The Lincoln Highway runs through Cheyenne, Wyoming where I now live, although I didn't realize its significance until I read The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers who created the American Superhighways, by Earl Swift. (which is pretty fascinating reading, by the way.)
The Lincoln Highway was the first road across the United States of America.
Conceived and promoted by entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, the Lincoln Highway spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. In 1915, the "Colorado Loop" was removed, and in 1928, a realignment relocated the Lincoln Highway through the northern tip of West Virginia. Thus, there are a total of 14 states, 128 counties, and over 700 cities, towns and villages through which the highway passed at some time in its history.
The first officially recorded length of the entire Lincoln Highway in 1913 was 3,389 miles (5,454 km). Over the years, the road was improved and numerous realignments were made, and by 1924 the highway had been shortened to 3,142 miles (5,057 km). Counting the original route and all of the subsequent realignments, there is a grand total of 5,869 miles (9,445 km).
Conceived in 1912 and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway was America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. by nine years. As the first automobile road across America, the Lincoln Highway brought great prosperity to the hundreds of cities, towns and villages along the way. The Lincoln Highway became affectionately known as "The Main Street Across America."
The Lincoln Highway was inspired by the Good Roads Movement. In turn, the success of the Lincoln Highway and the resulting economic boost to the governments, businesses and citizens along its route inspired the creation of many other named long-distance roads (known as National Auto Trails), such as the Yellowstone Trail, National Old Trails Road, Dixie Highway, Jefferson Highway, Bankhead Highway, Jackson Highway, Meridian Highway and Victory Highway. Many of these named highways were supplanted by the United States Numbered Highways system of 1926. Most of the Lincoln Highway became US Route 30, with portions becoming US Route 1 in the East and US Route 40 and US Route 50 in the West.
Most significantly, the Lincoln Highway inspired the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, which was championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, influenced by his experiences as a young soldier crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. Today, Interstate 80 is the cross-country highway most closely aligned with the Lincoln Highway. In the West, particularly in Wyoming and California, sections of Interstate 80 are paved directly over alignments of the Lincoln Highway.
The Lincoln Highway Association (LHA), originally established in 1913 to plan, promote, and sign the highway, was re-formed in 1992 and is now dedicated to promoting and preserving the road. The LHA has over 1100 members located in 40 states and Washington D.C., and in Canada, England, Germany, Luxembourg, and Scotland. The association has active state chapters in 12 Lincoln Highway states and maintains a national tourist center in Franklin Grove, Illinois, in an historic building built by Harry Isaac Lincoln, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln. The LHA holds yearly national conferences, and is governed by a board of directors with representatives from each Lincoln Highway state.
(The following information about the final 1928-1930 alignment of the Lincoln Highway is courtesy of the Lincoln Highway Association National Mapping Committee. Maps of the general location of the Lincoln Highway can be viewed on the Lincoln Highway Association Maps website.)
Most of U.S. Route 30 from Philadelphia to western Wyoming, portions of Interstate 80 in the western United States, most of U.S. Route 50 in Nevada and California, and most of old decommissioned U.S. Route 40 in California are alignments of the Lincoln Highway. The final (1928–1930) alignment of the Lincoln Highway corresponds roughly to the following roads:
* 42nd Street from the intersection of Broadway at Times Square in New York City westward 6 blocks to the Hudson River.
* Holland Tunnel from New York City westward under the Hudson River to Jersey City, New Jersey.
(Note: The Lincoln Tunnel (opened in 1937), near 42nd Street, was not an original part of the Lincoln Highway. In 1913, Lincoln Highway travelers crossed the Hudson River via the Weehawken Ferry from New York City to Union City, New Jersey. In 1928, the Lincoln Highway was re-routed through the Holland Tunnel (opened in 1927) from New York City to Jersey City. However, the original Lincoln Highway Association made no attempt to map a route from Times Square to the Holland Tunnel, so today, use West Side Highway (not a part of the Lincoln Highway) to connect from the west end of 42nd Street down to east portal of the Holland Tunnel.)
* U.S. Route 1/9 Truck from Jersey City westward to Newark, New Jersey.
* New Jersey Route 27 from Newark southwestward to Princeton, New Jersey.
