The Lincoln Highway
National Museum & Archives
102 Old Lincoln Way West
Galion, Ohio 44833

(419) 462-2212 Voice
(419) 462-2214 Fax
(419) 566-0790 Cell

Number 006
Leading the Parade...
April 20, 2003

Dear Friends,

Shortly after my encounter with
The Lincoln Highway Brochure,
I began to do my homework.

Turns out the President of
The Lincoln Highway Association
lived in Ashland some 30 miles away.

So I called and said,
"I'm looking to make some Lincoln Highway Signs,
can you point me in the right direction."

She said,
"We're looking for someone
to make some Lincoln Highway Signs."

So I said,
"Well, I'm your man!!"

A week or so later,
the art was done and the blanks ordered.

We made 50 in the first run,
thinking I'd keep a few just for fun,
and let them have the rest.

A week or so later she called and wanted 75 more.

And again and again and again.

They were selling like hot cakes.

Over 750 in the first year or so.

People were putting them up all over the country.

I even made up an ad
for their National Publication
The Lincoln Highway Forum.

The idea being to plow the profits
back into resigning the Highway.
That was in June of 1996.

For Christmas that year
my sister gave me a copy of
Drake Hokanson's book...

As I thumbed through the pages,
two images caught my eye.
Times Square and Lincoln Park in San Francisco.

I never realized what
"A Big Deal"
The Lincoln Highway
really was.

The wheels began to turn and I thought,
wouldn't it be cool to put up special signs in
Times Square and Lincoln Park,
the Eastern and Western Terminus of the Highway.

But How??

On February 12, 1997,
my parents and I finished a 48 hour driving marathon
from Ohio to San Francisco to visit my brother.

Seems he wanted the family piano,
and the only way to get it there was
to put it in the back of the Van and hightail it out.

After attending to family matters,
I was off to...

to check things out.

I couldn't believe it,
they didn't know anything about the Lincoln Highway,
so it was off to the San Francisco Library.

I did a catalog search and came up a copy of...

The book was written in 1935 and was
The Official History of the Lincoln Highway.

I turned to the section on signs
and began to read...
"Starting from Jersey City in June of 1916,
the painters worked west..."

I paused for a moment,
then took a deep breath...

It was June of 1996 the we put up the first signs,
80 years ago to the month.

I immediately began to think in cycles,
and turned the pages looking for more.

On page 217 it says..

"What Nobel County needs is more Boy Scouts..."

"Mr. Martin wrote to Mr. Hoag saying ,
the scouts were anxious to participate in such public works..."

"Mr. Martin proposed...a Boy Scout motor trip across the country,
the Boys Scouts would take over setting...of permanent concrete markers...
and to make the work spectacular and dramatic, set them all,
from New York to San Francisco in one day."

"Now you're talking, men!"
"Now you've got a story."

Well I was hooked...

The script was already written.

But who would lead such a crusade???

I went to the San Francisco History Room on the 6th floor
thinking they might have more information on the Lincoln Highway.

Nothing much here,
so on a long shot I tried the 4 volume set,
The Story of the Exposition.

The 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

The PPIE as its called,
was one of the main reasons
to build the Highway in the first place,
so I checked the index.

Nothing there,
so I decided to look under Ohio.

I turned to the proper page and began to read...

"Governor Harmon appointed as such..."

then it continues...

there was...
" Ohio Society dance on November 12."

There it was plain as day,
Harmon and November 12th...
my birthday.

So now I guess we know...
who's going to lead the parade.

Warmest Regards,


20 Days-Index



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