Our Road – The Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Highway was the first successful, all weather coast to coast transcontinental highway in the USA, making it for awhile the most famous road in America. Prior to the Lincoln Highway the roads were mainly unpaved dirt roads which lead motorists aimlessly from one settlement to the next with few people able to to give an accurate description of the road beyond the next town.

The Lincoln Highway was an expression of national yearning to link the nation from East to West as it ushered in the automobile era. 

Today the road is known as Interstate 80 or I80 crossing the same States as the old Lincoln Highway did. As then the road reveals glimpses into the diverse cultural landscapes across 3,000 miles of the American continent. The highway crosses the following States; New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California, all States that we have or will visit.

In the beginning there was no federal funding so memberships were sold by the new Lincoln Highway Association for $5 to raise funds. the Lincoln Highway became the route of choice for intercontinental auto speed records, mostly sponsored by small auto companies trying to compete with General Motors and Ford.

The most famous runs were made by L. B. Miller in 1925 (105 hours and 45 minutes) and in 1926 when he made a return trip stopping only one minute in New York before heading back west.

We figure it will take us approximately 65 hours to cover the same distance, slightly more than half the time. Maybe cars and roads have not progressed as fast as we think they have slightly more than 0.5 hours per year. What has progressed is our attitude towards women if you consider that the van Buren sisters were arrested a number of times (especially in Chicago) during their journey across the country in 1927 for wearing men’s clothing.

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