The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 60 February, 2010
PLANS BEING MADE FOR ANNUAL MEETING ON MAY 1, 2010
For the first time in the history of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League, our annual business meeting will be held in Hancock County. Tom Kroske, an enthusiastic LHA member from Arlington, is working with OLHL President Mike Buettner in planning the day’s events, which have been scheduled on May 1—the first Saturday of the month. This will be the sixteenth annual business meeting of the OLHL.
In addition to his newfound role with the OLHL, Tom is also a member of the Eagle Creek Historical Organization (ECHO), an active local group that is hoping to erect a brick pillar in time for the meeting. The pillar will be built on a new foundation at the northwest corner of the original main intersection in Williamstown. As reported in a previous newsletter, this was the location of a brick pillar that had built in the late 1920s, but lost to roadway changes in the late 1950s.
The venue for the business meeting will be the Williamstown Church of the Brethren, just a short distance south of pillar location, and within view of the new four-lane route of U.S. 30. The business meeting will start at 10:30 a.m., and will be followed by a catered lunch featuring some local Amish cooking. Other activities for the day will include self-guided driving tours, plus brief programs relative to local history, as told by some of the ECHO members. If construction is complete, the unveiling of the pillar will climax the day’s activities.
At this time, some minor details do remain to be finalized. Thus, registration forms will be mailed out at a later date. Watch for a mailing (either hard copy or electronic copy) near the end of March. For now, please mark your calendars for the first Saturday in May, and make plans to join us for a good day of Lincoln Highway fellowship.
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY BRICKS TO THE ARCHWAY MUSEUM IN NEBRASKA
(Story courtesy of “Linc” Across Nebraska, newsletter of Nebraska LHA)
It was a very cold and snowy morning on January 3 when Tim Wunsch’s truck and trailer pulled up in front of the Archway Museum in Kearney, Nebraska. The precious cargo on his trailer was ten pallets of Lincoln Highway bricks from Canton, Ohio. This was the culmination of a project taking over a year.
[The City of] Canton had removed the original Lincoln Highway bricks in a street renewal project. Meanwhile, the Archway at Kearney was planning to recreate a portion of the old highway in time…for the Centennial Celebration to be held in 2013. Canton decided to donate the bricks to the Archway for the project.
Brian Cassler, son of Jim Cassler, operator the Lincoln Highway Trading Post, cleaned and palleted the bricks as his Eagle Scout project. They were ready to go by April.
Getting them from Canton to Kearney was the problem. LHA member Tim Wunsch from Fort Morgan, Colorado stepped forward to help. The Eastern Ohio Chapter of the LHA raised funds to pay for Tim’s fuel costs. Tim and his two sons started from Fort Morgan for Canton on the day after Christmas. The Midwest was in the midst of a big blizzard. Both I-70 in Kansas and I-80 in Nebraska were closed. After a very challenging trip, Tim and his boys arrived in Canton, and the bricks were loaded onto his trailer on December 29. They also loaded two replica Lincoln Highway concrete markers headed to Duncan, Nebraska.
Early Saturday morning, January 2, Tim and his two boys left Canton accompanied by Jim and Brian Cassler. They drove straight through, encountering snow and white-out conditions from western Iowa to central Nebraska. At 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, they unloaded the two concrete markers in Duncan, and then proceeded to Kearney. When they arrived at the Archway, they were greeted by Ronnie O’Brien, Director of Educational Programming, and Gary Roubicek, Manager of the Archway, and Bob and Lenore Stubblefield of the Nebraska LHA. The event was covered by a reporter from the Kearney Daily Hub.
The pallets of bricks were unloaded and will be stored until spring when the snow melts and the Lincoln Highway section can be built. A special thank you to Brian Cassler, Jim Cassler, Tim Wunsch, and the Eastern Ohio Chapter of the LHA for making this possible. The Nebraska Chapter of the LHA also contributed to the fund for Tim Wunsch’s fuel.
(see sheet 5 of 6 for a photo album of this project)
THE GREAT MID-OHIO ‘ALMOST-ACROSS-THE-STATE’ TREK
Under a picture-perfect sunny Indian summer sky, on November 8, 2009, twenty-one LHA folks toured the grand old road, and at the end of the trek visited two wonderful museums. The weather could not have been better, which added greatly to the entire experience of traveling on “The Main Street across America.”
