The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 42                                                                                                                            July 2004


While a block of Van Wert's Main Street was closed for half an hours, nearly thirty members and friends of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League, plus about a dozen local dignitaries and media representatives, celebrated the designation of Ohio's Lincoln Highway as a historic byway. With Larry Webb serving as master of ceremonies, remarks were also given by Mayor Don Farmer, County Commissionner Harold Merkle, and State Representative Jim Hoops. At the conclusion of these speeches, a red, white, and blue ribbon was stretched from curb to curb, and the oversized silver shears (unlike any pair from Larry's barber shop) were made ready. Larry shared in the honor of cutting the colorful ribbon along with Kriss Salters, formerly with Van Wert's Downtown Development Association, and his teammate in getting all the paperwork together and submitting it to the state offices as part of the application process. Although Kriss now resides in [that state up north], it was good to have her join us on this special day, which was the culmination of four years of assembling and preparing materials, including endorsements from the commissioners and mayors of the many counties and cities through which the Lincoln Highway passes in Ohio. If time permits, a similar ceremony may be observed near the eastern end of the new byway during the upcoming national conference.


After a business meeting that straddled yet another fine lunch served by Balyeat's at Van Wert's Marsh Hotel (it was the third time in ten months that these fine folks have graciously hosted our various contingents), the thirty OLHL members and guests in attendance were treated to an enthusiastic and comprehensive slide program by Bob Lichty and wife Rosemary Rubin, who teamed to make the August 2003 Lincoln Highway Cross-Country Tour an unqualified success. It was especially good to hear that Ohio events during the tour were well attended, with a high mark of 125 OLHL members, friends, and tour participants coming to the home of Richard and Mary Lou Taylor in Mansfield for a memorable picnic dinner. This was the peak attendance for any single activity during the two week cross country event. Car buffs (and there were many on this tour) were thrilled to check out Dick's wonderful collection of antique automobiles, including the 1913 Stevens Duryea which journeyed west the next morning to be at the unveiling of the new concrete post in Leesville. Bob and Rosemary also reported that an impressive gathering of 83 folks had lunch at the Marsh Hotel as the tour stopped there that same second day before leaving Ohio. This was not the first time that Bob and Rosemary had presented their slide slow from last year's cross-country adventure, nor will it be the last. The slide slow will be presented again at the LHA National Conference in June.

Among items of importance from the tenth annual business meeting, held at the same site as the first annual business meeting in 1995, Treasurer Michael Lester reported a nice increase of funds available in our state treasury. Michael reports that sales of the Lincoln Highway coverlet and a growth spurt in our state membership contributed to this increase. This growth spurt came largely on the heels of Gregory Franzwa's book tour across Ohio in June 2003. It is hoped that this new income will allow your editor to continue his use of color reproduction in this newsletter.

State Director Bob Lichty covered several subjects, perhaps most importantly inviting everyone to attend the June 16 19, 2004 LHA National Convention in Chester, West Virginia, at the Mountaineer Resort. Jointly hosted by members from both Ohio and Pennsylvania, the event will include a bus tour into Ohio on Thursday June 17. That "westbound" tour will visit the famous Teapot in Chester, which is also home to three concrete posts before crossing the river into East Liverpool, with its noted yellow brick streets and the grave site of Henry Ostermann, a popular and important figure from the days of the original LHA. Lunch that day will be at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, the fabulous home of early LHA president and benefactor Frank Seiberling, of Goodyear fame. Ohio members not taking part in the tour are encouraged to meet the group for an afternoon refreshment stop at the grange hall in Robertsville. An "eastbound" tour into Pennsylvania is scheduled for Saturday June 19, following a day of Lincoln Highway programs.

As a result of this year's business meeting, one change was made among the four officers of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League. When no volunteers came forward to serve as secretary, President Mike Buettner nominated his wife Tammy for the role, with the promise that he would greatly assist her in that occasional task. Tammy will take over the secretarial duties from Jim Ross, who is beginning a new career driving an 18 wheeler, and fulfilling a dream of being "on the road." Jim's passion for driving was rekindled while he and about 50 others took part in the entire cross country tour of August 2003. Jim will thankfully continue as webmaster for our internet web site. Copies of the minutes from the April 2004 meeting are available upon request by contacting Mike Buettner.


