The Official Newsletter of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Number 61                                                                                                                            July, 2010


In June, the 18th Annual Conference of the Lincoln Highway Association was held at Dixon, Illinois.  About one dozen Ohioans made the trip to the northwest part of the “Land of Lincoln” for at least some part of the week’s activities.  After the traditional calendar of bus tours and programs was complete, the week closed with an awards banquet that saw Ohioans twice honored for their diligent efforts to promote and preserve the memory of the Lincoln Highway.

The LHA’s “Meritorious Achievement Award” went to young Brian Cassler for his leadership role in cleaning, sorting, and preparing 2000 bricks for relocation to the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument at Kearney, Nebraska.  These bricks had been pulled from Tuscarawas Street in Canton—on the route of the Lincoln Highway—and were being stored on city property (see full story in Buckeye Ramblings #60).  Brian got much of his help from fellow Boy Scouts as they assisted him with this Eagle Scout project, but he also had great contributions from the Eastern Ohio Chapter and the Tim Wunsch family of Fort Morgan, Colorado.


Jim Cassler presents the “Exemplary Friend Award” to these long-time officers of the Mid-Ohio Chapter:  (Left to Right) Jim Cassler, Richard Taylor, Mary Lou Taylor, and Mike McNaull


A second “glass award” earned by deserving Ohioans was the “Exemplary Friend Award.”  Officially, this award was given to the “State of Ohio Lincoln Highway Chapters” in recognition for their ongoing construction, restoration, and maintenance of the several new and old Lincoln Highway landmarks in Ohio.  A typical restoration project was undertaken last summer, when work was performed by the Mid-Ohio Chapter at the original brick pillar east of Oceola (see full story in Buckeye Ramblings #61).  With this and other similar projects in mind, the Ohio leadership agreed that it was proper for the Mid-Ohio Chapter to take possession of this particular award, and were thus presented the glass trophy at their monthly meeting on July 15 at the Oak Park Tavern near Mifflin (see below).

Congratulations to chapter members in both groups for their ongoing efforts in meeting the goals of the Lincoln Highway Association with worthy endeavors such as these.



1.  All incumbent officers were re-elected (see list at bottom of this sheet)

2.  The OLHL Treasury has carried over a good balance from 2009 to 2010, with obvious savings resulting from less use of postage stamps for distribution of newsletters and other announcements

3.  Minor changes proposed for the state by-laws were discussed (these changes will be itemized in the next issue)

4.  The OLHL mailing policy was reviewed, with members having computers being encouraged to receive newsletters

in an electronic format

5.  Construction of a U.S. 30 Bypass around East Canton may finally happen, after a few years being on hold

6.  The count of LHA members with Ohio addresses was down from 120 in September 2008 to 115 in September 2009.  Of these 115 memberships, 100 are individuals or families, six are comprised of historical groups or museums (ECHO, Osnaburg HS, Bath Twp. Museum, Welsh Society, Minerva HS, and Packard Museum), five are convention bureaus or chambers of commerce (Bucyrus, Crestline, Mansfield, Wyandot County, and Van Wert), plus one library (Orrville) and one city (Van Wert)

7.  Sixteen (16) voting members were present for the business meeting; nearly 35 guests of either OLHL or ECHO members were also present





17th Annual Business Meeting, at Ashland, Ohio—Saturday April 30, 2011 (other details incomplete)



For information regarding chapter activities, contact Chapter President Mike McNaull at mmcnaull@hotmail.com or 419-281-3064


For information regarding chapter activities, contact Acting Chapter President Jim Cassler at

info@lhtp.com or 330-456-8319


NOTE: The Mid-Ohio Chapter and Eastern Ohio Chapter will have their Annual Joint Meeting

on the evening of Thursday October 31, at a location to be announced



August 5-7, 2010—Lincoln Highway BuyWay Yard Sale

Go to www.olhhc.org for more information



20th Annual National Conference to be hosted by LHA members in Ohio

June 2012


MISCELLANEOUS:                              August 6-7, 2010—Orrville Rib and Music Fest

Call Rita Shisler (Shisler’s Cheese House) at 330-682-2015 if questions

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. 


 On the first day of May, over fifty people gathered at the original main intersection in the small crossroads community of Williamstown for the dedication of a new Lincoln Highway brick pillar.  The Eagle Creek Historical Organization (ECHO)—based in nearby Arlington—researched and planned the pillar dedication in conjunction with the 16th Annual Business Meeting of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League (OLHL).  The meeting was held at the Williamstown Brethren Church, where a generous lunch prepared by a local caterer was served after the business part of the meeting.  After lunch, ECHO President Don Steinman discussed his discoveries while researching the area’s history, and ECHO Treasurer Tom Kroske recalled some entertaining stories as a long-time area resident.  Several other local residents also had the opportunity to share their memories of the Williamstown of old. 

