The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 34 December 2002
DAY OF STORMS CAUSES HEAVY DAMAGE IN VAN
I remember turning on The Weather Channel some time around noon on that second Sunday in November. I noted that my uncle's home county in Illinois seemed to be covered by those red and yellow colors that are always ominous signs on the map. It would only be a couple hours later that the same line of storms would be wreaking havoc in northwestern Ohio, with a new EBS warning crawling across the bottom of the television screen seemingly every fifteen minutes.
Although my home county was surrounded yet spared by the worst of weather, others were not as fortunate. Lincoln Highway friends will want to know that Van Wert County was severely impacted. West of town, two people lost their lives as their home collapsed around them. The fatally injured senior couple were found together, with the husband draped as a shield over his wife, who had recently been confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg.
A mile downwind, on the west edge of Van Wert and the north side of the Lincoln Highway, the Van Wert Cinemas were destroyed, including the screen for the Ridgeway Drive-In. At the theater, about sixty people, more than half of them children, crowded into two restrooms with cinder-block walls. Upon leaving the restroom, those mercifully saved saw cars piled on the seats where so many of those children had been watching a movie.
The last time anyone in this area of Ohio had seen storms of this size was in 1965, the year of the Palm Sunday Tornadoes. Preliminary reports classified the Van Wert tornado as an F4, with wind speeds in excess of 207mph, also labeling it as "a 'wedge tornado' that is normally seen in western states such as Oklahoma, not in Ohio and not in the fall."
The mayor of Van Wert reported his fears that "the tornado may have a devastating effect on the city's already fragile economy." Four businesses on the edge of town were demolished and two others severely damaged, leaving more than 300 people out of work.
Also hit hard were Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam (2 deaths), Hancock, and Seneca (1 death) Counties, which along with Van Wert were declared disaster areas. [Compiled from several articles in The Lima News]
UPCOMING CHAPTER EVENTS
(All chapter meetings are at 6:30 p.m.)
Thursday December 19— Eastern Ohio Chapter will meet at the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton for their annual Christmas dinner meeting.
January 2003— Mid-Ohio Chapter will resume monthly meetings. Contact Bev Looker at email@example.com for details
August 17 to September 1, 2003— Lincoln Highway Anniversary Cross Country Tour from Times Square in New York to Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Contact Bob Lichty or Rosemary Rubin at firstname.lastname@example.org for information
Please visit the website frequently to learn of schedule additions and updates.
(Submitted by Bob Lichty, Ohio State Director, LHA)
First, on the national front: The Lincoln Highway Association is in dire need of a new treasurer. Our recent replacement for Jim Powell had to resign due to personal commitments, after being on duty for only a few months. She was an excellent choice and will be missed. If any of our members would consider the position, please contact LHA President Jim Ranniger. The pay is poor, and it is a thankless job, but someone has to do it...so, jump in there!
Canton's own Jim Cassler, of Klingstedt Printing, has landed the contract to provide all the marketing and product development for the national Lincoln Highway Association. He currently has a line of holiday cards, calendars, and best of all, a scale model of the 1919 Mack Bulldog Army Truck from the Army's Transcontinental Convoy of that same year. Order yours today for that special Lincoln Highway fan. www.LincolnHighwayTradingPost.com
Jim also has an advertisement in the most recent issue of The
Lincoln Highway Forum. If you would like to place an advertisement in Forum for
your business or Lincoln Highway attraction, you can place that order with Jim
Recently, there was quite a stir in the East Canton area of the Lincoln Highway.
A club member called to tell us that Cindell Street was going to be paved. A quick committee was formed and went to the Osnaburg Township Council and gave our case to stop the paving of this nationally significant brick road landmark. The township is in complete agreement that the brick sections on Cindell Street near East Canton, plus Baywood Street near Robertsville, are historic, but they have neither the money nor the expertise for brick road repair. They have agreed to hold off the project for up to a year and one half before moving ahead with paving, giving the Ohio Lincoln Highway League and the Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor a chance to work with state and federal politicians in coming up with money for the correct repair of these historic roadways. We will need specifications to repair the road, a supply of correct-era brick, and man power to lay the brick. Most of all we will need money and moral support. Please contact me at 330-704-5271 if you can lend a hand in any way.
A new concrete post replica is going to be placed in Canton, at the location of the original post at the northeast corner of Poplar and Tuscarawas Street. Senator Curt Shiring has offered to pay for the replica post made by Mansfield's Richard Taylor, and the City of Canton has agreed to handle the erection of the post. We hope to see the post up in November or early December, depending on the weather.
Speaking of Canton, the old Town Diner in front of the Town Motel on Tuscarawas Street (Lincoln Highway) has recently reopened under the name of Nick's Diner. The old silver-sided diner was constructed in 1959 on the Lincoln Highway, and is in several books on the subject. We are all glad to see it open again.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will in fact be coming to
Canton. The railroad's final destination will be a new depot being built beside
Downtown Ford on the Lincoln Highway. The railroad offers excursion trains all
year long through some of the best scenery in Ohio. It is a wonderful asset to
the community and our historic road in Ohio.
Bob Lichty, 25 November 2002
MID-OHIO CHAPTER PURSUING COVERLET IDEA
Eileen Smith and other members of the Mid-Ohio Chapter are looking into the idea of a Lincoln Highway coverlet for Ohio. This idea is being pursued after a successful similar project in Pennsylvania, and the popularity of two Ohio Bicentennial coverlets. Negotiations are presently being made with Mill Street Design of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, regarding the Ohio product. Decisions will need to be made as to what imagery we would like on our "Lincoln Highway In Ohio" coverlet. Certainly we would want to include images of the Hopley Memorial, a typical brick pillar, and perhaps a concrete post. Landmarks such as the Hayesville Opera House and the Spread Eagle Tavern would also be worthy of consideration. Please submit your suggestions to either Buckeye Ramblings or to Eileen at P.O. Box 124, Hayesville, Ohio 44838-0125.
