Lincoln Highway Monument Rededication Sept. 28
September 2002 Press Release

From: Gregory M. Franzwa
Box 85639 Tucson AZ 85754-5639
Toll-free: 1/800/367-9242

Officials of the national Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) will rededicate the Henry Bourne Joy monument, now at the Summit rest area on I-80, west of Cheyenne, at 10 A.M. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2002. The public is invited to attend.
The association arranged with the Wyoming Department of Transportation to have the granite monolith moved from the Continental Divide interchange, about 35 miles west of Rawlins, late in 2001. The 150-mile move saved it from almost certain destruction. Four outlying concrete posts had been destroyed by vandals, and four others, cornering a steel fence around the monument itself, were severely damaged.           enlarge

This rare postcard was discovered by California chapter member George Clark in a Fort Bragg antique shop. Having shuffled through some 800 cards, this card was the penultimate one in the assortment. Drake Hokanson tells us in his book The Lincoln Highway: Main Street Across America that Henry Joy's family erected and dedicated this monument to him. He writes, "At four corners to an inscribed stone tablet are concrete Lincoln Highway markers, guarding the monument and standing as corner posts for an iron fence." From  The Lincoln Highway Association page.

The rescued monument now stands beneath the towering bust of Abraham Lincoln, erected on the original summit of the Lincoln Highway in 1959, but moved a mile to the northwest in 1968, after I-80 was constructed.

Henry Bourne Joy was the president of Packard Motor Car Co. and was named the first president of the Lincoln Highway Association in 1913. An avid outdoorsman, Joy was camped near the Continental Divide in 1915 when he witnessed the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen. He expressed the wish to be buried there. That didn’t happen, but his family erected the monument there in 1938, two years after his death. He is generally considered to be the father of the American highway system.

Chris Plummer, Lyman, will be the emcee of the Sept. 28 program. He is the Wyoming state director of the LHA and president-elect of the national association.

LHA president James Ranniger, Evergreen, Colo., will present three of the association’s etched glass awards to individuals responsible for saving the monument.

The guest of honor will be Henry Bourne Joy IV, a cinematographer living in Harbor Point, Michigan, and his son, Henry Bourne Joy V.

Randall A. Wagner, Cheyenne, will receive the association’s top honor, the Meritorious Achievement Award, for championing the move. He is a consultant to the Wyoming Division of Tourism and a past president of the LHA.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive the institutional version of the same award, for funding the move and reinstallation of the monument.

The LHA’s Exemplary Friend of the Highway award will be presented to the Wyoming Department of Parks and Cultural Resources, for funding and erecting signs at both the new and old sites.

During the ceremony, Wagner will describe the move, and Jess Petersen, Tooele, Utah, a past-president of the LHA, will deliver a short address on Joy’s role in the success of the Lincoln Highway.

The Lincoln, America’s first transcontinental highway, extended from Times Square in New York City to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park, a distance of almost 3,400 miles. It was proclaimed in 1913 but was not easily traveled until the mid-1920s, because little federal money was involved in its construction. Cities, counties, and individuals had to provide funding for highway construction and progress was painfully slow.

The Lincoln generally follows U.S. 30 from downtown Philadelphia to Granger, Wyoming, passing through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska before entering Wyoming at Pine Bluffs. It passed through Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, and Green River before exiting the state at Evanston. From there it follows I-80 to the West Coast.

Following the dedication, which will end about 11 A.M., Wagner will lead a caravan along the old Lincoln Highway for about 60 miles to downtown Cheyenne. Participants must provide their own vehicles. There is no charge for the tour.

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