The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 41 June 2004
NATIONAL CONFERENCE AT CHESTER, W.VA. FEATURES FULL DAY TRIPS TO AKRON AND PITTSBURGH (as reported by Rosemary Rubin)
Chester, West Virginia was the site of the 2004 Lincoln Highway Association National Conference from June 16 through 20. The Mountaineer Track and Gaming Resort was the host hotel. West Virginia was the last Lincoln Highway state, having been added in 1927 to create a more direct route from Pittsburgh to Ohio. "The Last Lincoln Highway State" became the theme of the conference. Wednesday started with the annual board meeting and concluded the same way. At 6:00 P.M., those in attendance gathered for a welcoming dinner, where John Harman, Pennsylvania director and conference co-chair, welcomed the group. Greetings also came from John Saterre, a Hancock County commissioner. He later read the historic speech of Senator Oliver Marshall, which was first heard when the road through Chester was dedicated.
Thursday began early with a bus ride into Chester to see the three original posts and the Ohio River Overlook at the abutment of the old Chester Bridge. The group picture was taken at the World's Largest Teapot. It was then on to East Liverpool for a short dedication ceremony by Larry Webb for the new Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. The dedication was also part of the opening of the Tri-State Pottery Festival. The attendees then headed toward Lisbon over old road alignments. The busses turned off the road and drove north from Lisbon to Akron and Stan Hywet Hall for a box lunch provided by Mustard Seed Café. That was followed by a lecture and tour of the historic home of F.A.Sieberling— Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Sieberling was the second president of the original Lincoln Highway Association and held that post longer than any other person. Local author and historian, Steven Love, addressed the conference about Seiberling and his contributions to the LHA. Mr. Love has written numerous books on the rubber industry in Akron as well as Stan Hywet Hall.
The group then headed back south to Canton to pick up the old road. Traveling the old sections, the next stop was Robertsville, where afternoon refreshments were supplied by Kishman's IGA and hosted by Ohio Lincoln Highway League. On hand to serve and greet were Tom Kishman, Fran Reidl, and Dick and Gerry Lotze. The next stop was the famous brick section of Baywood Street for more photos and press coverage. Dinner was waiting at the historic Spread Eagle Tavern, with manager David Peterson at the door to welcome conference attendees. After the short ride back to Chester many people visited the book room, where each state had souvenirs for sale. Jim Cassler and his family, along with John Long, ran the Lincoln Highway Trading Post that evening and throughout the whole conference.
Friday started early with a full day of seminars, beginning with
a report by Lisa Kolakowsky Smith on the National Park Service Study proposals.
Other seminars included presentations by Brian Butko, Kevin Patrick and Bernard
Queneau, all from Pennsylvania. Olga Herbert, executive director for the
Pennsylvania Lincoln Highway Hertiage Corridor gave a slide show on that group's
accomplishments. After lunch, President Chris Plummer conducted the membership
meeting. That was followed by more presentations. The final seminar was the
slide show about the 2003 Anniversary Cross Country Tour by Bob Lichty and
Rosemary Rubin. Many tour participants were at the conference for a reunion with
other tour participants.
Friday evening was highlighted by the annual awards dinner. "The Exemplary Friend of the Highway" award went to Congressman Ralph Regula (Ohio 14), who was the lead sponsor of the 2000 Lincoln Highway Study Act which started the process of the study. Another award went to the Special Collections Library at the University of Michigan for the new archives of Lincoln Highway documents. Following the awards, Tom Bath of Ely, Nevada and Director-at-Large Rollin Southwell presented a preview of next year's conference in Ely.
The final day, on Saturday, the group traveled to Pittsburgh over the old 1913 route. There were many historic sites to see, including the Point of Beginning at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border, where all western U.S. surveying began in 1785, and a long yellow brick remnant in Glenfield, PA. A coffee break was served at Old Economy Village Visitors Center. Lunch at Penn Brewery featured a German buffet. The highlight of the afternoon was a ride on the historic Duquesne Incline. The final meal was served aboard the Gateway Clipper, where everyone enjoyed a boat ride on the three rivers of Pittsburgh— the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela. The ride back to Chester followed the newer 1927 route. As the busses crossed the Ohio River, all were treated to fireworks courtesy of the Pottery Festival. John and Stephanie Harmon, Brian Butko, and Kevin Patrick knocked themselves out producing a wonderful day tour.
Ohio members assisting in the planning included Ohio director
and conference co-chair Bob Lichty and his wife Rosemary Rubin, Jim and Karen
Cassler with their sons, Brian and Andy, John Long, Tom Kishman, Marie and Ezra
Malernee, Ed Cannane, Fran Reidl, Dick and Gerry Lotze, and Bob and Dianna
Evans. Other Ohioans in attendance were Bob and Donna Leibensperger, Larry Webb,
Byron and Janet Mohr, Mike and Cody Lester, E. Tanni Talpas, Vivian Stitzel,
Eileen Smith, Millie Koos and Thelma Riehle.