MID-OHIO SAFETY BREAK SERVICE AGAIN
Mid-Ohio Chapter President Mike McNaull reports that over $1300 was raised during this year's safety break service at the I-71 rest area near Mansfield. For several years now, chapter members have given up major parts of their weekends to serve weary travelers with snacks and refreshments. Mike notes that Richard and Mary Lou Taylor "did all of the food and beverage procurement, set-up, tear-down, and worked more than three shifts. It couldn't have been done without them— they did a fantastic job!" Other volunteers were Don and Jean Stauffer, Phil and Wanda Trash, Ron Simon, Don and Mary Berringer, Eileen Smith, Hanni Talpas, Leo Philips, Phil and Marilyn Johnson, Mike Lester, Charlie Looker, Vivian Stitzel, and Mike McNaull.
BUCYRUS TO HOST LINCOLN HIGHWAY WORKSHOP
(from a press release)
On March 1, 2003, the Bucyrus Tourism and Visitors Bureau will be hosting a Lincoln Highway Workshop for the United States Department of the Interior. This will be held at the Bucyrus Middle School Auditorium from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Persons interested in the Lincoln Highway from all over Ohio will be attending this workshop. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend.
TURNING THE CORNER ON THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY
All of these locations are places in Ohio where the route of the Lincoln Highway, at one time or another, turned from one street onto another. Match the intersections at the left with the correct town on the right: (answers)
1.___ Cedar/Nassau A. Ashland
2.___ Pittsburgh/Liberty B. Bucyrus
3.___ Wyandot/Warpole C. Delphos
4.___ Third/Jefferson D. East Canton
5.___ Park/Western E. East Liverpool
6.___ Main/Market F. Forest
7.___ Lima/Madriver G. Hanoverton
8.___ Fifth/Main H. Lima
9.___ Sandusky/Mansfield I. Mansfield
10.___ Main/Claremont J. Upper Sandusky
11.___ Wayne/Main K. Van Wert
12.___ Canal/First L. Wooster
Thank you to LHA/OLHL member Jim Cassler and his employer The Klingstedt Brothers Company, who have donated the return envelopes that were used to mail this newsletter.
POTHOLES ON "THE AMERICAN HIGHWAY"
Christmastime is a time of year when the editor will likely expand his personal library of highway and railroad books. Perhaps it is that time of year for our readers as well. Certainly, Pete Davies' American Road would be an excellent gift idea for any fan of Lincoln Highway history. I hesitate to say the same for William Kaszynski's The American Highway. While the book does contain a little bit of information about a lot of subjects and many wonderful illustrations, those positives are offset by the grievous errors regarding the Lincoln Highway. On page 41 of the book, a photo caption reads as follows: "Designated as U.S. 30, the Lincoln Highway is the nation's longest highway...from Atlantic City to Astoria, Oregon." On the following page, it is written that "Dixie Highway Association president Henry Jay [sic] favored the most direct routing to save travel time."
Thus is propagated the popular misconception that U.S. 30=Lincoln Highway. While U.S. 30 does end at Astoria, Oregon, we all know that the Lincoln Highway ends in San Francisco, and to be fair, the author does have the terminus correct on an earlier page in the text. The "longest highway" claim is arguable depending on definition. At the peak of the federal highway system, U.S. 6, a.k.a. "The Grand Army Of The Republic Highway" was the longest of the numbered routes.
Regarding Henry Jay [Joy?], I can only guess that the author was sloppy with note taking as he recorded his research. I checked out my copy of Jerry M. Fisher's The Pacesetter/The Untold Story of Carl G. Fisher, and could find neither a Jay nor Joy linked with the Dixie. Thus, the reader may wonder along with me how many other facts in the text are similarly botched. That is a shame, because the book does have much of positive value. Along with some fascinating illustrations regarding the history and culture of U.S. roads, I especially enjoyed brief histories of the gas, food, and lodging establishments that have flourished on The American Highway.
My recommendation would be to first borrow then review the book from your local library before committing to the $45 purchase (229 pages; illustrations black and white).
PRESIDENTIAL GOAL FOR 2003
OLHL President Mike Buettner has announced that in 2003, he would like to see an upgrade completed for the "Rediscover The Lincoln Highway In Ohio" brochure, especially with the inclusion of a color map, perhaps similar to the map used for Lincoln Highway promotions featured recently in OHIO Magazine. Input from state members is needed, as well as volunteers, to help up strive for this goal. Mike also encourages everyone to help make the 2003 Cross Country Tour a success, as we celebrate not only two anniversaries of the Lincoln Highway (1913 conception; 1928 setting of posts), but also the Ohio Bicentennial.
Buckeye Ramblings is the quarterly newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League, our state affiliate of the Lincoln Highway Association. Editor of this newsletter and president of the OLHL is Mike Buettner (1618 Chandler Drive/ Lima, Ohio/ 45805). Any changes of address should be forwarded to Mike. Other officers through April 2002 are Mike McNaull, Vice-President; Jim Ross, Secretary; and Mike Lester, Treasurer. State Director for the Lincoln Highway Association is Bob Lichty. For texts of back issues, plus photography and other Ohio information, visit our website at www.lincolnhighwayoh.com.