This trip originated in the Target store parking lot at Mansfield/Ontario, just north of new U.S. Route 30. Under the direction of the trip’s organizer, Mike Hocker, we headed west on the new road until we reached Bucyrus, where we turned south to intersect the old road. Along the way, we kept our eyes open looking for answers to the “Shotgun Rider’s Trivia Test”—one assigned per vehicle.
We followed the 1913 route thru Nevada, Upper Sandusky (for a quick group photo at the brick section behind Willson’s Grocery), Kirby, Forest, Patterson, Dola, and then into Ada for a terrific meal at Viva Marie’s on the south side of town. While at Viva Marie’s, Mike Hocker collected the road trivia test results, and the winners were the vehicle of Richard and Mary Lou Taylor, and Phil and Marilyn Johnson. This restaurant had opened earlier-than-normal this day to accommodate our LHA group, and they treated us very well. The service was great, the portions extremely generous, and the food very tasty (well worth the drive). We could have turned around and headed back home immediatley after eating, calling it a day, but the best was yet to come!
After dining, we again headed west on the old road, passing thru Beaverdam, Cairo, and then into Gomer, stopping at the Welsh Museum. Here we were pleased to hook-up with Mike and Tammy Buettner.
At this point, the group split up, with some pressing on to the Canal Museum at Delphos. At the museum we found a considerable amount of activity. They are in the midst of building a new stairwell, and their Christmas trees had just been set-up. The tour guides were very enthusiastic, proudly showing-off their latest acquisition: a genuine WWI American machine gun. Both museums are real treasures for their communities, capturing the bygone days with photos, displays, and artifacts that tell the story of a simpler time in America. It was very encouraging to see Lincoln Highway displays at both museums, and it was especially good to see the scale-model Snow Cruiser at Gomer, built by former Mid-Ohio member Ray Gottfried. The authentic Welsh cookies and hot tea added to the hospitality of the folks at Gomer.
This entire day was an ideal experience, and we all need to thank Mike Hocker for all of his efforts; from his very professional strip-map with six sections and itinerary, down to the “Shotgun Rider’s” quiz. This is a trip that we’ll be talking about for a long time to come.
“Roadhuggers” at old Lincoln Highway bricks behind Willson’s Grocery at Upper Sandusky: in Row 1: Nancy Hocker, Mary Lou Lockard, Mike Hocker, Mary Lou Taylor; in Row 2: Keith Lupton, Maureen Lupton, Hanni Talpas, Vivian Stitzel, Marilyn Johnson, Tom Lockard, Jean Stauffer, Harold Zager, Jane Zager, Mel Draper; in Row 3: Joe Everly, Nancy Everly, Richard Taylor, Phil Johnson, Mike McNaull
This issue of Buckeye Ramblings is dedicated to the memory of Mary Lou Lockard, who passed from us on January 10, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer.
A SHORT STORY ABOUT A LONG
By Tom Kroske
The year is 1945. It is October, a couple of months past my seventh birthday, and World War II is just over. My mother has a medical condition that our family doctor suggests could be best cured by “getting her away from here for a month to six weeks”. We have relatives in Los Angeles, California, and a childhood friend of my father lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gasoline rationing has been lifted, so we are going to go on a trip to visit them. My father took a six-week leave of absence from his work, and got the ’37 Dodge ready for the big trip. In later years the mechanic that worked on the car told me, “I wouldn’t have driven the damn thing to Toledo!” Since we live just four miles north of the Lincoln Highway, that would be the route we would take. We got on at Williamstown, Ohio and headed west. Here is how it went:
We stopped in Van Wert for lunch—probably Balyeat’s Restaurant. I was homesick for my friend back home and couldn’t eat anything. I WANTED TO GO HOME! (I sent him a post card, mentioned later) My dad asked if we could please go as far as Salt Lake City so he could see the man that he had played with when they were little boys. Then we would turn around and come home if I wanted to. Of course I had no concept of how far it was to Salt Lake City, so I said okay, and off we went.
