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Lincoln Highway

In September 1912, Carl G. Fisher, president of Prest-O-Lite Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, conceived the idea of constructing a "hard-surfaced, improved highway" from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He called his idea "The Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway," and it was Fisher's hope that he would find financial support from leaders of the automotive industry to build this first transcontinental automobile route. Fisher's company manufactured the lighting systems that were used on many automobiles of that day, and being "an enthusiastic motorist in his own right" (he was also founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), understood the need for good roads at that time.

Later that same year, Henry B. Joy, president of Packard Motor Car Company, proposed to Fisher that this coast-to-coast highway also serve as a memorial to the beloved fallen president, Abraham Lincoln. As an appeal to patriots, Joy's idea was well-received, and on July 1, 1913, in Detroit, Michigan, the Lincoln Highway Association was officially organized, with Joy being elected as its first president.

The actual route of the Lincoln Highway had not yet been decided upon, but after 2 months of careful consideration, a route was eventually announced to the public on September 14, 1913. As it appeared in the original proclamation, the route across Ohio was described as passing through Canton, Mansfield, Marion, Kenton, Lima, and Van Wert.

The Lincoln Highway became the first transcontinental automobile route in the United States. Beginning in New York and ending 3389 miles westward in San Francisco.

The Lincoln Highway was built with private and local funds because the Federal Government was not yet convinced of the value of such roads. Railroads were still the way to move people and freight over long distances. But those who had something to gain from such a route, such as Frank Sieberling, founder of Goodyear Tire, and Henry B. Joy of Packard Motor Car Company donated large sums of money. It is interesting to note that Henry Ford was not interested in the highway despite the urging of friends Sieberling, Joy, and Thomas Edison.

By 1917, the Lincoln Highway in Ohio had 72 miles of brick pavement, 166 miles of other hard surfaces, and 18 miles of dirt.

Lincoln Highway Farms

In Ohio, the traditional route of the Lincoln Highway is closely related to the route of U.S. 30, which crosses the north central part of the state. However, driving the route of the Lincoln Highway is not simply a matter of following U.S. 30. The typical two-lane route marked by the Boy Scouts in 1928 is methodically developing into a four-lane divided highway should eventually cross the state. Because of several bypasses and other improvements, many parts of the historic route are now county roads and township roads. Other portions are in various states of abandonment, depending on their use and when they were abandoned.

Lincoln Highway

In 1916 it was proposed to celebrate a day specifically for the American flag, a special day be set aside to commemorate that day. People were incouraged to line up along the Lincoln Highway and wave the American Flag.

Although Flag Day would not be officially recognized until 1949, there were many people who did wave their American Flag along the Lincoln Highway.