* U.S. Route 206 from Princeton southwestward to Trenton, New Jersey.
* U.S. Route 1 from Trenton southwestward to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
* U.S. Route 30 from Philadelphia westward across Pennsylvania, the northern tip of West Virginia, and westward across Ohio and Indiana, to Aurora, Illinois.
(Note: In Pennsylvania and Ohio, there have been many new 4-lane bypasses constructed on U.S. Route 30, so to follow the 1928 route of the Lincoln Highway, at times it is necessary to travel the old U.S. Route 30 alignments which travel through the center of the cities and towns along the route.)
* Illinois Route 31 from Aurora northwestward to Geneva, Illinois.
* Illinois Route 38 from Geneva westward to Dixon, Illinois.
* Illinois Route 2 from Dixon westward to Sterling, Illinois.
* U.S. Route 30 from Sterling westward across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming, to Granger, Wyoming.
* Interstate 80 from Granger westward across western Wyoming and Utah, to West Wendover, Nevada.
* U.S. Route 93 Alternate and U.S. Route 93 from West Wendover southward to Ely, Nevada.
* U.S. Route 50 from Ely westward across Nevada, to 9 miles west of Fallon, Nevada.
* From 9 miles west of Fallon to Sacramento, California, there are two Lincoln Highway routes over the Sierra Nevada:
o Sierra Nevada Northern Route: U.S. Route 50 Alternate northwestward to Wadsworth, Nevada, then Interstate 80 & old U.S. Route 40 westward over Donner Pass and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento.
o Sierra Nevada Southern Route: U.S. Route 50 westward around Lake Tahoe and over Echo Summit and the Sierra Nevada to Sacramento.
* Old U.S. Route 40 (with sections under Interstate 80) from Sacramento southwestward across California's Central Valley to the University Avenue exit in Berkeley, California.
* University Avenue from Interstate 80 westward to the Berkeley Pier.
(Note: In 1928, Lincoln Highway travelers crossed the San Francisco Bay via a ferry from the Berkeley Pier to the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, California. Today, use Interstate 80 to connect from University Avenue down to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (opened in 1936) to cross the bay into San Francisco, then take the Embarcadero from the Bay Bridge northwestward along the waterfront to connect to the Hyde Street Pier in Fisherman's Wharf.)
* From the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, take:
o Hyde Street southward 2 blocks to North Point Street.
o North Point Street westward 3 blocks to Van Ness Avenue.
o Van Ness Avenue southward 16 blocks to California Street.
o California Street westward 54 blocks to 32nd Avenue.
o 32nd Avenue northward 2 blocks to El Camino del Mar
o El Camino del Mar westward into Lincoln Park, arriving at the Lincoln Highway Western Terminus Plaza and Fountain in front of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. The Western Terminus Marker and Interpretive Plaque are located to the left of the Palace, next to the bus stop.
The following article about the history of the Lincoln Highway courtesy of Richard F. Weingroff, "The Lincoln Highway", Office of Infrastructure, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, May 7, 2005.
Concept and promotion
In 1912, railroads dominated interstate transportation in America, and roadways were primarily of local interest. Outside cities, "market roads" were sometimes maintained by counties or townships, but maintenance of rural roads fell to those who lived along them. Many states had constitutional prohibitions against funding "internal improvements" such as road projects, and federal highway programs were not to become effective until 1921.
At the time, the country had about 2.2 million miles (3.5 million km) of rural roads, of which a mere 8.66 percent (190,476 miles or 306,541 km) had "improved" surfaces: gravel, stone, sand-clay, brick, shells, oiled earth, etc. Interstate roads were considered a luxury, something only for wealthy travelers who could spend weeks riding around in their automobiles.
Support for a system of improved interstate highways had been growing. For example, The New York Times in an article on August 27, 1911, gave quotes from several prominent men. "Of the Nation's leaders," it said, "none is more emphatic than Speaker Champ Clark." Furthermore, from a communication to President Robert P. Hooper of the American Automobile Association, the article quoted Clark's opinion that, "I believe the time has come for the general Government to actively and powerfully co-operate with the States in building a great system of public highways...that would bring its benefits to every citizen in the country." However, Congress as a whole was not yet ready to commit funding to such projects.