Our first night was spent somewhere in Indiana. The one thing I remember about it was the two swings, slide, and teeter-totter set they had in the front yard of the motel. I was having fun, and I wasn’t homesick any more. I do not know the proper order of these next events, but one night was spent in a room that shared a bathroom with the adjacent room. The door from our room into the bathroom had a hook and eye lock to keep us out when the people in the other room needed it, but there was no lock on their door to keep them out when we needed it. As a result someone had to go along to guard the door when one of us used the bathroom.
I remember Council Bluffs, Iowa—I think we had mail forwarded to us there—and I also remember North Platte, Nebraska, but I don’t know why. One night was spent where it was cold, and there were several deer hanging from tripods that hunters had gotten that day. On October 22, 1945 we stayed in the Indian Village Motor Lodge, West U.S. 30, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Rates were from $2.50 for two persons—steam heat, circulating hot water, tubs and showers, and telephones. It claimed “Open all year-where the west begins” (taken from a post card I sent to my friend back home). It was so cold there was snow on the ground in the morning, and I made snowballs. Just west of Cheyenne, around Buford, we stopped to look at a small tree growing out of a rock along the highway. A nearby sign said the trainmen from the Union Pacific Railroad would water the tree to keep it growing. Interestingly enough, today that tree is still growing out of the rock in a wayside park in the median of Interstate 80.
The family we visited in Salt Lake City lived in a new section of the city that was unique in that the houses were facing backwards, and there was no street running in front of the houses. All houses were approached from a street in the rear. It was great to go out the front door and be able to ride a bicycle without looking out for cars. The family had a son, and he had a pedal car that his father had rigged up with battery powered headlights. I thought that was really neat. We stayed the night with them, and when we left in the morning my parents held their breath, thinking I would say, “Let’s go back home now!” but I didn’t.
From there we left the Lincoln Highway and headed for Los Angeles. I only remember eating three meals the whole trip. I’m sure there were more. Of course the first was the one in Balyeat’s that I didn’t eat. We had taken a Coleman gasoline camping stove and everything needed to prepare and eat a meal. We stopped near a roadside historical marker and had a picnic—probably for lunch somewhere in Nevada. Speaking of Nevada, we did stop in Las Vegas, and mom and I waited in the car while dad went into a bar to play the slot machines. I have no idea how he did, but I don’t think he made a lot of money!
When we got to Los Angeles we stopped at a gas station and asked how to get to 97th street. The guy said to go 97 blocks down this street. It was a six-lane highway, three lanes each direction, the first we had ever seen. We made it. We stayed at my great grandparents’ home. We ate oranges from the tree in the back yard. It was Halloween and my grandmother had put a cardboard jack-o-lantern in the kitchen window just off the front porch. It was trick-or-treat night and she had put a small candle in it. Later someone told us the thing was on fire. No damage, but it was a memorable moment for me.
I had mentioned earlier that I remember three meals. The third was in Los Angeles at the restaurant in the hotel where my father’s uncle lived. After we had eaten I was wandering around and came back to our table with tip money I had gotten from the empty tables. I said, “Look at all the money I found on the tables!” My dad’s uncle thought it was very funny, and said he would take care of it since he ate there a lot and knew the waitresses well. I’ll bet the waitresses were ready to mash me as I walked around taking their tip money!
We started home on Route 66. I remember Needles, California since it was a funny name for a town. I also remembered the towns from the song about Route 66. We took a side trip to Prescott, Arizona, and went from there to Flagstaff via Jerome, a memorable town. It was built over a mine, and when they would blast in the mine the buildings would slide down the mountain. When they got to the street they just moved them to the other side. We went to the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. I still have a sizeable piece of petrified wood that I brought home. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to take any, and when I showed it to my parents as we were going down the road later on, they just about passed out.
Somewhere in Tennessee we stopped, probably for a meal. What I remember there is that it was squirrel hunting season, and my dad was talking to a man about the hunting and asking about the daily limit. The man said there was no limit because there were so many squirrels. He told of he and his son going out for a full day and they got 105 squirrels that day.
