacramento.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,


James Lin
Recording Secretary

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