Carl Graham Fisher, 1909
Carl G. Fisher was an early automobile entrepreneur who was the manufacturer of Prest-O-Lite compressed carbide-gas headlights used on most early cars, and was also one of the principal investors who built the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He believed that the popularity of automobiles was dependent on good roads. In 1912 he began promoting his dream of a transcontinental highway, and at a September 10 dinner meeting with industry friends in Indianapolis, he called for a coast-to-coast rock highway to be completed by May 1, 1915, in time for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
He estimated the cost at about $10 million and told the group, "Let's build it before we're too old to enjoy it!"
Within a month Fisher's friends had pledged $1 million. Henry Ford, the biggest automaker of his day, refused to contribute because he believed the government should build America's roads. However, contributors included former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas A. Edison, both friends of Fisher, as well as then-current President Woodrow Wilson, the first U.S. President to make frequent use of an automobile for relaxation.
Fisher and his associates chose a name for the road, naming it after one of Fisher's heroes, Abraham Lincoln. At first they had to consider other names, such as "The Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway" or "The Ocean-to-Ocean Highway," because the Lincoln Highway name had been reserved earlier by a group of Easterners who were seeking support to build their Lincoln Highway from Washington to Gettysburg on federal funds. When Congress turned down their proposed appropriation, the project collapsed, and Fisher's preferred name became readily available.
On July 1, 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) was established "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges." The first goal of the LHA was to build the rock highway from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. The second goal was to promote the Lincoln Highway as an example to, in Fisher's words, "stimulate as nothing else could the building of enduring highways everywhere that will not only be a credit to the American people but that will also mean much to American agriculture and American commerce." Henry Joy was named as the LHA president, so that although Carl Fisher remained a driving force in furthering the goals of the association, it would not appear as his one-man crusade.
The first section of the Lincoln Highway to be completed and dedicated was the Essex and Hudson Lincoln Highway, running along the former Newark Plank Road from Newark, New Jersey to Jersey City, New Jersey. It was dedicated on December 13, 1913 at the request of the Associated Automobile Clubs of New Jersey and the Newark Motor Club, and was named after the two counties it passed through.
Route selection and dedication
The LHA needed to determine the best and most direct route from New York City to San Francisco. East of the Mississippi River, route selection was eased by the relatively dense road network. To scout a western route, the LHA's "Trail-Blazer" tour set out from Indianapolis in 17 cars and 2 trucks on July 1, 1913, the same day LHA headquarters were established in Detroit. After 34 days of Iowa mud pits, sand drifts in Nevada and Utah, overheated radiators, flooded roads, cracked axles, and enthusiastic greetings in every town that thought it had a chance of being on the new highway, the tour arrived for a parade down San Francisco's Market Street before thousands of cheering residents.
The Trail-Blazers returned to Indianapolis by train, and a few weeks later on September 14, 1913 the route was announced. LHA leaders, particularly Packard president Henry Joy, wanted as straight a route as possible and the 3,389 miles (5,454 km) route announced did not necessarily follow the course of the Trail-Blazers. There were many disappointed town officials, particularly in Colorado and Kansas, who had greeted the Trail-Blazers and thought the tour's passage had meant their towns would be on the Highway.
Less than half the selected route was improved roadway. As segments were improved over time, the route length was reduced by about 250 miles (400 km). Several segments of the Lincoln Highway route followed historic roads:
* a road laid out by Dutch colonists of New Jersey before 1675
* the 1796 Lancaster Turnpike in Pennsylvania
* the Chambersburg Turnpike, over which much of the Army of Northern Virginia marched to reach the Gettysburg Battlefield, a part of which is traversed by the Lincoln Highway.
