ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Main Street Across America: The Lincoln Highway, the first to cross the country was dedicated a century ago

Updated on August 19, 2012

Stretching 3,389 miles long, from Times Square in New York to Lincoln Park in San Fracisco, the route for the Lincoln Highway was dedicated in 1913. The project was the dream of Indiana visionary Carl Fisher; the founder of the Indianapolis 500 auto race.

Fisher's idea was to create the first paved road across America. He antiipated the highway would cost $10 million to build and planned to solicit the automotive industry for the fund. One contributor was Henry Jo, president of Packard Motor Company. He donated $15,000 for the effort and came up with the name Lincoln Highway. He also was named president of the newy formed Lincoln Highway Association, which among other activities in 1928, had thosands of Boy Scouts place concrete markers with a smalbust of Lincoln along every mile of the road. The markers were inscribed: This highway dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. Before long it also became known as "Main Street Across America."

As president of the association, Joy held fast to his belief that the highway should follow the most direct route. Thus, many cities and towns that had hoped for inclusion wee disappointed. Among them were Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln's birthplace, and the president's namesake, Lincoln, Nebraska.

From its origin at Times Square in New York City, the Lincoln Highway traveled down 42nd street to a ferry used to cross the Hudson River into New Yersey. After winding through New Jersey. After winding through New Jersey, the route crosses the Delaware River into Pennsylvania where the highway goes through cities and towns, including Gettysburg and Pittsburgh before moving into Ohio. Traveling west, the highway moves through the cities of Canton, Wooster and Mansfield, then exists the state for Indiana and a path similar to today's US 30.

In Illinois the Lincoln Highway follows US 30, passing near Chicago and into Joliet to Aurora. It crosses the Mississippi into Iowa, where it also travels a similar route across the state as US 30. From Iowa, it moves into Nebraska and travels on some of the original bricks built in 1920. It enters Wyoming as Pine Bluffs. Much of the road in Wyoming is dirt and gravel and impassable in poor weather. In Utah, a good portion of the original highway is now on private property in locations like Salt Lake City. It then passes into Nevada, where some of the highway was never paved and the stretch from Ely to Reno has been dubbed "The loneliest road in America."

Originally, a northern and a southern route of the highway entered California and joined i Sacramento before heading into San Francisco and ending in front of the Palace of the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park.

Although the highway was never completely finished as Fisher would have liked, it was nevertheless a marvel. By the late 1940s though, interest in it was beginning to fade. Numbered highways crisscrossed the country and many of the new generation of motorists didn't even know it existed. However in 1992, the Lincoln Highway Association was revived with the goal of keeping the memory of the crosscountry road alive. Today, state associations also work to preserve the highway and encourage travelers to explore it for its historical significance.

A Video about The Lincoln Highway


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A very interesting hub and detailed information


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)