The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 53 August, 2007
“LINCOLN HIGHWAY” BOOK TOUR VISITS THREE DAYS IN OHIO
The trio of Michael Wallis, Michael Williamson, and Anne Garrett visited several venues in Ohio over the course of three days in Ohio, promoting the newest book on the Lincoln Highway. The book, simply titled “The Lincoln Highway,” features texts by Michael Wallis, whose name became synonymous with Route 66 soon after the publication of his benchmark 1990 book on that popular highway, and features photography by Michael Williamson, who twice has been honored with the Pulitzer Prize for his excellent work in photojournalism. Anne Garrett, the “daughter of the road” to whom the book is dedicated, served as the agent for this tour.
The entourage had their first program in Ohio at East Liverpool on the evening of July 23. Michael Wallis had made many friends here several years ago while doing research for a book on Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, who was known as “Public Enemy Number One” when gunned down near the town in 1934. The program was held at the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame on Fifth Street, which in its day was the route of the Lincoln Highway through the pottery capital of the nation.
The following day started in Canton, with Michael Wallis serving as the co-host for a morning radio show. After that, a visit was made to Jim Cassler’s “immaculate” print shop, which serves as the headquarters of the Lincoln Highway Trading Post. The first book signing event of the day was at noon, among the gleaming vintage automobiles collected by Bob Lichty at the showroom of Motorcar Portfolio in Canton. There, the two Michaels received a key to the city from Mayor Jane Weir Creighton.
The evening closed with a well-attended cookout at the Cassler home. About sixty OLHL members joined Jim and Karen in this relaxed and enjoyable setting with their celebrated guests—who later reported on their book tour web site that they were treated to an evening “that is sure to remain one of the great highlights of our trip…a potluck cookout that included a spread that would have satisfied a battalion of famished Marines.” The highlight of this awesome meal was a sheet cake decorated in the image of the new book jacket. Both Michaels got to partake of the tastily frosted cake pieces with their own names on them.
On July 25, the tour started the day in Lima, with television interviews in the morning and a speaking and signing program at noon. Michael Wallis did a studio interview for the morning news television program, and Michael Williamson took a reporter and cameraman for a brief tour of the Lincoln Highway near Gomer—an inspiring segment which aired during several broadcasts that day and the next. The noon book event was at the Allen County Museum, where that Michael Williamson was happily greeted by his wife, two daughters, and a guinea pig. After the group convened for the requisite hamburger, frosty, and chili for lunch at the downtown Kewpee, daughters Sophia and Valerie continued west with their father, while mother Michelle and mascot Spot returned to their home in Maryland.
The final stop in Ohio was made that same evening with another fine program and another fine dinner, this time at the Hotel Marsh in Van Wert. The restored hotel—an original control station on the Lincoln Highway—is owned by the Davies family, who also owns Balyeat’s Coffee Shop (“young fried chicken day and night”) just across the street. Owner Dale Davies was pulled away from his world-famous coffee shop counter just long enough for hugs and photographs, and penned his own signature in Michael Wallis’ personal copy of the new book. As twilight set, the five travelers continued west into Indiana, as the glow of red neon from the photogenic coffee shop sign reflected on a rain-soaked Main Street.
Please go to www.lincolnhighwaybook.com to read about other days of the tour. Also at that web site is an excellent collection of new photographs by Michael Williamson, including more than a dozen taken while in Ohio.
SHEET TWO PHOTOGRAPHS (all from the camera of Michael Williamson):
Top Left to Bottom Left:
“Not In My Town You Don’t”—Recalling one of his favorite lines as the Sheriff character in the Cars movie, Michael Wallis poses at a former bank vault in the Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in East Liverpool.
“Hot Off the Press!”—Tour agent Anne Garrett holds the East Liverpool Sunday newspaper that promoted the Monday arrival of the book tour.
“Michael Williamson”—A fine photographer in her own right, Michelle Williamson took this snapshot while her husband was being interviewed by Jordan Burgess of Fox 25 News in Lima.
“At the Allen County Museum” (1 of 2)—“Sheriff” Michael Wallis bear-hugs two newly appointed deputies, Michael and Michaela Buettner, who are now both authorized to apprehend tractor-tippers.
Top Right to Bottom Right:
“At the Allen County Museum” (2 of 2)—The editor was one of many Ohioans who came to at least one tour venue to have their book signed by the two Michaels.
“Setting Up”—The Williamson daughters, Sophia and Valerie, help Michael Wallis set up the book table prior to a tour event at the Hotel Marsh in Van Wert.
“Balyeat’s Coffee Shop”—The warm glow of red neon is enhanced by cloudy and rainy skies in the twilight as the Ohio part of the tour concludes in Van Wert.
PHOTO CONFIRMS BRICK PILLAR IN WILLIAMSTOWN
Several months after Mike Buettner (Lima) discovered a brick pillar location at Williamstown on a set of highway plans, Tom Kroske (Arlington) received a photograph confirming evidence of same. The undated photograph below is courtesy of a Williamstown resident who took this picture of a truck versus truck accident at the dangerous offset intersection in the center of town. The brick pillar is at the far right of the photo. Note that the globe lamp on top has so far eluded vandalism. Tom and other members of the Eagle Creek Historical Organization, which joined the Lincoln Highway Association a couple years ago, are making plans to erect a brick pillar replica near this same location.