* a British military trail built in 1758 by General John Forbes of England from Chambersburg to Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War, later known as the Pittsburgh Road and the Conestoga Road
* a section in Ohio followed an ancient Indian trail known as the Ridge Road
* sections of the Mormon Trail
* the Great Sauk Trail, an Indian trail through northwest Indiana
* portions of the routes of the Cherokee Trail, Overland Trail and the Pony Express
* the Donner Pass crossing of the Sierra Nevada, named after the unfortunate Donner Party of 1846
* an alternate Sierra Nevada crossing at Echo Summit following a pioneer stagecoach route
The LHA dedicated the route on October 31, 1913. Bonfires, fireworks, concerts, parades, and street dances were held in hundreds of cities in the 13 states along the route. During a dedication ceremony in Iowa, State Engineer Thomas H. MacDonald said he felt it was "...the first outlet for the road building energies of this community." He went on to advocate the creation of a system of transcontinental highways with radial routes. In 1919, MacDonald became Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), a post he held until 1953, when he oversaw the early stages of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
In September 1912, in a letter to a friend, Fisher wrote that "...the highways of America are built chiefly of politics, whereas the proper material is crushed rock, or concrete." The leaders of the LHA were masters of the public relations, and used publicity and propaganda as even more important materials.
In the early days of the effort, each contribution from a famous supporter was publicized. Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Edison, both friends of Fisher, sent checks. A friendly Member of Congress arranged for a dedicated motor enthusiast, President Woodrow Wilson, to contribute US$5 whereupon he was issued Highway Certificate #1. Copies of the certificate were promptly distributed to the press.
One of the best known contributions came from a small group of Esquimaux children in Anvik, Alaska. Their American teacher told them about Abraham Lincoln and the highway to be built in his honor, and they took up a collection and sent it to the LHA with the note, "Fourteen pennies from Anvik Esquimaux children for the Lincoln Highway." The LHA distributed pictures of the coins and the accompanying letter, and both were widely reprinted.
One of Fisher's first acts after opening LHA headquarters was to hire F. T. Grenell, city editor of the Detroit Free Press, as a part-time publicity man. The Trail-Blazer tour included representatives of the Hearst newspaper syndicate, the Indianapolis Star and News, the Chicago Tribune, and telegraph companies to help transmit their dispatches.
In preparation for the October 31 dedication ceremonies, the LHA asked clergy across the United States to discuss Abraham Lincoln in their sermons on November 2, the Sunday nearest the dedication. The LHA then distributed copies of many of the sermons, such as one by Cardinal Gibbons who, with the dedication fresh in mind, had written that "such a highway will be a most fitting and useful monument to the memory of Lincoln."
One of the greater contributions to highway development was a well-publicized and promoted U.S. Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy in 1919. The convoy left the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 7, 1919, and met the Lincoln Highway route at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After two months of travel, the convoy reached San Francisco on September 6, 1919. Though bridges failed, vehicles broke and were sometimes stuck in mud, the convoy was greeted in communities across the country. The LHA used the convoy's difficulties to show the need for better main highways, building popular support for both local and federal funding. The convoy led to the passage of many county bond issues supporting highway construction.
One of the participants in the convoy was a young Lt.Col. Eisenhower, and it was so memorable that he devoted a chapter to it ("Through Darkest America With Truck and Tank") in his 1967 book At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends. That 1919 experience, and his exposure to the autobahn network in Germany in the 1940s, found expression in 1954 when he announced his "Grand Plan" for highways. The resulting 1956 legislation created the Highway Trust Fund that accelerated construction of the Interstate Highway System.
Fisher's idea that the auto industry and private contributions could pay for the highway was abandoned early, and while the LHA did help finance a few short sections or roadway, the contributions of LHA founders and members were used primarily for publicity and promotion to encourage travel on the Highway, and for lobbying of officials at all levels for support construction by governments.
According to the Association's 1916 Official Road Guide a trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Lincoln Highway was "something of a sporting proposition" and might take 20 to 30 days. To make it in 30 days the motorist would need to average 18 miles (29 km) an hour for 6 hours per day, and driving was only done during daylight hours. The trip was thought to cost no more than $5 a day per person, including food, gas, oil, and even "five or six meals in hotels." Car repairs would, of course, increase the cost.
Since gasoline stations were still rare in many parts of the country, motorists were urged to top off their gasoline at every opportunity, even if they had done so recently. Motorists should wade through water before driving through to verify the depth. The list of recommended equipment included chains, a shovel, axe, jacks, tire casings and inner tubes, tools, and (of course) a pair of Lincoln Highway pennants. And, the guide offered this sage advice: "Don't wear new shoes."
