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

(202) 536-5329

"Official Comments"

National Park Service
Lincoln Highway
Special Resource Study

Part 3
Specifics-1

August 27, 2004

That being said,
let's move on
to the specifics of the report.

While it should be noted,
there are minor errors,
misstatements of facts,
improper implications,
improper conclusions,
and
omissions in
Chapter 2
which collectively reflect
on the impact of this report,
it's not necessary
to cover them
point by point
at this time.

For the record,
they do exist
and are subject to
discussion at a later time.

However,
there are several significant
omissions which directly
reflect on the impact of
the report.

First,
is the failure
to acknowledge...

Washington, DC
The Nation's Capital
and
The Lincoln Memorial
was on
The Lincoln Highway,

The Second,
is this...

Bombshell...

and Ultimatum...

from Gael Hoag,
about shifting
The Western Terminus
to Los Angeles...

followed by this petition...

in rebuttal.

And finally...

this little tid bit from...

The American Chauffeur
October 1917.

This is the second reference to...

Nu'uanu Pali
as the Western Terminus of
The Lincoln Highway
I've seen in recent years.

Note it was
"Announced"
not
"Proposed!!"

Can't put my finger
on the other source
right this second,
but seem to recall
Henry B. Joy
was knowledgeable
about the subject.

Point being,
it brings an
"Added Dimension"
to the Lincoln Highway
and only adds to its overall
"Ambiance"
and
"National Significance".

All in all,
three pretty
"Significant Omissions"
which Congress should
have in order to
properly understand the
"History and Significance"
of
The Lincoln Highway.

In addition,
Chapter 3
which covers the...
"Current Context of the Lincoln Highway"
speaks only in terms of the
"Physical Assets"
of the Highway
and completely ignores the
"Historic Assets"
as well as the
"Spiritual & Physicological Assets"
The Lincoln Highway
has to offer.

Again these subjects
will be more clearly
articulated as we move along.

Which bring us to...

Chapter 4,
"Evaluation of National Significance"

which sets the criteria
for National Significance, ie:

1) It is an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.

2) It possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating
or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our nation's heritage.

3) It offers superlative opportunities for public enjoyment,
or for scientific study.

4) It retains a high degree of integrity as a true,
accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of a resource.

While I agree in spirit,
with most of the assessments,
the report
STOPS SHORT
of articulating its
"TRUE SIGNIFICANCE"
to America
and the rest of World.

Case in point...

Number 1.
Outstanding Example

1) The Lincoln Highway is an outstanding example
of a particular type of resource.

While related to
The Theodore Roosevelt International Highway,
The Yellowstone Trail,
The Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway,
and
The National Old Trails Road,
The Lincoln Highway,
is...

The Greatest Memorial
The Lincoln Highway

"It is a name to conjure by.
It calls to the heroic.
It enrolls a mighty panorama of fields and woodlands;
of humble cabins and triumphant farm homes
and cattle on a thousand hills;
burrowing mines and smoking factories;
winding brooks, commerce laden rivers and horizon lost oceans.
And because it binds together all these wonders
and sweeps forward till it touches the end of the earth
and the beginning of the sea it is to be named the "Lincoln Highway".

It brings back to us the lank figure of the growing boy
walking the country roadway with borrowed books;
the dreaming out, surveying and building of his highway of the soul,
that should stretch from that mysterious ocean of the past, whence he came,
to the mysterious ocean of the eternal, to which he would go;

a highway along whose everyday travel he had a gentle word for the sorrowing,
a hand for the one in trouble, a sharp prod for the indifferent,
a word of council for the perplexed, an inspiration for the doubtful, and love for all;
the highway of the soul of the "Great American".


First Congregational Church
Ogden, Utah
September 21, 1913

to
"The Greatest American!!"

And while the highways mentioned
are quite clearly in the same family,
they are but distant cousins...

to the...
"Father"
of them All...

"The Show Road of the World"
as
The Lincoln Highway
became...

The International Standard...

for Canada...

England...

Portugal...

and...

Russia!!

Simply put...

The Lincoln Highway
is in a
"CLASS TO ITSELF"
with...
"Nothing like it in the World!!"