The location of the new pillar is at the northwest corner of the intersection of the old Lincoln Highway (now marked here as County Road 332) and U.S. Route 68.  A previous pillar had stood at this same corner from the 1920s to the 1950s, but was apparently removed at about the same time that the old four-lane bypass was built around the north side of town (the bypass route was recently reduced to two lanes, and a roadway grade separation was removed).  The opening of the bypass also began to quiet activities at several gas stations and restaurants that once thrived as this busy intersection.  These activities—with the old brick pillar seen twice in the background—were featured in a vintage 1950s video loop that was played during the day’s events.  The video loop was excerpted from the home movies of a local family, and may be the oldest footage to depict a Lincoln Highway brick pillar in Ohio.


Dedication of new brick pillar at Williamstown, Ohio—May 1, 2010

(Left to Right) Gene Woods, owner of the adjacent property; Don Steinman, ECHO President;

Tom Kroske, ECHO Treasurer and LHA Member and Project Manager; Mike Buettner, OLHL President


Tom Kroske, enthusiastic ECHO Treasurer and LHA member, served as the project manager for the pillar construction.  Tom reported in a press release that the plaques in the front of the new pillar were courtesy of the Crates Funeral Home.  Excavation and backfill at the project site was performed by ECHO President Don Steinman and son Deron.  The concrete base was poured by Continental Concrete of Findlay, with the masonry work by George Masonry Restoration.  The concrete cap was prepared by Mid-Ohio Chapter member Richard Taylor.  Tom himself donated the solar light on the top of the pillar, which was reminiscent of the round glass globe that was a unique feature of the original pillar (see photo image in Buckeye Ramblings #53).  The antique bricks used in the construction were obtained from the old Findlay Armory.

Apart from the activities at the church and the pillar site, attendees were also given instructions for a brief driving tour of several special sites in the area.  This included a visit to the BonAir Motel, which Tom reports may soon fall victim to the wrecking ball.  Other featured stops on the driving tour were the Hill Crest Farm Tourist Home—about one mile north of Williamstown—and the site of the Baughman Tourist Home, in New Stark.  Also in the neighborhood of New Stark (one-half mile west) is the location of a concrete foundation for yet another brick pillar that was likely removed in the 1950s (see Buckeye Ramblings #59).




Fulfilling year two of his three-year term as Ohio Director for the Lincoln Highway Association, Mike Buettner and his family began their trip to the 18th Annual Conference at Dixon, Illinois on Monday June 20.  The nearby town of nearby Rochelle, Illinois was their evening destination.  What was intended to be a full evening of train-watching for father and son at Rochelle’s unique Railroad Park was cut short by the threat of yet another round of severe thunderstorms which had been repeatedly been haunting the Illinois prairie over the past week or so (see picture on sheet 6 of 6 for damaged board fence at Franklin Grove).  However, it was not a lost day, as the family was able to follow several old sections of the Lincoln Highway as they proceeded west across Indiana and Illinois. 

In June 2009, Mike had traveled solo to the 17th Annual Conference at South Bend, Indiana.  Because this adventure had given him the chance to revisit the 1928 route between Fort Wayne and Plymouth, the goal for 2010 was to target the west half of the Hoosier State for renewed explorations.  Thus, beyond Plymouth, the family happily left the four lanes of U.S. 30 to gather new photo images in the small towns of Hamlet, Hanna, and Wanatah.  Not surprisingly, several landmarks that were photographed for the cover story of the Fall 1996 issue of The Lincoln Highway Forum had disappeared, but these inevitable subtractions at the roadside were offset by interesting new features which more than compensated for that loss.  For instance, in the small town of Hanna, colorful banners proclaimed the route of the Lincoln Highway through their modest rural business district; and in Wanatah’s Railroad Park, not only was the Lincoln Highway recalled with a new logo sign, so also was the Yellowstone Trail.  As of this writing, this may be the easternmost location that anyone has commemorated the Yellowstone Trail—a transcontinental automobile route that actually predated the Lincoln Highway in the old Pennsylvania Railroad corridor.

