Saturday, June 27, 2015

Society Saturday - Lincoln Highway

Kay Shelton, a speaker with the Illinois Humanities Council spoke to our Branch of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims about the Lincoln Highway.

The Lincoln Highway was the brainchild of Carl Fisher (also the founder of the Indy 500 race).  He envisioned a highway from New York City to San Francisco and called it the Coast to Coast Rock Highway.  His idea didn't take off until 1913 when Henry Joy changed the name to Lincoln Highway.

This "highway" essentially connected existing roads, which were largely dirt.  Henry Ford was approached to invest, however he wasn't interested because the Model T could travel in mud while some of its competitors couldn't.

Over time, the roads were improved, sharp turns were straighened and some sections were rerouted.
Along the way, several attractions popped up, along with businesses that catered to travelers.  Miss Shelton showed examples of some attractions in Illinois.

The Lincoln Highway can still be travelled today and can be identified by the red white and blue signs marking the route.

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