And that's not the half of it!!!

More on this later...

So while I agree
with the NPS conclusion...

"Of the four previously cited
transcontinental highways
of the period,
The Lincoln Highway
was both the most publicized
and the best known;
such as,
it represents the most successful
private roads campaign initiated during
The Good Roads Moment."

it's what I'd call
"The Understatement of the Year"
and hardly a
"Glowing Recommendation".

And yet from the examples cited
how would Congress know
any better???

That being said,
we move on to...

Number 2
Exceptional Value or Quality

2) The Lincoln Highway possesses exceptional value
or quality in illustrating or interpreting
the natural of cultural themes
of our nation's heritage.

Under this Heading,
The Lincoln Highway
must meet at least one of the
following NHL criteria:

1) Association with events that have made
a significant contribution to,
are identified with,
or outstandingly represent
the broad national pattern
of United States history
and from which an understanding
and appreciation of those patterns may be gained.

2) association with lives of persons
nationally significant in the history
of the United States.

3) representation of some great idea
of ideal of the American People.

4) embodiment of distinguishing characteristics
of an architectural type specimen exceptionally valuable
for the study of a period, style, or method of construction
or that represent a significant, distinctive and exceptional
entity whose components may lack distinction.

5) composition of integral parts of the environment
that are not sufficiently significant by reason of historical association
or artistic merit to warrant individual recognition,
but which collectively compose an entity of exceptional
historic or artistic significance or outstandingly
commemorate or illustrate a way of life of culture.

6) yielding, or being likely to yield,
information of major scientific importance
by revealing new cultures of shedding light
on periods of occupation over large areas of
the United States-such sites are those
that have yielded or may reasonably
be expected to yield data affecting
theories, concepts and ideas to a major degree.

Of the 6 possibilities,
"The Report"
concludes
The Lincoln Highway
qualifies in
ONLY TWO
categories.

This is
"NUTS,"
and only goes to show
the fundamental lack
of understanding for
"The Significance"
and
"Opportunity"
of
The Lincoln Highway.

In my mind,
The Lincoln Highway
qualifies in
EVERY
Category,
not...
JUST TWO!!

But then I'm getting ahead of myself...

Lets start with Number 1...

The report concluded...

1) The Lincoln Highway is
associated with events that have made
a significant contribution to,
are identified with,
or outstandingly represent
the broad national pattern
of United States history
and from which an understanding
and appreciation of those patterns may be gained.

Again the
"Understatement of the Year"
as they go on to repeat...

"The Lincoln Highway represents
the most successful private roads campaign
initiated during the Good Roads Movement."

And while a true statement,
it hardly reflects
the scope and magnitude
of this success.

Case in point...

The report,
states...

"Once the official route was established in 1913,
towns celebrated their inclusion with bonfires,
parades, speeches, and celebrations..."

Again,
a true statement,
but it hardly represents
"The Whole Truth"!!

The implication is,
that towns and cities
excited over their inclusion on
The Lincoln Highway
celebrated with bonfires,
parades and speeches,
but what it doesn't say
is that...

The Whole Nation Celebrated
in
"A Great Patriotic Event"...

as
"AMERICA"
Dedicated
The Lincoln Highway!!

Not with a few parties here,
and a few celebrations there,
but in a
"Grand Style"
UNMATCHED
in the annuals of
American History...

as East met West,
and
"The Nation"
was
"Suddenly Bound Together"
as never before!!

Council Bluffs...

started the Celebration
at 12:01 am,
followed by a long list of towns
including...

Detroit...

Trenton...

South Bend...

and Omaha...

to North Platte...

with Elk Mountain, Wyoming..

and Clinton, Iowa

thrown in for good measure.

Omaha...

had the largest fire in the nation,
that was over 40 feet tall,
and built with several car loads
of railroad ties donated by the
Union Pacific Railroad.

This is the...

"ONLY KNOWN PHOTO"
of
"THIS FIRE"
or any
"OTHER FIRE"
held that night!!!

Not to be outdone...

Reno, Nevada
held a huge
"Automobile Parade"
and Governor Oddie Tasker
issued this...