(click to enlarge post portion of photo)
In a related story, Tom reports that a brick Lincoln Highway pillar also existed at New Stark. He recently recovered the concrete foundation of the old pillar on the south side of the highway (here, still part of U.S. 30) at the intersection with Township Road 60. With this discovery, nineteen original brick pillars have been confirmed by either photographs or highway department surveys, or both, along the Lincoln Highway in Ohio.
“Lincoln Highway Cake”—A sheet cake decorated with the image of the new book jacket was a highlight of a well attended cookout at the home of Jim and Karen Cassler near Canton (photograph by Michael Williamson).
“Cutting the Cake”—The two Michaels each got to partake of the tasty cake pieces with their own names on them (courtesy of Jeff Lotze).
“Potluck Cookout”—Michael Wallis joins OLHL members in what would be projected as one of the great highlights of the book tour (courtesy of Jeff Lotze).
“Autograph for Andrew”—Andrew Cassler watches as Michael Wallis puts his pen to a souvenir from the Cars movie, a summer smash hit in 2006. Wallis shared his Route 66 expertise with directors and writers while serving as a creative consultant for the movie over a period of five years (courtesy of Jeff Lotze).
“Hail to the Chef”—Mike Hocker is in his element at the potluck cookout, surrounded by hot grills and cool cars (courtesy of Jeff Lotze).
ANNUAL BUY-WAY EVENT BUILDS ON PAST SUCCESSES
Undeterred by the hot weather of an unusually dry summer, the Third Annual Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale continued to be a popular event in many Ohio communities. Historic Byway Director Mike Hocker traveled from east to west over the course of two days, monitoring activities along that part of the Buy-Way between Chester, West Virginia and Delphos, Ohio. Mike reported that individual yard sale locations were not as numerous as last year, but that small decrease was offset by the fact that there was a significant increase of larger and more organized community events. The dates for the 2008 Buy-Way Yard Sale event will be Thursday August 7 through Saturday August 9.
The Community Club is a old one-room schoolhouse east of Jeromesville, and home to many Mid-Ohio Chapter meetings. Mike Hocker converses with an overseer during the Buy-Way Yard Sale.
Lincoln Way Elementary School on the east side of Wooster claims to be the only elementary school on the entire highway that has the name “Lincoln Way.” They planted and dedicated a concrete replica post at noon on Friday during the Buy-Way event.
The Lincoln Highway Trading Post trailer opened its doors in front of Shisler’s Cheese House at Dalton on Friday of the Buy-Way event. Rita Shisler is the poster child for a retail supporter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, and serves on the board.
Historic Byway Director Mike Hocker and LHA State Director Marie Malernee compare notes and converse with a shopper at the Eastern Ohio Chapter’s welcome station and yard sale at the Lotze home near Robertsville.
(Images courtesy of Mike Hocker; captions by Dick Cope)
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Thus far during 2007, ten new members of the Lincoln Highway Association have been added to the mailing list of Buckeye Ramblings and the Ohio Highway League. Three new memberships have been added since our last mailing:
Ken Parr (Crestline); Mostly Minerva Memory Center (Minerva); and Jason and Veronica Jablonski (Wayne, MI)
Thursday September 20, 2007—Joint meeting with Eastern Ohio Chapter; details to be announced
Thursday October 18, 2007—Chapter meeting at Ole 30 Inn at Hayesville Bucyrus at 6:30 p.m.
For more information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at firstname.lastname@example.org
EASTERN OHIO CHAPTER:
Thursday September 20, 2007—Joint meeting with Mid-Ohio Chapter; details to be announced
Saturday October 20, 2007—Fall foliage tour through Western Pennsylvania
Thursday November 8, 2007—Chapter meeting at home of Bob Lichty and Rosemary Rubin
Thursday December 13, 2007—Annual holiday dinner; details to be announced
For more information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Jeff Lotze at email@example.com or 330-875-2989
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY LEAGUE
April 26, 2008—14th Annual Meeting, to be hosted by Mid-Ohio Chapter. Mike Hocker will be the chairman for this event. Details and location will be announced in an upcoming newsletter.
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY HERITAGE CORRIDOR
August 7-9, 2008CLincoln Highway BuyWay Yard Sale
Thank you to LHA/OLHL member Jim Cassler and The Klingstedt Brothers Company, who have donated the return envelopes that were used to mail this newsletter. Jim and his associates have begun their sixth 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.
Buckeye Ramblings is the 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 at his home address, or by contacting his office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 419-227-1135. Other officers through April 2008 are Mike McNaull (Ashland), Vice-President; Tammy Buettner (Lima), Secretary; and Michael Lester (Bucyrus), Treasurer. State Director for the Lincoln Highway Association is Marie Malernee (Canton). President of the Lincoln Highway Association is Bob Lichty (Canton). For texts of back issues, plus photography and other Ohio information, visit the web site created and maintained by Jim Ross (North Canton) at www.lincolnhighwayoh.com.