Firearms were not necessary, but west of Omaha full camping equipment was recommended, and the guide warned against drinking alkali water that could cause serious cramps. In certain areas, advice was offered on getting help, for example near Fish Springs, Utah, "If trouble is experienced, build a sagebrush fire. Mr. Thomas will come with a team. He can see you 20 miles off." Later editions omitted Mr. Thomas, but westbound travelers were advised to stop at the Orr's Ranch for advice, and eastbound motorists were to check with Mr. K.C. Davis of Gold Hill, Nevada.
Seedling Miles and the Ideal Section
While the Lincoln Highway Association did not have sufficient funds to sponsor large sections of the road, starting in 1914 it did sponsor "Seedling Mile" projects. According to the 1924 LHA Guide the Seedling Miles were intended "to demonstrate the desirability of this permanent type of road construction" to rally public support for government-backed construction. The LHA convinced industry of their self-interest and was able to arrange donations of materials from the Portland Cement Association.
The first Seedling Mile was built in 1914 west of Malta, Illinois, but after years of experience the LHA began a design effort for a road section that could handle traffic 20 years into the future. Seventeen highway experts met between December 1920 and February 1921, and specified:
* a right-of-way 110 feet (34 m) in width
* a concrete road bed 40 feet (12 m) wide and 10 inches (254 mm) thick to support loads of 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) per wheel
* curves with a minimum radius of 1,000 feet (300 m), banked for 35 mph (56 km/h), with guard rails at embankments
* no grade crossings or advertising signs
* a footpath for pedestrians
The most famous Seedling Mile built to these specifications was the 1.3-mile (2 km) "Ideal Section" between Dyer and Schererville in Lake County, Indiana. With federal, state, and county funds, and a US$130,000 contribution by United States Rubber Company president and LHA founder C.B. Seger, the Ideal Section was built during 1922 and 1923. Magazines and newspapers called the Ideal Section a vision of the future, and highway officials from across the country visited and wrote technical papers that circulated both in the United States and overseas. The Ideal Section is still in use to this day, and has worn so well that a driver would not notice it unless the marker near the road brought it to their attention.
By the mid-1920s there were about 250 National auto trails. Some were major routes, such as the Lincoln Highway, the Jefferson Highway, the National Old Trails Road, the Old Spanish Trail, and the Yellowstone Trail, but most were shorter. Some of the shorter routes were formed more to generate revenues for a trail association rather than for their value as a route between significant locations.
By 1925 governments had joined the roadbuilding movement, and began to assert control. Federal and state officials established the Joint Board on Interstate Highways, which proposed a numbered U.S. Highway system which would make the Trail designations obsolete, though technically the Joint Board had no authority over highway names. Increasing government support for roadbuilding was making the old road associations less important, but the LHA still had significant influence. The Secretary of the Joint Board, BPR official E. W. James, went to Detroit to gain LHA support for the numbering scheme, knowing it would be hard for smaller road associations to object if the LHA publicly supported the new plan.
The LHA preferred numbering the existing named routes, but in the end the LHA was more interested in the larger plan for roadbuilding than they were in officially retaining the name. They knew the Lincoln Highway name was fixed in the mind of the public, and James promised them that, so far as possible, the Lincoln Highway would have the number 30 for its entire route. An editorial in the February 1926 issue of The Lincoln Forum reflected the outcome:
“ The Lincoln Highway Association would have liked to have seen the Lincoln Highway designated as a United States route entirely across the continent and designated by a single numeral throughout its length. But it realized that this was only a sentimental consideration. ... The Lincoln Way is too firmly established upon the map of the United States and in the minds and hearts of the people as a great, useful and everlasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln to warrant any skepticism as to the attitude of those States crossed by the route. Those universally familiar red, white and blue markers, in many states the first to be erected on any thru route, will never lose their significance or their place on America's first transcontinental road.”
The states approved the new federal numbering system in November 1926 and began putting up new signs. The Lincoln Highway was not alone in being split among several numbers, but the entire routing between Philadelphia and Granger, Wyoming, was assigned "U.S. 30" per the agreement. East of Philadelphia the Lincoln Highway was part of U.S. 1, and west of Salt Lake City the route became U.S. 40 across Donner Pass. Only the segment between Granger and Salt Lake City was not part of the new numbering plan; U.S. 30 was assigned to a more northerly route toward Pocatello, Idaho. When U.S. 50 was extended to California it followed the Lincoln Highway's alternate route south of Lake Tahoe.