Lincoln Highway Proclamation,
as did
Governor Morehead of Nebraska...

LINCOLN HIGHWAY PROCLAMATION
At the request of organizations interested in boosting the Lincoln Highway
automobile route through the state of Nebraska, which follows the Platte river,
Governor Morehead has officially fixed the date of October 31 as a time for
the dedication of the road. What form of observance shall be made on that day
is left to the different persons and bodies taking part in the movement.
The Governor's proclamation is as follows:
The Lincoln Highway association , a national organization with headquarters
at Detroit, Mich. and formed for the purpose of promoting the construction
and maintenance of good roads through the country and having in hand
especially the construction of a coast to coast highway; having located
said highway across the state of Nebraska, thus assuring us a road
the entire length of our state that will be a model to be followed
by others interested in highway promotion.
I hereby designate Friday, October 31, 1913,
for the dedication of said Lincoln memorial highway
and I earnestly request a proper observance of this day.
John Morehead, Governor
Lincoln, Nebraska
Kearney Daily Hub-October 25, 1913

and Governor Carey
of Wyoming...

The Lincoln Highway Association
has determined that the great highway
to be called the Lincoln highway, as a memorial to Lincoln, one of the
martyred presidents, should cross the state of Wyoming from east to west.
It is thought especially fitting that on the evening of October 31st
there should be an old-time jollification to include bonfires and
general re-joicing; this for the purpose of impressing upon the people
and especially the younger generation-the services and unselfish life of
Lincoln, and for the further purpose of painting a big picture so far
as amusements are concerned of the highway which is to cross our state.
It has also been suggested that on Sunday, November 2nd, the clergy
in the churches of Wyoming, as they will do in other states, take as
substance of their sermons the life and ideals of the great Lincoln
with the view of impressing them upon the younger generation.
Joseph M. Carey, Governor
Cheyenne, Wyoming-October 11, 1913
Elk Mountain Republican-October 23, 1913

In short,
no small event,
and yet if you read the report...

"Once the official route was established in 1913,
towns celebrated their inclusion with bonfires,
parades, speeches, and celebrations..."

I Guess!!!

But who had a clue???

"A Monumental Achievement"
even by today's standards,
but what makes it so amazing
is that they pulled it off
in less than 2 months!!

Figure
The Lincoln Highway Association
officially got under way on...

July 1, 1913,
then they had to run the route...

once by Henry...

and once by Carl...

then figure out which way to go...

meet with the Governors...

at the end of August,
make the final decision,
send out 125,000 Publicity Kits
and
Announce the Route...

two weeks later on
September 14, 1913.

Then in just 46 days...

have a Network in place
large enough to pull off,
A Nationwide...

Dedication of the Lincoln Highway!!

Hard to Believe!!!

Armed only with...

"An Idea"
whose time had come
and the...

"Spirit of Lincoln".

Pretty much speaks for itself!!

Well I could go on and on...

Aside from all the celebrating,
and a few words about how...

"The Lincoln Highway
became representative of
an American infrastructure in transition
between the dominance of the railroad
and the emergence of a national,
auto-based transportation system."

the report mentions
one other significant event
as it continues to builds its case
demonstrating the
Lincoln Highway's
role in transforming
America.

This being the well known,
1919 Army Convoy
that took a young
Dwight Eisenhower
from Washington to San Francisco
and helped forge his knowledge of
Good Roads
prior to his signing the 1956
Federal Highway Act.

Again,
while all this is true,
it hardly give justice
to the multitude of events...

"that have made
a significant contribution to,
are identified with,
or outstandingly represent
the broad national pattern
of United States history
and from which an understanding
and appreciation of those patterns may be gained."

To understand the power of
The Lincoln Highway
and the
"Significant Contributions"

"that are identified with
or represent the broad national pattern
of United States history..."

we need only look
at the host of
National Events
which took place over the years
on this 3400 mile stretch of concrete.

Beginning with...

J. Neil Patterson's...

First Trip Across the Continent on
The Lincoln Highway
since the dedication...

taking movies,
it was non-stop action
until the late 1930's.