The editor extends a big "Thank You" to Rosemary Rubin for her report on this year's annual conference. Thanks also to the members of the Eastern Ohio Chapter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League who helped with planning for the conference. Although Chester is only about four hours from his home in West Central Ohio, the editor was not able to attend this year's conference because he was still settling in after his first big vacation since 1995 b.c. (before children). Read more about that assortment of adventures elsewhere in this issue.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
May 2004— Art and Connie Weber (Van Wert)
June 2004— Tom Morgan (Toledo)
July 2004— Millicent Koos (East Liverpool); June Rigamonti (East Liverpool); Timothy J. Wolff (Lima)
UPCOMING EVENTS MID-OHIO CHAPTER:
For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at email@example.com or newsletter editor Beverly Looker at firstname.lastname@example.org
April 23, 2005— Mid-Ohio Chapter will host the 11th Annual Business Meeting of the OLHL, at a time and place to be determined
EASTERN OHIO CHAPTER:
For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Marie Malernee at email@example.com or 330-492-2053
August 12, 2004— A walking tour of Dalton
September 19, 2004— Meeting at Nicole's Restaurant in East Canton
October 14, 2004— Joint Meeting with Mid-Ohio Chapter
November 11, 2004— Meeting at Bob and Rosemary's house
December 9, 2004— Annual Christmas Party at Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton
---------------------------- Photos to be added later
The Chester Bridge (Right) was built in 1897, and carried the Lincoln Highway across the Ohio River from 1928 to 1969. Prior to the opening of the Jennings-Randolph Bridge in 1977, U.S. 30 was temporarily routed from East Liverpool to Chester over the Newell Bridge (Left), which is still in use today as a toll bridge. Structurally, it is remarkably similar to the Chester Bridge.
(Left) At the U.S. 30 interchange in Chester, West Virginia is the "World's Largest Teapot." A similar coffee pot is currently being restored in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and that state's heritage corridor group will be having a road rally from the coffee pot to the teapot in September 2004. Go to www.lhhc.org for more information.
"HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION", OR "WHY I MISSED THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL CONFERENCE"
It took something really big to keep your editor from attending this year's national conference of the Lincoln Highway Association. That something really big was a once in a lifetime vacation celebration of my parents' 50th wedding anniversary on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Three generations of eighteen Buettners from Ohio and Indiana rented a house along the Atlantic Ocean for a week of fun on the beach and in the pool, with adequate time to enjoy historic sites such as Kitty Hawk and Roanoke Island, plus visits to the two tallest lighthouses I have ever had the thrill to climb, at Hatteras and Currituck.
However, not all the fun was confined to North Carolina for my own brood. Tammy and I have always enjoyed Washington, D.C., and thought our children might be old enough to begin to appreciate the nation's capital and its famous monuments, so we left three days before the rest of the family to do some sightseeing that the others would miss. More significantly to this group of readers, we carefully planned our travels so that we could follow bits and pieces of both the National Road and Lincoln Highway. This would be our first trip on either of those two historic roads beyond the West Virginia border.
For much of the way between Columbus, Ohio and Frostburg, Maryland, our stuffed sedan traced the National Road and U.S. 40. I was especially interested in recreating some of the photographs in George R. Stewart's classic 1953 book "U.S. 40/Cross Section of the United States of America," just as Thomas R. Vale and Geraldine R. Vale had done in their 1983 work "U.S. 40 Today/Thirty Years of Landscape Change in America." It was very satisfying to retrace the steps of those previous authors, but even more so to do it in places such as Braddock's Road in Pennsylvania, where additional footsteps would include those of a young George Washington. However, the climax to this part of the journey came when I was able to recover the impressive vantage point for a vista photo from a summit of Little Savage Mountain in Maryland—a view which had been chosen for the cover of the Vale book.
As we traveled east, Tammy and I found ourselves increasingly interested in the architecture of the old National Road, some of which is now approaching 200 years in age. I stopped to photograph two old tollhouses and an S bridge in Pennsylvania, and two immense stone bridges in Maryland. On the passenger side of the car, Tammy developed quite a knack for identifying old inns and taverns, especially if they were the contemporary sites of antique dealers. Meanwhile, in the back seat, the kids were watching Finding Nemo for the second or third time on the newly purchased and wisely invested DVD player. However, daughter Michaela was sufficiently impressed with our short stop at Pennsylvania's Madonna of the Trail that she drew a remarkable picture of that memorial in her vacation diary.
