Monday, September 9

The Main Street Across America

You can only imagine my geeky excitement when Momma's first cousin, once removed, came over Sunday with an old family photograph album.

The album contained photos from a paternal family trip with Momma's (from left) 18-year-old grandmomma, 42-year-old great-grandmomma, 15-year-old grand-aunt, 8-year-old grand-uncle (her cousin's father), and a hired driver. As far as we can tell, the cross-country trip took place in September or October of 1925 and roughly followed the Lincoln Highway, which became known as "The Main Street Across America."

The Lincoln Highway was America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial by nine years. Formally dedicated Oct. 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway spanned from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.

As the first transcontinental improved highway for automobiles across the United States, the Lincoln Highway originally went through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California.

The officially recorded length of the entire Lincoln Highway in 1913 was 3,389 miles. Over the years, the road was improved and numerous realignments were made, and by 1924 the highway had been shortened to 3,142 miles. 

According to the notes made beneath each photo
the travelers visited:

  • Mt. Vernon, Va.
  • Frostburg, Md.
  • Fort Necessity in Uniontown, Pa.
  • Summit Inn in Farmington, Pa. 
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • Niagra Falls, N.Y.
  • USS Shenandoah in Ava, Ohio
  • Bourbon, Ind.
  • Springfield, Ill.
  • Joliet, Ill.
  • Hannibal, Mo.
  • Clifton, Iowa
  • Golden, Colo.
  • Lookout Mt, Colo.
  • Togwotee Pass, Wyo.
  • Yellowstone, Wyo.
  • Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • Grand Tetons, Wyo.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Union Peak, Nev.
  • Santa Barbara, Calif.

Don't worry, I shan't subject you to all of the approximately 180 photos, but I shall hit some of the highlights. The sites of two 1925 tragedies were among the trip's highlights: the June 29 Santa Barbara Earthquake and the Sept. 3 crash of the USS Shenandoah in Ava, Ohio.



  1. I live right off of Lincoln Highway in PA, and until reading this post I had no idea it was part of an official memorial highway! I just assumed it was a local name for the road.

    Thanks for your always-informative blog!

    Also, it must be so neat to see the old family photos from the road trip.

    1. Thank you, it is. I'm glad you find my blog informative!