The last major promotional activity of the LHA took place on September 1, 1928, when at 1:00 p.m. groups of Boy Scouts placed approximately 2,400 concrete markers at sites along the route to officially mark and dedicate it to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. Less commonly known is that 4,000 metal signs for urban areas were also erected then.
The markers were placed on the outer edge of the right of way at major and minor crossroads, and at reassuring intervals along uninterrupted segments. Each concrete post carried the Lincoln Highway insignia and directional arrow, and a bronze medallion with Lincoln's bust and stating "This Highway Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln".
The Lincoln Highway was not yet the imagined "rock highway" from coast to coast when the LHA ceased operating, as there were many segments that had still not been paved. Some parts were because of reroutings, such as a dispute in the early 1920s with Utah officials that forced the LHA to change routes in western Utah and eastern Nevada. Construction was underway on the final unpaved 42-mile (68 km) segment by the 25th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway in 1938.
On June 8, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1938, which called for a BPR report on the feasibility of a system of transcontinental toll roads. The "Toll Roads and Free Roads" report was the first official step toward creation of the Interstate Highway System in the United States.
The 25th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway was noted a month later in a July 3, 1938, nationwide radio broadcast on NBC. The program featured interviews with a number of LHA officials, and a message from Carl Fisher read by an announcer in Detroit. Fisher's statement included:
“The Lincoln Highway Association has accomplished its primary purpose, that of providing an object lesson to show the possibility in highway transportation and the importance of a unified, safe, and economical system of roads. ... Now I believe the country is at the beginning of another new era in highway building (that will) create a system of roads far beyond the dreams of the Lincoln Highway founders. I hope this anniversary observance makes millions of people realize how vital roads are to our national welfare, to economic programs, and to our national defense...”
Fisher died about a year after the 25th Anniversary in 1940, having lost most of his fortune. In the many years since, the Lincoln Highway has remained a persistent memory:
* In New Jersey, parts of U.S. Route 1/9 and New Jersey Route 27 still carry the name.
* Some segments of U.S. 30 still carry the name.
* Some city streets on which the Lincoln Highway was routed still carry the street name "Lincoln Way" or "Lincolnway", including: Mishawaka, Indiana; Valparaiso, Indiana; Aurora, Illinois; DeKalb, Illinois; Ames, Iowa; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Auburn, California; and Galt, California. (Note: President Lincoln was popular, and many cities named streets after him, so not every "Lincoln Way" is in fact the Lincoln Highway. Two examples in San Francisco are Lincoln Way along the south side of Golden Gate Park, and Lincoln Boulevard in the Presidio, neither of which were ever the Lincoln Highway.)
* Old Lincoln Highway is a secondary street in Trevose, Pennsylvania, using the old highway alignment.
* A few of the 3,000 Boy Scout markers can be found along the old route. In some communities, these are being re-established in cooperation with the LHA, such as West Sacramento and Davis, California.
* A stretch near Omaha, Nebraska paved with original brick has been preserved by the city government.
* A bridge with railings spelling out "LINCOLN HIGHWAY" remains in use as part of Route E-66 in Tama County, Iowa.
* Restaurants, motels, and gas stations in many locations still carry Lincoln-related names.
* Near Wamsutter, Wyoming, on the Continental Divide along old U.S. 30, a monument was erected in 1938 to Henry B. Joy, the first president of the LHA, with an inscription describing Joy as one "who saw realized the dream of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific." Not far from the memorial along I-80 a motorist could see an abandoned stretch of the Lincoln Highway with weeds growing through cracks in the pavement. In 2001, this monument was relocated to a place on I-80 midway between Cheyenne and Laramie.
* At the rest area of exit 323 on I-80 east of Laramie, is the highest point on I-80. Located there is a thirteen and a half foot bronze bust of Lincoln. It is mounted on a massive, thirty-five foot granite base. The monument was created in 1959 to mark the high point of the Lincoln Highway and it originally stood about half a mile west and 200 feet (61 m) higher along U.S. RT. 30 which closely followed the path of the Lincoln Highway across this summit. It was moved to the present location in 1969 after I-80 was opened. Robert Russin, an art professor at the University of Wyoming created this stern, brooding sculpture. It was cast in 30 pieces in the favorable climate of Mexico City and assembled in Wyoming. The base is hollow and has ladders and lightning rods inside.
