Moving Across the Historic Highway Coast to Coast on Historic Lincoln Highway

The beginning of the Lincoln Highway, in Times Square, New York.
Image: Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times.
The eastern terminus for Lincoln Highway is in Times Square
and the western terminus is in Lincoln Park, San Francisco.
Before there was Route 80, before Route 50, there was Lincoln Highway, the nation's first paved coast to coast road. Construction started in 1913.  It took more than a decade of hard work to build and navigate the 3,000 plus miles in all kinds of weather.

Standing in Times Square, I'd never foreseen that I'd be driving on Lincoln Way years later, nor thought about it when visiting family in San Francisco; didn't know of it's historical importance.

You could say the road was built on enthusiasm and a bright idea.  It was intended to be a toll-free road, the most direct route from New York  to California, and built by business people and not by the government.   An interesting look at the history of the road and how it came to be is here.  

Gas stations had to be built, guides, motels, diners, and more were needed to serve the people and their vehicles.  Early road goers had to make do with campsites and the best they could hope to cover on the road was about 18 miles per day with the cars available.  I have an image from Grapes of Wrath when I think of car travel in the 1920's and 30's.

US30 Historic Lincoln Highway
Driving down the hill on Lincoln Way before it crosses over the river.
Christmas lights makes downtown look cheerful on a rainy evening.

I drive on Lincoln Way often. Surviving over 100 years and being a gateway from ocean to ocean, it's a piece of our past which can still be appreciated today.

If you ever do a coast to coast and find yourself on Lincoln Highway, (also called US 30) get in touch for a cup of tea and a chat.

Have you ever travelled on this historic road?

If you want to read more about it:   Lincoln Highway News  is a blog about it and for Ohio interests Discovering Ohio names some of the places you can visit, like the Kewpee Diner, First Ladies National Library, and more.


Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is really interesting, Gloria. I have never driven on the Lincoln Highway, but I love the story behind it. Sort of reminds me of Route 66 which as you probably know is famous for the diners along the way.

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow Gloria, this is really interesting and very cool! I have never driven on it, but you never know, I could? Thanks for sharing the history ;o) Hugs ;o)

Gloria said...

When I was in NJ I probably drove on it then, but had no idea. Route 66 is iconic, probably a lot more famous than Lincoln Highway. We may not be 0000's of years in recorded history, but we have some. lol

Gloria said...

You're welcome, Stacy. Drop down south a little and you may find yourself plonked on it. lol