I snipped this from today's "The Writer's Almanac" by Garrison Keillor:
The Lincoln Highway was dedicated on this date in 1913. It was the first automobile road to traverse the entire continental United States. The man behind the plan was Carl Fisher. No stranger to automobile-friendly surfaces, he had recently enjoyed great acclaim as a result of his Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosted the new Indianapolis 500 race on its brick-paved track. He envisioned a gravel road that would run from coast to coast, from California to New York. He called it the Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway, and the price tag was reasonable even by 1912 standards: $10 million. Fisher planned to fund his project by soliciting contributions from automakers, but Henry Ford refused to get on board. He believed that the people should pay for the public roads, and the public would never get used to the idea of paying for roads if there was a hint that the business community would do it for them. It was Henry Joy, the president of the Packard Motor Company, who came up with the idea of calling it the Lincoln Highway and asking Congress for the money. Formally dedicated in 1913, and running from New York City's Times Square to San Francisco's Lincoln Park, it was the first national memorial to Abraham Lincoln, predating Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial by nine years.
Me on the Lincoln Highway in my Dad's Home town of Elkhorn, NE
Thank you Bill & Kirk, for posting. I would love to take one of my Ts for a cross country drive.
How many out there would want to do that?
Warren, wouldn't it be nice to do a cross country tour on the Lincoln Highway in a Model T?
Way back in the '80's, we were on an MTFCA national club tour based in Hagerstown, MD, and drove on part of the Lincoln Highway. We even saw an original Lincoln Highway concrete marker at the side of the road with the large "L" painted on it. I have a picture of it somewhere. T club tours are fun, and things like this are great memories.
Keith, I agree with you 1,000 percent! Please try and post some of those photos.
The Lincoln Highway, U.S. 50 west of Ely, NV, is pretty remote, and deserves the name, "The Loneliest Road In America".
From Ely west to O'Fallon, I saw perhaps a total of 25 cars, both directions. There are several 4000 - 5000 peaks, I believe, as well.
I spent the night once in Eureka a couple of years ago; nice motel.
Cell service is spotty, at best. Only in tip-top shape should anyone in a T, or any car for that matter, take on that road.
Warren, That tour was 30 some years ago... Those pictures were the old kind, long before the digital age. I don't even know where they are, but I'll look.
Bill, We'll use a T with a Ruckstell and be sure to take a big extra can of gas, and oil too.
Another option would be the Yellowstone Trail. You could start the same time the O2O tour starts and great them as they come into Seattle.
Did a story on this a few years ago. There are many parts of the road that aren't used any more so the original route isn't driveable as it was laid out. I also remember seeing a documentary on the highway where one of the people involved in a kind of Lincoln Highway association or club was trying to get a plaque installed on a building in N.Y.C that was the original start of the route. Some where in the Times Square area if memory serves. I've rode on the section that's in New Jersey a number of times. Route 27? Don't recall any markers though. Heard they were "collectable" (especially the concrete ones) which explains that.
I just asked the wife " what was the worst road we went on when we took the Kamper to the USA.
Her reply "the Lincoln Hwy"
We traveled on it going back west in 2011. After leaving Lincoln Nebraska we headed to Cheyenne Wyoming to meet friends. Not wanting to drive on Hwy 80 it made sense to take the Lincoln. The locals told us they had been promised for years it was to be fixed as it was destroying any tourist travel they could normally expect.
Parts of that road were so bad, they must have been made by a Ch#@vy guy to annoy Model T Ford owners. I'm sure the dips were the exact length of a Model T's wheelbase.
The road had dips in it which meant one went up and down constantly in a continuous bounce.
Definately the worst sealed road I have ever driven on in any car let alone a Model T and a stand out for our trip of 10,000 plus miles across America and back.
The Kamper entering Wyoming on the Lincoln HWY
Peter Kable, great to hear your story. When I was hauling boats around this great big beautiful country for Boat Transit, because they were over size loads the states made us get off the interstate highways and I was very happy to be traveling on those US highways.
ps: please post some more photos of your trip
Here are a few I have which are small enough to post. There are several in the 2008 and 2011 forums between June and August. The Kamper was left in the club's museum between trips.
Here is where we went, Red line 2008
green line 2011
In the red wood forest Oregon had trouble finding a big enough tree and only just made it through.
Crossing a creek on Pincher Creek Tour.
THANK YOU for that little map.
I never realized that the Lincoln Highway traversed Wyoming & Montana completely in such a fashion.
That is the puzzle piece I have missed in my travels.
I have covered the other routes shown over the years.
You might consider turning your adventure into a coffee table book.
I would buy one ....
I have visited the Ames Pyramid Monument south of I-80 a few times.
For those interested - a great little slide show & information stop can be found here:
As I have mentioned before - Henry Ford was opposed to the idea automobile manufacturers & industry contributing to a national road system:
@ https://books.google.com/books?id=ArTIEHDqvP8C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=henry+ford+ opposed+contributing+to+national+road+construction&source=bl&ots=EJSDN8Ql7s&sig= lWUkGtWdz2RQlqlhhMhc6i3LnL8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXvfXl_onQAhVC5iYKHYGUATQQ6AEI RjAH#v=onepage&q=henry%20ford%20opposed%20contributing%20to%20national%20road%20 construction&f=false
Thanks again to Peter & Bill, for posting and sharing this information about the Lincoln Highway. It is of great interest to me and I suspect many others.
here's my contribution to this post:
Peter's route does not follow the Lincoln highway very far west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They turned north and came up through central Wyoming and Montana, then on to the Pincher Creek tour in Alberta.
The Lincoln Highway ran though southern Wyoming and on west into Utah and ended in San Francisco. It crossed the mountains through Tin Cup pass just west of the Wyoming border and the Sierras at Donner.
My grandfather used to tell the joke about the foreigner who came the the US and when he got home, he told his friends, "That fella Lincoln is a great highway engineer but that Frenchman DeTour builds really lousy roads!"
May 8 2010 Model T Tour to Clarksville, California.
This stretch of the Lincoln Highway is on private property. The owner opened the gate so we could all drive the highway up to his farm where we turned around and went back to the town that used to be there, Clarksville.
+++ jpeg +++ 690213 +++
Great post Hal, thank you. I think I saw a video on Jay's Leno's Garage with that stretch of road in it. I'll have to try and find it, so it can be posted.
After many trips west I have driven a lot of High way 50, no never in a T, the oldest was a 1951 Ford to Carson City Nev. but the one I really remember was from Winchester Va. to below Pittsburgh Pa., that took much longer than we planned! Thanks for the post, brings back many memories.
About two decades ago we decided to do a road trip for our anniversary, from Oroville, CA to Salt Lake City, UT via Ely, NV (there's a steam train there). We headed out of Carson City on 50 towards Eureka, NV and Ely in our 85 Honda Accord. About an hour out in nowhere I felt the engine skip a beat, and then again--Linda felt it and asked, "Are you doing that?" "Uh, NO!" It kept doing that intermittently. We made it to Ely and rode the train, but the car was hard to start. What a lonely highway!!
Being young and reckless, we pressed onto Heber, UT and rode that train, but decided against going to Promitory, UT (Golden Spike site)and headed straight home, doing about 30mph uphills and 80mph downhills on I-80. Made it home, where found out the Honda has solid state ignition, and it had a fail-safe "get you home" circuit, which is what we made it home on! I was afraid to have it fixed enroute, afraid of paying "Tourist Price" for the repairs.