* On December 25, 2005, two Jersey City, New Jersey police officers were killed when they inadvertently drove off of the Lincoln Highway Bridge. The old Lincoln Highway drawbridge, spanning the Hackensack River between Jersey City and Kearny, was open at the time. The bridge's warning signals were not functioning and the police officers were at the scene placing flares to warn motorists of the malfunction. The bridge is part of modern-day U.S. Route 1-9 Truck.
* Will County, Illinois has four schools named after the highway: Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox, and Lincoln-Way North in Frankfort. All schools are members of Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210.
Revitalized Lincoln Highway Association
The Lincoln Highway Association was re-formed in 1992 with the mission, "...to identify, preserve, and improve access to the remaining portions of the Lincoln Highway and its associated historic sites." The new LHA publishes a quarterly magazine, The Lincoln Highway Forum, and holds conferences each year in cities along the route.
90th Anniversary Lincoln Highway Cross Country Tour
In 2003 the Lincoln Highway Association sponsored the 90th Anniversary Tour of the entire road, from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. The tour group, led by Bob Lichty and Rosemary Rubin of LHA and sponsored by Lincoln-Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company, set out from Times Square on August 17, 2003. Approximately 35 vintage and modern vehicles, including several new Lincoln Town Cars and Lincoln Navigators from Lincoln-Mercury, traveled about 225 miles per day and attempted to cover as much of the original Lincoln Highway alignments as possible. The group was met by LHA chapters, car clubs, local tourism groups and community leaders throughout the route.
Several Boy Scout troops along the way held ceremonies to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the nationwide LH route marker post erection of September 1, 1928. When the tour concluded at Lincoln Park, in front of the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, another ceremony was held to honor both the 90th Anniversary of the road and the 75th anniversary of the post erections.
Lincoln Highway 100th Anniversary Tour and Celebration in 2013
In 2013, the Lincoln Highway Association will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Highway by conducting an Official Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour of the road in June 2013. The tour will have both an East Tour and a West Tour, starting simultaneously in New York and San Francisco, and meeting mid-point in Kearney, Nebraska for a celebration July 1 at the Great Platte River Road Museum, in conjunction with the Lincoln Highway Association 2013 conference.
In 2007, the 18 member Lincoln Highway Association National Mapping Committee, chaired by Paul Gilger, completed the research and cartography of the entire Lincoln Highway and all its subsequent realignments (totaling 5869 miles), a five-year long project. The resulting Lincoln Highway Association Official Driving Maps CDs are available for purchase through the association's Lincoln Highway Trading Post.
Old Lincoln Highway
Old Lincoln Highway or Old National Road, and sometimes Old Route 30, Old U.S. 30 are terms both colloquially and officially applied to bypassed parts of the Lincoln Highway.
Such roadways are essentially the older first established parts of U.S. Route 30 (1913) west of New York City and east of San Francisco through areas which grew, and so grew in their need for modern multilane highways. Terms such as the 'Old Lincoln Highway' and 'Old Lincoln Road' are similar terms frequently built into the local business structure as official addresses, so are now embedded in the U.S. culture such as in advertising and literature. These extensive renamings generally refer to older roadway parts (passing through congested business or residential neighborhoods) which have been replaced by newer, more convenient highways or in most cases modern multilane super-highways. A few places stubbornly kept the original Lincoln Highway title, but on a renumbered highway letting the U.S. Dept. of Transportation keep the designated U.S. Route 30 with the new wider highway.
As the first Trans-National Highway, with congressional funding for a U.S. road network that was already defined by auto-clubs, the highway was almost always locally relevant, and thereafter grew in importance with the growth of the nation. When the Interstate Highway system was funded, and sometimes locally as some cities, counties or states improved their own local highway networks, stretches of road containing a lot of turns, frequent stops (traffic signals), and-or narrow hard to widen ways and roadbeds, stretches of local roads became bypassed and locally named Old Lincoln Highway.