Somewhere along the way we stopped again and got some cotton for me to show at school along with the petrified wood. The last thing I remember was coming through Xenia, Ohio and thinking how strange it was to start the name of a town with an X. The old ‘37 Dodge made it. We had a throttle linkage problem in Wyoming that dad fixed with one of mom’s hair pins, and we needed a new battery when we were in Los Angeles. Fortunately there was no tire trouble, because tires were hard to get then. That’s my story about a trip on the Lincoln Highway, and others, years ago.
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY LEAGUE: 16th Annual Business Meeting, at Williamstown Church of the Brethren, Williamstown, Ohio—Saturday May 1, 2010
(see cover story)
MID-OHIO CHAPTER: For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at email@example.com or 419-281-3064
EASTERN OHIO CHAPTER: For information regarding chapter activities, contact Acting Chapter President Jim Cassler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-456-8319
LINCOLN HIGHWAY ASSOCIATION: June 22-26, 2010 at Dixon, Illinois
OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY HERITAGE CORRIDOR: August 5-7, 2010—Lincoln Highway BuyWay Yard Sale
Thank you to LHA/OLHL member Jim Cassler and The Klingstedt Brothers Company, who have donated the envelopes that were used to mail hard copies of this newsletter. Jim and his associates are the official suppliers 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 email@example.com or by phone at 419-227-1135. Other officers through April 2010 are Mike McNaull, Vice-President; Tammy Buettner, Secretary; and Michael Lester, Treasurer. For texts of back issues, plus photography and other Ohio information, visit the web site created and maintained by Jim Ross at www.lincolnhighwayoh.com.
(Below) Two views of a new mural facing Fifth Street in Delphos, on the side of the old Lincoln Highway Garage (now K&M Tire); painted by Oscar Velasquez from Bluffton, Ohio, who has done murals nationwide and in numerous nearby towns in northwest Ohio (text courtesy of Bob Ebbeskotte)
PHOTO ALBUM FOR
“OHIO LINCOLN HIGHWAY BRICKS TO THE ARCHWAY IN NEBRASKA”
(Images courtesy of Jim Cassler, Ezra Malernee, and Eastern Ohio Chapter)
As part of his Eagle Scout service project, Brian Cassler (pictured at right) assisted with the cleaning, sorting, and preparation of 2000 bricks that were salvaged from Tuscarawas Street in Canton. The bricks were relocated to the Archway Museum at Kearney, Nebraska, where they will be used to replicate a stretch of road leading to an adjacent 1915 bridge—a bridge which was built by the Canton Bridge Works. (text courtesy of Jim Cassler)
MORE IMAGES FROM THE MID-OHIO GOMER/DELPHOS ROAD TRIP
(Top Left) LHA member Carla Olds was among the first to greet the Mid-Ohio Chapter upon their visit to the Gomer Welsh Community Museum in November 2009. Authentic Welsh cookies and hot tea added to the hospitality.
(Top Right) Before retiring and moving to Florida, Ray Gottfried (former LHA member from Upper Sandusky) donated his built-from-scratch scale model of Admiral Byrd’s Snow Cruiser to the Gomer Museum. Bound for the Antarctic, the immense vehicle crashed on the Lincoln Highway just east of Gomer in 1939, making national news headlines for the small community.
(Bottom Left) The Delphos Canal Commission Museum is located on North Main Street in Delphos, on an early route of the Lincoln Highway. In a remarkable coincidence, this property had been in the Buettner family since 1859, before two generations of heirs sold it to the Commission in 1996 for the sum of one dollar. The editor remembers it as a W.T. Grant store.
(Bottom Right) The Lincoln Highway logo sign inside this display case at the Delphos Museum was salvaged from the original brick pillar in Oceola, after it was destroyed by a wayward van in 1993. The sign somehow ended up at an antique sale in Lima, where an alert historian from Delphos—Father Christopher Vasko—purchased the sign for the museum. It was later used to cast similar signs (such as the sign on the floor) for installation in new pillars at Beaverdam, Oceola, and other locations.
Additional Credits: Nebraska article written by LHA Director Lennie Stubblefied; “Roadhuggers” image by Mike Hocker; Delphos and Gomer images by Mike Buettner