April 2004— Kevin Millham and Kristin Johannsen (Berea, KY); Dennis Morrison (Bluffton, OH)
May 2004— The National Packard Museum (Warren, OH); Dan Beattie (Commerce, MI)

For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at mmcnaull@hotmail.com or newsletter editor Beverly Looker at blooker@columbus.rr.com
April 23 or 30, 2005— Mid-Ohio Chapter will host the 11th Annual Business Meeting of the OLHL, at a time and place to be determined
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.
July 10, 2004— A meeting followed by a Saturday Road Rally event; details incomplete
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

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1. The next generation of Lincoln Highway aficionados will be reminded of the historic highway's presence in Van Wert when passing over this downtown bridge. The familiar Lincoln Highway plaque was donated by the Van Wert Fruit Growers Association. The light standard at the end of the bridge is one of four salvaged from the previous bridge and restored to the new structure through some diligent efforts led by local OLHL Member Larry Webb.
2. The grounds of Van Wert's Brumback Library, the oldest county library in the United States, never looked prettier than on this fine April morning with the ornamental trees in bloom.
3. Kriss and Larry cut the ribbon to officially dedicate the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. Young Kody Lester (Bucyrus), State Director Bob Lichty (Canton), and Thelma Riehle (Edgerton) are among those looking on.
4. This semi original concrete post in Van Wert's Fountain Park is another example of the fine restoration work performed by OLHL Member Richard Taylor (Mansfield).
5. OLHL Member Byron Mohr (Van Wert) salvaged this sign from an antique mall in Indiana, mounted it on a post, and set it up for display as guests registered their attendance at the Marsh Hotel. Byron is also to be thanked for his craftwork in assembling a special barn ornament that was given to each one in attendance to commemorate our tenth annual meeting.

(Part 2 of 2) (Continued from previous issue)

In the previous edition of Buckeye Ramblings, we looked at dating Ohio road maps published by the Rand McNally Company for the Standard Oil Company of Ohio (Sohio). As promised, we will continue in this issue with the subject of dating gas station maps, this time looking at the maps prepared by the H.M. Gousha Company for the Shell Oil Company.

Owing to the fact that the service station nearest my boyhood home was a Shell station, I have more maps with the long used and well recognized red and yellow Shell colors than for any other oil company. Admittedly, I have attached more sentimental value to that particular collection of maps, and therefore when perennially purging the overall collection for lack of space, I have always made it a point to hang on to that one brand. Some of those maps I have had now for nearly forty years, and along the way I have added to the collection with some older maps purchased at antique malls and such.

Generally, the maps published by Gousha are much easier to date than those from Rand McNally. In fact, the publication year of the map is often completely shown within the code found along the map border. For example, my oldest Shell map is coded P 1 1942 1, and predictably, it is from the year 1942. This particular map is interesting for the fact that it was issued during the time of World War II, and includes this statement placed boldly in blocked serif letters on the borders: "Maps are paper—paper is important to our war effort—help us conserve it by saving this map." In fine print on the two covers of the folded map is this statement: "All points of military interest have been removed voluntarily from this map and index." This map issue has the map of Ohio on one side, with a splendid U.S. map and five typical city maps on the reverse.

A Gousha map isssued five years later split the state into north and south parts—something that has always been a pet peeve of mine with the traditional Rand McNally Road Atlas. The positive argument of that perceived negative is that the mappings are at larger scales, and in the case of the atlas, ample room is available for many city maps. The 1947 Gousha map, however, has city maps only for Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. There are also two codes designated on the Gousha map for Ohio, "507 J U 1" and "U 1-1947 1", with the latter code most similar to the map discussed for 1942. The common letter U will be an important clue in our deciphering of these codes, as will be seen in our discussion below.

By 1966, the simpler coding no longer seems to be in use, but I have had no problem dating my map from that year because it plainly states "1966 Edition" in the legend. This map is designated "585 J NN 1" and it is here that we will defer to the map collecting experts to explain the absolute best way to date a Gousha service station map of Ohio, be it from Shell or from any other oil company using their mapping services.

Starting in 1927, Gousha began with a letter A in their map code, much like Rand McNally had done in 1919. By 1952, Gousha had exhausted the alphabet, and in 1953, began with a double letter code commencing with AA. Thus, by charting it all out for two sets of twenty six years, we have a check on our dating above, with the letter P coding true for 1942, and the letter U fitting the scheme in 1947. The chronology continues to fit for the NN code on the map published in 1966. By 1978, Gousha had made it twice through the alphabet, and the maps released for that year contain the ZZ code within the complete designation. Beginning in 1979, the Gousha designations are more difficult to follow, and collectors are advised to visit web sites relating to the subject in order to decipher those codes. One such site is at www.roadmaps.org. Various combinations such as KX and QD are among those in use between 1979 and 1996.

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Sheet 5— Excerpts from the 1966 H.M. Gousha map of Ohio, showing the Lincoln Highway/U.S. 30 corridor; also, covers from said 1966 map, plus covers from the 1942 and 1947 maps (arranged top to bottom)


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. One category within the Ohio section of the work includes photographs of the early LHA consuls. Below are the photographs of O.S. Roebuck (Gomer) and Arnold B. King (Delphos), who shared in the duties of overseeing the route in their respective parts of Allen County. For more photographs, visit the web site at:

Congratulations on a job well done to (alphabetically) Jim Cassler, Mike Hocker, Bob Lichty, Jim Ross, Martha Starkey, Lee Tasseff, Larry Webb, and all members of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, for their successes in the publication of the splendid brochure for the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. Copies were distributed at the annual business meeting, and the membership was very much impressed with the final product, the covers of which are shown here, along with an enlargement of the official logo.

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.