Lincoln Highway Centennial Road Trip

It's the ultimate summer road trip on the country's first transcontinental highway that literally paved the way for coast to coast travel. The route is the Lincoln Highway and this year is its 100th birthday.

(Illustration by Ma'ayan Rosenzweig) 
by Christina Ngon Jun 24, 2013 at 2:11 PM

In celebration of the Lincoln Highway's centennial anniversary, 270 people hit the road in 140 vehicles, some as old as 1913 Stoddard Daytons. The participants are from across the U.S. and several countries, including Russia and Australia.


The original road spanned from New York to San Francisco, so part of the group began on the East Coast and the other half on the West Coast. They will meet in the middle in Kearney, Neb., on June 30 for a two-day centennial celebration.


There are parts of the road that have since been covered or absorbed into other highways, but the group is going to follow the original route as much as possible.


Check back throughout the week for dispatches from the road. For more on the trip and the Lincoln Highway's history,
click here.

  • Barbara Ofsowitz of Sarasota, Fla., got a Lincoln Highway themed manicure to kick off the trip in Secaucus, N.J. on June 21.. The "L" design on her ring fingers is an illustration of the highway's concrete markers that dedicated the road to President Abraham Lincoln. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters on June 22:

    Most people on the tour took the opportunity to drive into New York City and drive by the Lincoln Highway Eastern Terminus in Times Square. The rest started at the Weehawken Ferry Terminal across the river in New Jersey. The weather was great for the first day and everyone had a good time in spite of getting lost navigating the original Lincoln Highway route through New Jersey. Not an easy chore given the many turns in the route. We had a great picnic dinner, with real china and silverware at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern, Pa.

    Tomorrow's big event is Gettysburg as we near the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle in July.
  • Cars line up at the Weehawken Ferry Terminal in New Jersey at the start of the Lincoln Highway Association's East Centennial Auto Tour June 22. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Joseph and Janet Ciganik, Levittown, Pa., view the New York skyline from the Weehawken Ferry Terminal in New Jersey at the start of the Lincoln Highway Centennial Auto Tour June 22. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Lancaster County, Pa., June 24, 2013 (Photo credit: John Peters)

    Traveling between Malvern and Chambersburg, Pa.

    The day was spent on the real Lincoln Highway, mostly U.S. 30, but also some state routes in Pennsylvania. Good road and nice scenery as we cruised through Lancaster County, York, Gettysburg and many small towns in between. We stopped for lunch at the Haines Shoe House, just west of York and had a personally guided tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield led by Jim and Brian Cassler, both Civil War re-enactors who are members of our group. Dinner June 23 was BBQ chicken provided by the Marine Corps League in Chambersburg.

  • Haines Shoe House near York, Pa. (Photo credit: John Peters)

    The Shoe House was built by shoe salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 as an advertising tool. The shoe has five levels with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen.

  • One of the "roadside giants" along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • This painted barn with the Lincoln Highway marker on it is one of the "roadside giants" along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • The Igloo ice cream shop in Everett, Pa., on June 24, 2013. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    We spent most of Monday June 24 along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, a 200-mile stretch from just east of Gettysburg to just west of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. There are many roadside attractions plus numerous projects developed by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor including large works of art called Roadside Giants, decorated gas pumps, barn murals and decorated flower beds.
  • Lincoln Highway bridge rails in Mogul, Nevada on day two of the west coast leg of the trip, June 24, 2013. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • "We started in San Francisco. It was really nice coming across the Bay Area and into the Valley," Lincoln Highway Association member Paul Gilger, traveling on the West Coast tour, told ABCNews.com today.

    Gilger and the group traveling from the west are currently in Eureka, Nev. Gilger was standing outside the Eureka Opera House as he reported in. Cookies and lemonade were set up to welcome the group.

    "It’s going grand and, of course, everybody knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Gilger said. "Everybody is in a great mood and drinking it all in."

    Tonight, the group will travel to Ely, Nev., and visit the historic Nevada Northern Railway Museum where they will have dinner on a train.

    "Tomorrow, we head out into the Utah dessert," Gilger said.
  • Day 4, East Coast tour, June 25 -- From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters: On our way to the Newell Bridge across the Ohio River, Wendy and John O’Conner found an original Lincoln Highway post in a front yard. (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Lincoln Highway West Coast tour, June 26 - Ford Model A on the "loneliest road in America," the Lincoln Highway on US 50 in Nevada. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • Lincoln Highway West Coast tour, June 26 - Neil Rodrigues' Rambler in Eastgate, Nev. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • Lincoln Highway West Coast tour, June 26 - Lining up for gasoline at Don and Beth Anderson's ranch in Callao, Utah. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 26 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    A long day on the road from Mansfield, Ohio to South Bend, Indiana with lots of interesting things to see on the way. The afternoon drive was interrupted again by heavy thunder storms, which made driving difficult, but drastically lowered the temperature and humidity for those of us in older cars without air conditioning.

