The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 40                                                                                                                            April 2004

This Ohio Department of Transportation Internet News Release was posted February 2, 2004:
(Columbus) A new scenic byway was recently added to the Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) list of must see areas around Ohio across the northern part of the state.

"We are proud to designate the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway as Ohio's newest Scenic Byway," said ODOT Director Gordon Proctor. "We can now make sure that historic sites like this are preserved for generations to come. I encourage motorists to get out and see what this route has to offer."

The Lincoln Historic Byway follows the original 240 mile alignment of the 1928 U.S. Route 30. The byway runs through Van Wert, Allen, Hancock, Crawford, Richland, Ashland, Wayne, Stark and Columbiana counties.

This newly designated byway was chosen for its historical significance. As one of the longer routes in the country, beginning in New York City and stretching westward to San Francisco, it opened the western portion of the country for development in the early 20th century.

The six intrinsic qualities ODOT considers when designating a potential scenic byway are: archaeological sites, cultural aspects, historic artifacts or sites, natural beauty, scenic areas and recreational uses.

Since the scenic byway program was created in 1994, ODOT has designated a total of seventeen byways throughout Ohio. Designated byways are eligible for National Scenic Byway grant monies to fund marketing programs, brochures and information centers for visitors. They are also denoted by Scenic Byway road signs and given special recognition on the state of Ohio maps.

For more information about Ohio's Scenic Byways log on to www.ohiobyways.com, or contact Melissa Cook at ODOT at 614 728 8915.

Thanks and congratulations to Larry Webb and Kriss Salters, both of Van Wert, who put together much of the paperwork that was submitted to ODOT with this favorable result. It is appropriate that at our annual state meeting, to be held April 24th in Van Wert, that we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony on Main Street to celebrate the scenic byway designation for our favorite historic highway. A similar ribbon cutting may also be observed as part of the national conference in June.

Howard Donbar has written to announce that Irene M. Houk of Poland, Ohio was the winner of the Ohio Lincoln Highway coverlet for which raffle tickets were sold during the August 2003 picnic at the Taylors. The well-attended picnic, hosted by the Mid-Ohio Chapter, was a highlight of the Cross Country Tour as it crossed Ohio.

Beth Odell wrote in November 2003 that Canton/Massillon's Lincoln Motel and its fine old neon sign are no more. The site was purchased by an auto dealership and the buildings were demolished, and before anyone could get to it, the sign, which Beth correctly calls "a piece of Americana" was carelessly and needlessly destroyed, laying "crumpled and in bits...twisted and broken." Beth salvaged a piece of the "O" and reports that "the Lincoln head is still around somewhere."

OLHL and Eastern Ohio Chapter member Harry Bernardon passed away in December 2003. Harry and his wife Joanne attended many chapter functions, and participated in the August 2003 Cross Country Tour. We extend our belated condolences to Joanne and family.

Both Jim Ross and Brian Butko have written to announce that the University of Michigan's Digital Image Project for their Lincoln Highway archives is complete for Ohio and several other states. Over 1800 photographs have been scanned and digitized, thanks to a generous grant from the UofM's "Friends of the Library." Many images are accompanied by their original captions, as prepared by an unknown member of the LHA. The original alphanumeric identifier has been retained and is searchable, as are the state or section names. Visit the web site at http://images.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/i/image

The Ohio Lincoln Highway League is pleased to present this schedule for our tenth annual state meeting. This year's meeting will be Saturday April 24th at the Marsh Hotel in downtown Van Wert, directly across the street from both the Van Wert County Courthouse and Balyeat's, who will be preparing our buffet style meal. Cost of the lunch will be $8.00 per person. Please use the form below to register your plans to attend, making checks payable to the Ohio Lincoln Highway League and mailing same to OLHL Treasurer Michael Lester.

There will be a one-hour OLHL business meeting immediately after lunch, which will be followed by a photographic review of the August 2003 Lincoln Highway Cross-Country tour, by Bob Lichty. It is hoped that others who participated in any part of the tour will display some of their photographs and memories. Also on schedule for the day is a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the designation of the Lincoln Highway as a Historic Byway in Ohio.


10:30am—11:00am Arrival— Registration and fellowship
Free Parking is available behind Van Wert County Courthouse

11:00am—11:30am Ribbon-cutting for Lincoln Highway Historic Byway
At Fountain Park/Brumback Library on Main Street in Van Wert

11:30am—12:30pm Buffet Style Dinner by Balyeat's at the Marsh Hotel
(please register for lunch by completing the form below)

12:30pm—1:30pm Annual Business Meeting
(agenda and 2003 minutes to be distributed at meeting)
[all chapter presidents should be prepared to give an annual report]

1:30pm—2:30pm Program by Bob Lichty
Photographic Review of August 2003 Lincoln Highway Cross-Country Tour

2:30pm—3:00pm Others who participated in the Cross-Country Tour are invited to share
their photographs and memories

So that we may have an accurate count for lunch, please complete this form and mail to:
Michael Lester/ 3266 Beechgrove Road/ Bucyrus, Ohio 44820-2054
Make checks payable to: Ohio Lincoln Highway League

If you have questions, please call Mike Buettner at 419-227-1135 or 419-331-4640
or Larry Webb (Van Wert) at 419-238-9040 or 419-238-2882
--------------------------------------------clip and mail by April 17; keep top part of sheet---------------------------------

Count me/us in! I/we plan to attend the annual OLHL meeting in Van Wert on April 24, 2004.