Patterson's trip was followed by

The Christening of The Lincoln Highway

in this 1914 Saxon.

After dipping their rear wheels into the Atlantic,
and filling canteen with ceremonial water...

Jay Croker and Fred Wilson
traveled across the Continent in 30 Days
arriving in San Francisco on the 4th of July...

then drove into the surf
and emptied the canteen,
merging the water of Atlantic
with the Pacific.

And then it continues...

1915 saw several historic events...

The first was the start of
The Lincoln Highway Film Tour...

in May of 1915...

that went across the continent
making the...

"The First Motor Travel Film Ever Taken"
and ended in San Francisco...

with a huge celebration and
Lincoln Highway Day
in front of...

The Palace of Transportation
at

which was perhaps...

"The Greatest Exposition Ever"
and one of the main catalysts
for the Highway in the first place.

The Palace of Transportation...

was also the home of...

the famous 365 foot long
Lincoln Highway Map...

seen here
FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
under construction...

and as a close up in full relief,
with each town clearly designated
in these
ONLY KNOWN PHOTOS!!!

All this was followed several days later
by claiming...

Lincoln Park
as
The Western Terminus of The Lincoln Highway.

Which sets up...

The Betsy Ross Memorial Flag Pole,
on the exact spot...

two years later...

both of which predate
and set the ultimate location for...

The California Palace of The Legion of Honor.

Without the Lincoln Highway,
as the catalyst
there would be no
Betsy Ross Flag Pole
in Lincoln Park
and who knows where
The Legion of Honor
would be today.

Now,
back to
The Palace of Transportation...

where
Paramount Film Star
Anita King...

began her historic journey
as the first person,
male or female,
to make the transcontinental trip alone.

Her progress was the first
to be plotted on the big
Lincoln Highway Map.

And as if that weren't enough,
the summer of 1915...

saw the first
armored car convoy
across the country on
The Lincoln Highway.

The ground breaking trip
went from...

Chicago to San Francisco
and was the brainchild of
Colonel Royal Davidson
of the
Northwestern Military Academy.

The 8 Armored Cadillac's,
designed and driven
by his students
escorted...

"The Liberty Bell"
as it arrived...

at the PPIE via train...

but was pitched to go
via
The Lincoln Highway.

In addition,
the War Department sponsored...

to demonstrate the use of motorcycles
to carry military dispatches.

The Relay started on the steps of the capital
with a dispatch from President Wilson...

to Charles Moore,
President of the Panama-Pacific Exhibition
and took over a week
with 137 Riders taking part
on Harleys and Indians.

But perhaps,
the most interesting tour of 1915...

was Howard Russell's
Water Wagon Tour
in which he said...

More on this later.

And this was just 1915!!!

Over the years,
The Lincoln Highway
was
"Center Stage"
for a variety of
historic "FIRST" events...

The Goodyear Wingfoot Express,
The Nation's
"First"
Transcontinental Truck Line
in 1917...

The Nation's
"First"
"Radio Tour" in 1922...

The 1924 Coolidge-Dawes Lincoln Tour,
the
"First"
Presidential Campaign Tour on
The Lincoln Highway...

and...

L. B. Miller's...

Flight of...

The Grey Goose
in 1925...
and again in 1926.

Not to mention...

his record breaking
"First Ever"
Coast to Coast and return in 1927...

and again in 1931!!!

And then of course,
there is the "ONE EVENT" mentioned
in the NPS Report...

"The First"
Army Transcontinental Motor Transport Convoy

in 1919,
that started with
A Big Parade...

down Pennsylvania Ave,
several days before the actual start...

in front of...

The White House...

at the
"Temporary"
Zero Milestone...

before heading to
The Betsy Ross Memorial Flag Pole
in Lincoln Park, San Francisco
The End of the Lincoln Highway
to receive...

The Lincoln Highway Award,
perhaps the only...

"Private Medal"
"Officially Authorized"
by the US Army
to be
"Officially Worn"
on the uniform by
Army Personnel.

So monumental...

was the trip across the Continent
that the Commander...

was awarded the

Prestigious...

Medal of Joan of Arc.

One of only 3 ever presented!!

Warmest Regards,

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