Preston’s Station Historic District

On Saturday, May 1st, Preston’s Station Historic District unveiled an interpretive panel sharing the Prestons’ history through four generations. 10 interpretive panels have been installed across Iowa on the Lincoln Highway. Preston’s was the first project to unveil an interpretive panel. According to Prestons’, their town of “Belle Plaine is the greatest little town on the Lincoln Highway in the state of Iowa.”

“Forgotten Road”

Ron Harris Photography will sometimes include photos of the Lincoln Highway. Here is one of “The Highway” near Applegate, California. In 1927 the Lincoln Highway became Highway 40 in this part of California. This stretch of road between Auburn and Baxter is a premiere “back road experience” road trip. You can follow our signs or our interactive map online here.

Amor Towles new book, The Lincoln Highway

From the author of a Gentleman in Moscow comes a new book with an intriguing title, “The Lincoln Highway.” The publisher, Penguin Books has this to say,

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’ third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.”

While the book doesn’t actually cover the era our Lincoln Highway does, 1913-1927, the title shows the highway’s enduring appeal, adventure, and the freedom of the open road. The book comes out in October. See more here.

The online Lincoln Highway map now includes RV campgrounds!

Soon it will be time to hit the road for some camping adventures. Now you can find out where the best campgrounds are using our Lincoln Highway interactive map.

You can see the new “RV campgrounds” button that you “click” to bring up the campground icons in the map below.

Once the button is clicked, the RV campground icons will show across the country. This is a work in progress, so as we discover more quality campsites, we can add them to the map. Check out the map below to see what clicking the button does.

The default view for the map shows the entire country. To see more detail, zoom in using the “+” button at the lower right. You can continue to zoom in until the street names become visible, as seen in the screengrab below. Here we see the Fallen Leaf Campground just south of Lake Tahoe, California.

Don’t forget that you can also toggle the map to a satellite view by clicking the “satellite” button, shown with the map below and the red arrow. Pretty cool!

Now that our cartographer Paul Gilger has added the RV Campgrounds to our expanding list of features, we will be presenting a “how to use our map” tutorial shortly. We’ll let you know here when it’s available for viewing.

Start planning that Lincoln Highway camping adventure today!

Rockslide at Echo Summit, and our Lincoln Highway Map

Photo of the rock slide from Cal Trans.

There was a rock slide at Echo Summit, along the southern or Pioneer Route of the Lincoln Highway. The rock slide occurred on a section of Highway 50 built after the route over the summit was re-routed from Johnson’s Pass in the 1930s.

Using our interactive Lincoln Highway map, we have zoomed in to see California and the state’s two routes below. The Northern or Scenic Route crossed The Sierra at Donner Pass, while the southern or Pioneer Route crosses the Sierra at Echo Summit. The red arrow points out the site of the rock slide.

Let’s zoom in on the map for a closer look. We can see the blue line, which represents the original 1913 Lincoln Highway. Lake Tahoe is to the north, while the rock slide at Echo Summit is shown with the second arrow.

Now let’s zoom in even further and using the “Layers” drop-down at the upper right and toggle to the satellite view. Below is the map with an even closer view and toggled to the satellite feature. Here we can see the historic Johnson’s Pass on the old Lincoln Highway. The current route over Echo Summit has Highway 50 making a loop around Johnson’s Pass, thus avoiding some very steep climbs and tight turns.

Johnson’s Pass on the Lincoln Highway is still drivable once the snow melts. During the winter, Johnson’s Pass Road is snowbound. Now and then, when something happens on the current Highway 50, people are still re-routed over the old pass.

In the photograph below, we see the summit at Johnson’s Pass. That’s the Alpine Club building straight ahead, with a Lincoln Highway sign attached to the building. You can also see the snow blocked route down towards Lake Tahoe. To enable a street view from our map, drag the “street view icon” to a spot on the map and drop it. The street view will materialize like in the photo below.

The Lincoln Highway interactive map shows the entire route of the Lincoln Highway across the country. You can zoom in on any area and start exploring from the comfort of your home, or while driving along the old highway.

1916 Packard with Lincoln Highway Motometer.

Join Jay Leno and Donald Osborne as they tool around in a classic 1916 Packard. What initially caught my eye was the Lincoln Highway logo embedded in the car, “Motometer.” The Motometer was a gauge to let the driver know the temperature in the radiator. I’m not sure why these Packards had Motometers with the LH Logo embedded in them. Perhaps the new and modern feeling the Lincoln Highway represented went with the feeling one would have driving this fine automobile with such beautiful and contemporary gauges.

Lincoln Highway Travelers Guide

Pictured here is an excerpt from a small guide that was published in 1914 advising potential Transcontinental Tourists on The Lincoln Highway, of hints and suggestions for making the trip. Here is a page from the little booklet concerning provisions that should be taken along for the journey. I find it fascinating to see what folks had to bring with them before the advent of plastics.

Love the “gauntlet gloves,” which look so cool. How about the specific brand “Ingersoll” watch, and the pair of “yellow” and “white goggles.” Don’t forget a package of “bachelor buttons,” which I assume are not the flowers, but replacement buttons?

The next paragraph recommends what types of food to pack along including, “Slab Best Bacon,” “10 lbs Potatoes”, and of course, “surgeons plaster” for sealing those tin cans. As mentioned in the pamphlet, these provisions are to be kept with the car at “…all times, west of Omaha Neb.”

There is more to the book, which I’ll cover in the next post. This booklet comes to you when you join The Lincoln Highway Association.

California Chapter online meeting on Sat 4/3

Spring 2021 California Chapter Meeting
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Sign in starts — 12:30 PM (US Pacific Time)
Meeting starts — 1:00 PM (US Pacific Time)
Open to the public

The California Chapter of the LHA will have our spring meeting online via Zoom. Chapter members without access to a computer or smartphone are welcome to join us, but will need to ask family or friends to view the meeting on their computer or smartphone.

The meeting will begin at 1:00 PM. The host will be chapter president Joel Windmiller and chapter secretary Paulette Johnston, with Jimmy Lin providing Zoom tech support.

Agenda

  • Officer and Committee reports
  • COVID-19 impact on 2022 chapter activities and in-person meetings
  • Updates on LHA National Conference for 2022 and 2023
  • Online membership and donation
  • Folsom signage
  • Historical Byway update

If you’re interested in joining us, please email chapter president Joel Windmiller at for Zoom meeting instructions.