Touring on the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania was saved for the trip back to Ohio ten days later. After meeting the historic route at Breezewood, we stopped long enough in Bedford to get some pictures of our car at the gas pumps in front of the Dunkle's famous art-deco Gulf Station. Unfortunately, the mountains to the west were deep in fog, and we missed all the wonderful scenery in that well signed heritage corridor. Just about the time we reached the Grandview Summit, and the site of the old Ship Hotel (which I never got to see before it burnt to the ground), our prone to getting carsick son Michael was sadly tossing his cookies in the back seat. Alas, at that point I just wanted to get off the mountain and empty the fouled waste basket. Somewhere in the famous Seven Mile Straight Stretch, where visibility was reduced to more like 700 feet, there was a safe enough place to pull off the road and do just that. Thankfully, the fog was not so much a factor in the area near Buckstown where Flight 93 crashed, and we made a good decision to detour from the Lincoln Highway to visit that solemn site. Having just been through Washington, D.C., it was not hard to imagine how different that lovely city may have looked had that flight reached its terrorizing destination.
Thinking back to our visit to the nation's capital, we now
realize how very rewarding it was to share that memory at this time with our two
children. Michaela was disappointed that we didn't get in line soon enough to
get tickets for the elevator ride to the top of the Washington Monument, but
there were enough other things to do to make up for it. Both children were
impressed with the Metro—that wonderfully clean, efficient, and modern subway
system—and as a result, Michael is finally getting the feel for stepping on and
off of escalators. Of course, I had to force everybody to walk over to the
unpretentious Zero Milepost on the Ellipse in front of the White House, where I
took a GPS location of that landmark—significant in Lincoln Highway lore as the
commencing point for the 1919 U.S. Army Transcontinental Convoy. It was a bit of
a gray day, so my pictures of the Lincoln Highway inscription on the west face
of the milepost are only partially legible, but thanks to my modern surveying
tool, at least I now know that my home in Ohio is exactly 400 miles from that
At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, our group of highway historians was pleased to visit the "America On The Move" exhibit. Michaela was the first to find anything of Lincoln Highway significance, spotting a 1928 concrete post encased solitarily in a plexiglass display and excitely coming back to tell her dad about it. As usual, Route 66 got more attention than the Lincoln Highway in this new exhibit, but the undeniable star of the show was that lovable bulldog Bud, who in 1903 rode with H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall Crocker much of the way between San Francisco and New York during the first coast to coast automobile trip. Bud appeared with car and crew in a splendid diorama, and over one dozen child friendly information signs throughout the exhibit further featured the pup's smiling face. One hundred years later, the begoggled canine has become a mascot again, but this time with a full line of plush toys and refrigerator magnets and such. I'm really okay with that—just so they don't go branding that overblown 66 on his light-colored hide.
Thus, while I regret that I missed renewing friendships with
those of you who did make it to the national conference, plus the fun activities
in both Akron and Pittsburgh, please know that I was filling a treasure chest to
overflowing with good memories and pleasant experiences with my parents,
brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and most of all my wife and children.
------------------------------------------ Photos missing
CAPTIONS FOR SHEET 5 GRAPHICS
(Clockwise from Lower Left) Official logo of Pennsylvania's Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor; Large and colorfully unique signpost erected at key points along Pennsylvania's Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor; Old post card view of Grand View Point Hotel (Elevation 2464 feet); Old post card view of the Seven Mile Stretch; 1993 photo by Esther Queneau of Dunkle's Gulf Station in Bedford, Pennsylvania.
THE ZERO MILESTONE
The Zero Milestone on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. was dedicated on June 4, 1923, four years after the U.S. Army Transcontinental Convoy had departed from that point to join the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania. The suggestion for such a landmark was made to a colonel of the Motor Transport Corps just one month before the convoy would depart from that site. The inspiration for this proposal was a golden milestone in Rome's Forum that "marked the beginning of her system of highways which bound her widely scattered people together."
More modestly perhaps, the American milestone has served as the starting point for measurement of distances on the highways radiating from Washington, such as the Lee Highway and Bankhead Highway. In fact, the Bankhead Highway was the route of a second army convoy in 1920, one year after the Lincoln Highway had been tested. An inscription on the west face of the four-foot tall granite monument recalls that first convoy: STARTING POINT OF FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL MOTOR CONVOY OVER THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, JULY 7, 1919
A compass rose, now well-worn, is on top of the monument. At one time, the latitude and longitude and elevation were legible, but over eighty years of weathering and human contact have negated that. An emblem on the north face features an automobile wheel with a winged helmet, the official emblem of the Motor Transport Corps. Although now less prominent because of the increasing erection of fences and concrete security barriers, the milestone is still worth looking for when visiting the nation's capital.
[information and pictures are from the Program of Exercises prepared for the dedication of the milestone monument, a copy of which is part of the Russell Rein collection]
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
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.