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.
ELEVEN OHIOANS ATTEND COLORADO CONFERENCE
Despite being halfway across the country, Fort Morgan, Colorado was home away from home for eleven Ohio members of the LHA for several days in June. The occasion was the 15th Annual Conference of the Lincoln Highway Association, and this event proved every bit as enjoyable as all the recent conferences. Between 1913 and 1915, the Lincoln Highway between Big Springs, Nebraska and Cheyenne, Wyoming was marked by an alternate loop alignment that put Denver—and as a result, Fort Morgan—on the transcontinental route. The tours of the old route were one of several highlights of the week.
Ohioans in attendance were as follows (listed alphabetically): Jim and Karen Cassler with sons Brian and Andy (Canton); Tom Kishman (Minerva); Tom and Linda Kroske (Arlington); Bob Lichty and Rosemary Rubin (Canton); Paul Lintern (Mansfield); and Thelma Riehle (Edgerton).
Also in attendance—and for her fifteenth consecutive LHA conference—was LHA Past-President and OLHL Founder Esther Queneau (formerly of Ashland), who now resides in Pittsburgh with husband Bernie. Although Pennsylvania is now home for Esther, Ohio still likes to claim her as one of our own. Esther and Bernie recently purchased the 38th Life Membership of the LHA. Tom and Mary Lou Lockard (Gambier) and Bob Lichty and Rosemary Rubin (Canton) also purchased Life Memberships during the past business year, joining the Casslers, the Buettners (Lima), and Michael McNaull (Ashland) in that category.
At the awards presentation of the conference, three of the four “Exemplary Friends of the Lincoln Highway” awards had Ohio connections. One went to Marie Malernee (Canton), who had just completed her first year as head of the LHA’s Nominating Committee. As reported in the most recent issue of Lincoln Highway Forum, outgoing LHA President Bob Lichty stated that Marie “has done a remarkable job of streamlining our election procedures.” Marie was at home during the conference while her son was on military leave, and received her glass trophy at the July meeting of the Eastern Ohio Chapter.
Also receiving the Exemplary Friend award was young Brian Cassler (Canton), son of Jim and Karen. Brian is a familiar face at the merchandise table of the Lincoln Highway Trading Post, and if John Long can be called Jim’s right-hand man, then Brian can certainly be called his father’s left-hand man. Brian will be entering the sixth grade at the start of the new school year, and is probably the youngest person to ever receive one of the glass awards.
Finally, the Ohio Department of Transportation was also honored with the Exemplary Friend award. Although ODOT has graciously worked with the LHA and OLHL in many areas—such as posting green freeway signs, yellow intersection signs, Historic Byway signs, and in other matters related to the Scenic Byway program—the department was specifically recognized for their construction of the Lincoln Highway bridge at Beaverdam (see issue number 51 of Buckeye Ramblings), which was opened in 2006. The award will be presented to an ODOT representative at a future Ohio meeting.
(Photos missing in web edition) Thank you to Cloyd and Mary Ann McNaull (Ashland), who sent these pictures from the Ashland Tour of Homes in July. The Mid-Ohio Chapter had a Lincoln Highway display with LHA membership information and also brought in some classic cars, including two Ford Mustangs from the McNaull collection.
ALLEN COUNTY MUSEUM ADDS TO CHILDREN’S GARDEN
This summer witnessed several changes at the Allen County Museum in Lima. Most importantly, an expansive new wing of the museum was opened in July which features several hands-on exhibits that are geared to children. In a related matter, the entrance to the popular Children’s Garden was enhanced with a colorful new entry, and additional signs were placed along the Lincoln Highway path that winds through part of the garden. A Lincoln Highway logo sign was denoted by the Ohio Lincoln Highway League and erected below a retired U.S. 30 sign. The logo sign includes the 1916 mileages from Lima to New York and San Francisco. The signs were placed adjacent to a Lincoln Highway concrete post replica and an interpretive sign that were placed in previous summers. A recent photograph by the editor is featured below.
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY BRICKS GOING TO NEBRASKA
Associated Press reports that a stretch of buried original bricks found on the Lincoln Highway during road construction in Canton will be pulled up and re-assembled at the Great Platte River Road Archway Museum in Kearney, Nebraska, probably in time for the Lincoln Highway Centennial Celebration in 2013. Ironically, and as reported in the most recent issue of Lincoln Highway Forum, it was recently mentioned by Bob Lichty that “the museum people would like to replicate a brick road leading up to [a large window area just to the right of the entry doors], where there would be a Lincoln Highway display.” Bob had just started working with the museum representatives to find a good set of bricks, and what do you know, the bricks will be coming from Bob’s home territory. Ronnie O’Brien, director of operations at the Archway museum, said in the AP report that “We were hoping just to get some original bricks, a few, but the whole thing is going to be original, which is just really amazing.”