Searching for the Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Highway was officially dedicated in 1913 by the Lincoln Highway Association as the nation’s first transcontinental highway. It was mostly a marketing maneuver designed to get folks out in their cars but anywhere west of the Mississippi River there were few decent roads. The Lincoln Highway was an impossible nearly straight line on a map.

There were no roadmaps for the western region either.  Even in the populated east there were often nothing approaching paved roads except in cities. The Lincoln Highway brought to the attention of the public the need for all-weather paved roads across the nation.

The Lincoln Highway is the subject of many books. It ran from New York City to San Francisco and covered 3400 miles. It predated the better known and loudly celebrated Route 66 by thirteen years and was longer by a thousand miles.

The Lincoln eventually became U.S.  40 in California. It also was known in places as the “Victory Highway.” Interstate 80 now covers up most of it although some portions of the old road are still drivable.

The Lincoln Highway Association has maps of the original route overlaid on modern maps. These are very helpful.

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