Postcard Scenes of the Lincoln Highway
The Closest You'll Get to the Way It Was
By George Clark
Postcards courtesy of Esther Oyster
It would appear that this photograph of Massillon was taken in the early to mid-1930s. The 1924 Guide tells us very little about this town of some eighteen thousand people - except that it has three hotels, three garages, and seven banks, indicating, perhaps, most of the farmers in the area are well-to-do. Two of the banks are prominent in this scene and the white structure on the right flying the American flag could be another bank or possibly the Conrad Hotel (Control). Only someone from Massillon can tell us.
Sometime circa 1924, the Lincoln Highway was realigned and thus Galion was bypassed. The 1916 Guide takes the highway through Galion thence to Bucyrus. The 1924 Guide notes that "between Leesville and Bucyrus there exists over five miles of dirt or old macadam at the end of 1923; agreement has been reached between county commissioners and State authorities to pave this stretch in 1924. In wet weather or while construction is underway, it will be advisable to use the road via Galion to Bucyrus." [1924 Guide, pp. 276-277]
Postcards courtesy of Peter Youngman
On page 305 of the 1924 Lincoln Highway Guide is a map depicting the downtown area of La Porte, Indiana. It shows the Court House (left) being bordered by State Street on the north, Michigan Avenue on the east, Main Street (Lincoln Highway) on the south and Indiana Avenue on the west. Assuming we are viewing the main entrance of the Court House as shown in the lower right quarter of the card, we are viewing the Lincoln Highway as it passes the Court House and intersects Indiana Avenue coming in from the left. Control is at Main Street and Michigan Avenue, which unfortunately is the next intersection to the east and is not quite captured in this scene.
Four hotels in Elkhart are mentioned in the 1916 and 1924 Lincoln Highway Guides. The Bucklen is pictured in the 1916 Guide (p. 75) and the Hotel Truex and Hotel Elkhart are listed in the 1924 Guide (pp. 299-300). The Elkhart is pictured above and its advertisement tells us it is new, eight-story, fireproof structure. If you look at the map on page 299 of the 1924 Guide, you will see that the Elkhart is located at the intersection of Main (Lincoln Highway) and Marion Streets; some four blocks north, the Hotel Truex is shown at Main (Lincoln Highway) and Jackson Streets.
Postcards courtesy of George Clark
It is interesting to note that De Kalb "was the first of a large number of cities, towns, and villages along the Lincoln Highway to rename its principal thoroughfare, Lincoln Highway." [1924 Guide, pp. 322-323] Here we view a docile main street, devoid of traffic tie-ups, traffic lights, and smog, and offers ample parking (the sidewalk looks exceptionally clean). The only advertisement in the 1924 Guide is for the Lincolnway Restaurant, which is not apparent in this scene.
Mooseheart Station (Control) offers no accomodations for the traveler, being World Headquarters for the Loyal Order of Moose. Visitors, however, are welcome. The caption on the back of this card reads, "MOOSEHEART is an estate consisting of one thousand and twenty-three acres, situated on the Lincoln Highway between Aurora, Illinois and Batavia, Illinois, thirty-five miles west of Chicago. It is a Home and School that trades for life, the dependent children of deceased members of the Order." Here in 1914, a concrete section of the Lincoln Highway was constructed and dedicated to public use by the Order of Moose as their contribution to the Lincoln Highway Association's endeavors.