Number of lunch reservations: ______________ at $8.00 each = Total fee: ______________________




Buckeye Ramblings #40
Sheet 4 of 6

January 2004— William Injerd (Washington, MI)
February 2004— David H. Damason (East Liverpool, OH); Bill Marcussen (Canton, OH); Ned S. McClurg (Harbor Springs, MI); Reed Ocker (Columbus, OH); and James F. Shaum (Mansfield, OH)



For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at mmcnaull@hotmail.com or newsletter editor Beverly Looker at blooker@columbus.rr.com

May 13, 2004— Work meeting at Robertsville Grange for purpose of planning the LH Cross County Cruise (Stark County).
June 5, 2004— Cross County Cruise
For more information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Marie Malernee at mmalernee@earthlink.net or 330-492-2053.
April 24, 2004— Tenth Annual Meeting of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
See sheet 3 for details and registration form
June 16-19, 2004— Twelfth Annual National Conference of the Lincoln Highway Association
Chester, West Virginia
Ohio members are encouraged to contact Bob Lichty to offer their help in planning for this conference, which will be jointly hosted by LHA members from Pennsylvania.

Through more than ten years of membership in the Lincoln Highway Association, it has been interesting to learn that so many of our members are collectors of so many things. We have collectors with a jawdropping number of maps and petroliana, collectors with scrap books full of post cards and imagery, and collectors of classic automobiles that are contained in multiple buildings.

This writer, being involved in a surveying and mapping career, holds special his own collection of road maps. While my main focus has been to expand my collection of official Ohio Department of Highways/Ohio Department of Transportation maps, I also treasure the gas station maps that I started collecting as a child, some of which I have saved to this day.

Recently, I found some interesting information at the web site of the Road Map Collectors Association (www.roadmaps.org) and have learned a few tricks on how to more precisely date some of the oldest maps that I still have. I thought it would be of interest to other readers who share an interest in those old gas station maps. With that in mind, let us look at deciphering the codes of the Rand McNally maps that were prepared for the Standard Oil Company of Ohio (Sohio).

On the oldest maps prepared for Sohio, Rand McNally simply used a letter code. According to extreme road map collector Jeff Koenker, the code started in 1919 with the letter A, and continued with consecutive lettering until reaching the letter Z in 1944. However, somewhere in that time, numbers began to appear after the letter. Jeff writes that "if the set of numbers has four digits, the first two digits indicate the year the base map was drafted." He was less uncertain about the significance of the second two digits, saying that it was likely a code for a geographic area.

Given this information, I pulled out my oldest Sohio map of Ohio. The map is already dated 1934 on the cover, so I knew I could check this one with some confidence. I was able to find the code of P 1063 tucked quietly away below the map legend (see sheet 6). Sure enough, the letter P would fit the lettering scheme as it counted through to 1934; however, I was unable to reconcile the rest of the code.

After 1944, deciphering the Rand McNally codes becomes somewhat more complex, with numbers looking like this on a pair of later Sohio maps of Ohio: 0 4903 2 and 4 4903 9. These number codes were found in the map borders, floating in the hills of West Virginia. According to Jeff, the first digit before the hyphen indicates the year of the map—for example, 0 for 1950 or 1960. Common sense allows the reviewer to look at clues such as the census date given at the index to cities and towns (with populations), or the state of improvements for major highways, to determine that these two maps both date from the 1950s, thus 1950 and 1954, respectively, for the two entries above, and not 1960 and 1964.

In this case, the two digits that were supposed to be the year of the base map (as per the previous example) do make sense. The Rand McNally base map that was used for both of these later Sohio maps was thus prepared in 1949. Again, the second two digits in the set of four are probably a code for the area covered.

According to Mr. Koenker, the additional numbering after the second hyphen indicates the number of updates made to the base map. Again, the numbers here make sense, with the 1954 Sohio map thus being the ninth update made upon the original 1949 base. A tenth update of that same base map will be discussed below.
In the case of these later Rand McNally maps of Ohio, I was able to crack another more simple map code thanks to Jeff's deciphering of the more complicated codes above. All of my later Sohio maps, while not dated on the cover like the 1934 map, do have an edition number at the bottom of that cover. For instance, the 1950 map referenced above is "Edition 30A" and the 1954 map is "Edition 34A." Although I do not know the point of beginning of this numbering scheme, it is obvious that the Sohio maps of Ohio, at least in the early 1950s, can be confidently dated with a second system by use of this more simple code. Editions numbered 30 would thus be from the year 1950; editions numbered 31 would be from 1951; and so on. There were at least two map editions in the year 1954, because I have collected both a 34A (see sheet 6) and 34B. Predictably, the more complex code for the 34B map is 4 4903 10.

In our next issue, we will similarly attempt to decipher the map codes of a second mapping company—H.M. Gousha—who for many years prepared maps for the Shell Oil Company. There was a Shell station near the neighborhood where I grew up, and I think I have saved every map I ever collected from there, along with some more recent additions to the Shell collection. The oldest of these maps were published by Gousha, who along with Rand McNally and General Drafting, is considered one of the "big three" companies that prepared those treasured free gas station maps.

Deciphering this letter code can help to date Rand McNally maps from 1919 to 1944, although this 1934 Sohio map can be easily dated by a quick look at the cover

Along with an edition number, Rand McNally maps such as this personal favorite from 1954 have a more complex code to decipher

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 2004 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.
Costs for printing and mailing our newsletter are covered entirely by LHA membership dues. Please renew your membership in the national association so that we can continue to publish news from Ohio on a regular basis.

Thank you to LHA/OLHL member Jim Cassler and The Klingstedt Brothers Company, who have donated the return envelopes that were used to mail the newsletter. Congratulations are also in order for Jim and his associates regarding their fine work regarding the Lincoln Highway Trading Post, now the official supplier of Lincoln Highway Merchandise. Visit the web site at www.lincolnhighwaytradingpost.com for a look at the impressive inventory of items, which were prominently displayed at the national conference in June.