Beyond their lunch stop in Wanatah, the family got back on the main roads with the goal of getting to the other side of Joliet, Illinois as quickly as possible.  This included enduring the nightmare that is also known as I-80 below Chicago.  After nearly one hour of white-knuckle urban highway driving, they left the interstate to enter Plainfield, where for three blocks of the town, a version of nostalgic Route 66 overlapped the historic Lincoln Highway.  Unfortunately, reconstruction of those three blocks was under way, but this did not deter Mike from finding a safe place to park the car and photograph a rare sign assembly which simultaneously marked the two significant roadways.

From Plainfield, endurance again became a virtue, as the family proceeded north toward Geneva.  Mike’s internal compass and clock were both on the verge of going haywire, as it simply seemed wrong to be expending so much distance and time proceeding north instead of west.  Thankfully, the discovery of new and old roadside landmarks on the south side of Aurora offered some reward, and all the group agreed that Geneva was a very photogenic town that would be worthy of a future visit—including two old gas stations at one intersection.

West of Geneva, it was shocking to see how quickly the landscape would change from Chicago Suburbia to Illinois Prairie.  The drive on the wide right-of-way of State Route 38 toward DeKalb and Rochelle was truly relaxing after nearly seven hard hours on every extreme of roadway.  The maturing cornfields were calming seas of green that extended in all directions, and the well-signed historic route of the Lincoln Highway offered every assurance that no part of the old coast-to-coast roadway would be missed.  Thus, nearly every gazebo and mural between Geneva and Rochelle was visited and/or photographed as the travel day drew to a close.

The destination at Rochelle was reached in time for a casual pizza dinner.  From there, the tired group enjoyed the refreshment of a fine motel facility which featured an inviting indoor pool.  In the morning, Mike and Michael would finally arrive at the Railroad Park for a two-hour visit that saw nine train movements, featuring eight mainline movements (all eastbound) across the diamond that is shared by the Union Pacific and BNSF properties.  Later that morning, suitcases would be reloaded into the tailgate, with Dixon now just less than one hour away.

The green corn on the rolling hills glistened despite the morning overcast on Tuesday, providing what would be the most vivid landscape imagery of the entire trip.  This is especially true in the area around Ashton and Franklin Grove, where two generations of highway are marked—including a stone road remnant west of Ashton.  The family had been this way before when making the trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2006 (14th Annual Conference), but this did not deter them from making a stop at the National Headquarters in Franklin Grove for the traditional “car-in-front-of-the-building” picture.

It was here that the Buettners were surprised by the arrival of the Cassler and Wunsch contingent, and it was here that the idea of having Ohio host the 2012 conference would become more than just a seed waiting to be watered.  At the executive meeting that would take place that same afternoon, Mike announced that Ohio would be willing to host the 20th Annual Conference, with Jim Cassler most likely to be serving as program chairman.  This proposal was accepted by the executive committee.  Thus, Ohioans will have a lot to do in the next twenty-four months, and Jim and Mike will need the help of their many friends in the LHA state membership to host a successful conference (note to readers: please consider how you can contribute your time and energies to this effort).

The Buettner family would depart Dixon the day after the executive committee meeting.  This was the only family vacation for the summer of 2010, so all interests had to be considered for this week.  However, “Lincoln” did continue to be a major theme for the trip, as two days were spent in Springfield, Illinois, with a visit to the impressive Lincoln Museum on Wednesday, and visits to the Lincoln Home and Lincoln Tomb on Thursday.  All come highly recommended.  On Friday, Mike updated a childhood memory by taking his own family to St. Louis.  Atop the symbolic arch that rises above the old “Gateway to the West,” the family looked to horizons both eastward and westward, contemplating the exciting journeys that were still to come.













Lincoln Highway banner in Hanna, Indiana, promoting the Hoosier State as the Boyhood Home of Abe Lincoln.









Yellowstone Trail sign in Wanatah, Indiana, the easternmost known sign for this old auto route.









Rare sign assembly in Plainfield, Illinois, where Lincoln Highway and Route 66 overlap for three blocks.









Interpretive signs at a tourist shelter in Aurora, Illinois, typical of many that have been placed across the state.







Brick pillar at same tourist shelter in Aurora, Illinois, perhaps inspired by the brick pillars of Ohio.



Mural in DeKalb, Illinois; mural is typical of many that have been placed across the state.





Pillar and gazebo in DeKalb, Illinois; gazebo is typical of many that have been built across the state.



Old Pure Oil station in Geneva, Illinois; business is now known as “The Pure Gardener.”




LHA National Headquarters in Franklin Grove, Illinois; board fence was damaged four days before arrival.



Old Standard Oil station in Rochelle, Illinois; now a tourist information center.




Iconic arch in Dixon, Illinois; host city for 18th Annual Conference of Lincoln Highway Association.




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 mgbuettner@kohlikaliher.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.