    We started the day at the train depot in Galion, Ohio where the local historical society and the Postal Service were selling and canceling post cards to raise money to preserve the depot. Just down the road was a nifty collection of automobilia at a working garage called Carl’s.

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 26 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    We next stopped in Bucyrus, Ohio to see a downtown mural and happened upon a foundry that makes copper kettles and other items. Then it was on to Van Wert, Ohio for a lunch stop where we found Lincoln Highway logos embedded in the sidewalks.

    The last stop for the day was dinner at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana hosted by the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association chapter.

  • Lincoln Highway West Coast tour, June 27 - The Lincoln Highway at Green River, Wyoming. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • Lincoln Highway West Coast tour, June 27 - Standing at a stop sign at an intersection northwest of Little America, Wyoming where U.S. Route 30 says goodbye to the Lincoln Highway and heads to Portland, Oregon. From there, the Lincoln Highway heads to San Francisco. (Photo credit: Paul Gilger)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 27 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    A good day on the road with nice cool weather in the morning and a bit less hot and humid in the afternoon as we made our way from South Bend, Ind. to Rochelle, Ill. Kudos to the Indiana and Illinois chapters of the Lincoln Highway Association for marking the many original segments of the highway which are a bit off the main road.

    Our first stop of the day was at Deep River Park, Hobart, Indiana, the site of an old grist mill. Our lunch stop was at the Joliet Historical Museum in Joliet, Ill. It was nice to see congratulatory messages for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks along the way as the Lincoln Highway skirted south of the Windy City.

    It’s interesting to note Mother Nature does not always follow political boundaries. Traveling through western Illinois, one can see the beginnings of the great plains even before we cross into Iowa. This photo, taken between Rochelle and Franklin Grove, Ill., shows the changing landscape.

    Our evening meal was a bowl of hobo stew, cooked up by the staff at the Lincoln Highway Association’s national office in Franklin Grove.

    (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 28 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    Cool temperatures and beautiful weather provided a great day to be on the road as we traveled from Rochelle, Ill. to Ames, Iowa. Our first stop for coffee and rest rooms was at the Windmill Welcome Center on the Mississippi River at Fulton, Ill.

    In the afternoon we had a photo op at the Youngville Café near Watkins, Iowa. This is one of a few remaining filling station / cafes in Iowa that operated during the heyday of the Lincoln Highway.

    Dinner was served up at Niland’s, another historic filling station, café and motel in Colo, Iowa. Everywhere we have been we’ve met interesting, friendly people who have welcomed us and made us feel at home.

    (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Milton & Carolee Wheeler's 1947 Packard in front of De Immigrant windmill in Fulton, Ill. (Photo credit: Denny Gibson)

  • Mike Curtis' 1972 Monte Carlo passing one of the two markers erected by J. E. Moss on the Lincoln Highway in Iowa. (Photo credit: Denny Gibson)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 29 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    A long day of driving, over 300 miles from Ames, Iowa to Grand Island, Nebraska. The schedule didn't leave a lot of time for stopping, but the roads were good and well marked. We did get onto some gravel roads in both states and a section of original brick road near Omaha.

    Everything in both the Iowa and Nebraska country sides seems to me to be neat, organized and well maintained. Out here, ‘sharing the road’ means not only with motorcycles, but also bicycles, runners, tractors and farm equipment.

    Our first stop of the day was at the Lincoln Highway Museum in Grand Junction, Iowa where we were warmly welcomed and given food and drink. Lunch was at the Main Street Station in Woodbine, Iowa where we also received a warm welcome by the community. As we passed through Ogden, Iowa enroute to Woodbine, people were lining the streets for a festival later in the day. Our caravan provided a parade for those out early.

    (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 30 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    130 antique and modern cars, lined up by age, entered Kearney, Nebraska with a police and motorcycle escort to kick off the two-day Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration. The cars made up the East and West auto tours which departed New York City on June 22 and San Francisco on June 23. The parade was a terrific culmination for participants of the two auto tours who were greeted by thousands lining the streets of Kearney.

    (Photo credit: John Peters)

  • Lincoln Highway East Coast tour, June 30 –

    From Lincoln Highway Association member John Peters:

    101 year-old Bernie Queneau and wife Esther, of Pittsburgh, Pa., were grand marshals of the parade in Kearney. Bernie was one of the Boy Scouts who placed Lincoln Highway posts at mile intervals across the country in 1928. They were both on the 2003 Lincoln Highway tour.

    (Photo credit: John Peters)

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