The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 44 April 2005
ELEVEN NEW MILES OF U.S. 30 OPENED DECEMBER 14, 2004
The gray, cold and snow of a Tuesday morning in December did not keep a crowd of nearly 200 people from attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new eleven-mile stretch of four-lane U.S. 30 between Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus. With Governor Bob Taft serving as keynote speaker, plus other local dignitaries and contractor representatives, nearly all of that number crowded shoulder-to-shoulder inside a tent that had been set up at the impressive new roadside park on the south side of the new road. After the usual commentary and congratulations, the group returned outside for the ceremonial cutting of a red, white, and blue ribbon. The colors of the ribbon were an appropriate reminder of the highway's Lincoln Highway heritage— missing only the big blue L on the field of white.
As a result of this highway opening, the only part of U.S. 30 west of Mansfield that remains on the traditional (1928) route of the Lincoln Highway is the 25 miles between Upper Sandusky and the Ada exit. The contract for that portion of the project was awarded in January of this year, with two years of construction scheduled to start this spring. The new four-lane road will be about one-half mile south of and parallel with the existing two-lane road.
For more information about this and other phases of the U.S. 30 improvement across Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has set up a very nice web site which is worth your visit at www.dot.state.oh.us/us30.
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 in their fourth year as the official supplier of Lincoln Highway Merchandise. Members are encouraged to visit the web site at www.LHTP.com for a look at the impressive inventory of items.
Costs for printing and mailing this 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.
WELCOME TO NEW O.L.H.L. MEMBERS
November 2004 - Jan Shellhouse (Shelby)
January 2005 - Ronald Huffman
(Upper Sandusky); Donald Schilling (Upper Sandusky);
James R. Neal (East Lansing, MI)
March 2005 - J.A., Jr. and Lynn Loftus (Cuyahoga Falls)
As of September 2004, there are 166 LHA members with Ohio addresses
For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull 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 the Pour House in Upper Sandusky. A registration form is enclosed with the mailing of this newsletter. Chapter President Mike McNaull Or print and mail a reservation.
10:00-10:30 Arrive, register, donuts and coffee
10:30- Business Meeting
About noon to 12:45 - Lunch
12:45-1:00 Miscellaneous, including Dianna Swartz, artist for LH art
1:00-1:15 Trivia Game and Drawings
1:15-2:00 Steve Love, Speaker
after 2:00 Tours of local sites; on your own
EASTERN OHIO CHAPTER:
For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Marie Malernee or 330-492-2053
May 12, 2005— Pole Painting; Place to be announced
June 4, 2005— Stark County Lincoln Highway Cross-County Cruise
June 16, 2005— Meeting at Minerva Scenic Railway; museum tour and train ride
June 7-11, 2005— Lincoln Highway Association National Conference at Ely, Nevada;
Ohio's State Director Bob Lichty will be installed as LHA National President;
Watch for group travel itinerary in May 2005 issue of Buckeye Ramblings
RUSSELL REIN STARTS E-MAIL NEWSLETTER
GALION MUSEUM CLOSES WITH AUCTION
Russell S. Rein of Ypsilanti, Michigan, on the heels of being awarded the Lincoln Highway Association's Member of the Year Award for 2004, continues to make major contributions to the association with his creation of a regular e mail newsletter. His correspondences include links to dozens of interesting web sites, plus many collector's items offered at auction on eBay. If you are not already on Russell's electronic mailing list, and are an avid highway historian or collector, you are invited to contact him at email@example.com to be added to that list.
Of note to Ohio members is Russell's report that in December 2004, the sheriff of Crawford County held an auction for artifacts from the National Lincoln Highway Museum in Galion, which has now been closed for over three years. The museum was the creation of former local resident Craig Harmon, but was not affiliated with the Lincoln Highway Association. Although Craig played a big part in preparing the Lincoln Highway signs that were posted across Allen County and other parts of Ohio, he himself had never joined the association.
According to Russell, who attended the auction along with Mid Ohio's Richard and Mary Lou Taylor, "there were a lot of fixtures and display material at the auction but not too much actual Lincoln Highway memorabilia." He also reported that "the day before, and during the auction, individuals were recovering items that they had loaned to the museum" and that "some folks had to buy back their items." Russell was the winning bidder on several items— some unfortunately damaged by water from an apparent leak in the roof— including the folders of David Redick Lane, the anonymous writer of the 1935 history of the Lincoln Highway Association, subtitled The Story of a Crusade That Made Transportation History. It is believed that Craig obtained these papers several years ago while doing research in California, apparently making contact with the family after discovering a signed copy of the book in an Oakland library.
Although the museum is now closed— and according to Crestline's Joe Everly, being remodeled by a kindly local dentist as The Lincoln Highway Medical Center— much of Craig's research can still be seen in colorful digital imagery at his multi-dimensional web site at www.lincolnhighwaymuseum.org. All of the images below are from that site, and one can also view the latest batch of images from Craig's return trip to Washington, D.C., where for the second time, his "Spirit of the Lincoln Way" fire truck participated in an inaugural parade for President Bush.
OHIO'S ROADSIDE PARKS—A HISTORY OF PRIDE
With the opening of four-lane U.S. 30 and the new rest area between Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus (see related story at top), this would be an appropriate time to recall the significant emphasis that the Ohio Department of Highways (now ODOT) has always placed on the creation of roadside parks. Witnessed by the official state map covers of 1947 and 1949, these parks were necessary picnic and pit stops along the way in a day when fast food and chain establishments were still the things of dreams. Ohio has had a history of maintaining more roadside parks than any other state, and over 200 red triangle symbols (still the standard symbol on today's map) appeared on the 1947 Ohio Highway Map.
Today, with water and sanitary issues being what they are, most of the primitive parks of the 1940s have been closed, including several along the routes of the Lincoln Highway. Those with a keen eye for architecture can still spot the occasional brick sign bases and boundary markers, and sometimes the canopy for the old pump and well has survived (see Jim Ross photo below, from an abandoned park site in Columbiana County).
ODOT presently maintains over 140 park sites, ranging from parking-only parcels to tourist information centers with hosts and hostesses. A number of primitive sites and small modern facilities also exist. The new roadside park on U.S. 30 is one of ODOT's most ambitious of such projects to date, and perhaps the most ambitious for any site not designated as a tourist information center. Ohio has twelve such centers— generally at the interstate gateways to the state— but none on the route of U.S. 30. How nice it would be to have some Lincoln Highway displays at this sparkling new facility. Perhaps with a little bit of coaxing, we can work something out within ODOT's guidelines. Any volunteers?
LINCOLN HIGHWAY ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
(BY STATE AND YEAR)
'94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04
New York 9 10 9 15 17 19 19 19 14 20 18
New Jersey 8 10 8 8 14 18 17 16 15 17 17
Pennsylvania 58 72 60 71 76 70 77 78 80 84 90
Ohio 39 61 85 115 110 103 105 122 134 166 166
Indiana 28 46 41 45 48 45 48 52 59 68 64
Illinois 57 76 85 96 106 120 129 165 173 161 146
Iowa 153 182 159 179 186 172 176 197 198 190 181
Nebraska 28 36 30 29 33 50 57 75 67 64 64
Wyoming 27 43 40 33 41 43 43 40 40 39 34
Utah 26 21 32 37 53 49 45 67 68 62 54
Nevada 17 19 25 20 22 23 25 25 28 45 45
California 62 81 81 79 104 99 101 101 112 109 119
NATIONAL 1130 1165 1213 1187
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, either by mail or by calling his office at 419-227-1135. Other officers through April 2005 are Mike McNaull, Vice-President; Tammy Buettner, 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.