Lincoln Highway Experience
The Lincoln Highway, our nation’s first coast-to-coast highway, marked the birth of popular American tourism – vacationing by automobile. Visitors who begin their journey at the Lincoln Highway Experience, nestled in the Laurel Highlands, will have a more enriching tour because they will see an inspiring orientation film, view a number of interpretive exhibits on quirky roadside architecture (including the Ship Hotel and Coffee Pot), trace the Lincoln Highway across Pennsylvania in beautiful black and white photographs, enjoy pie and coffee at the restored 1938 diner, and shop for Lincoln Highway memorabilia and fine artisan crafts. Since 1996, the not-for-profit Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor has worked with a number of local, state and federal partners on heritage preservation, sustainable community development, and responsible land conservation in south-central Pennsylvania. Enjoy your journey on the Lincoln Highway, and remember to "Keep Thinkin' Lincoln!"
Backstory and Context
The Lincoln Highway was conceived and promoted primarily by Carl Fisher and Henry Joy who sought to create an intercontinental road that ran from New York City to San Francisco. The first section, which ran through Essex and Hudson counties in New Jersey, was completed in 1913. The rest of the highway was completed over the next decade by improving and linking already existing roads. It initially ran for almost 3,400 miles. However, that number has changed as the road was realigned over the years.
It's value became readily apparent for a number of reasons as it ushered in the age of the automobile and permitted Americans to travel at their leisure which also improved the economies of towns located along the highway. Soon, others saw its worth and numerous roads were crisscrossing the country. It lost its designation as the Lincoln Highway with the creation of the United States Numbered Highways system in 1926. Within the state of Pennsylvania, most of it is now known as Route 30.
Founded in 1995, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor is one of twelve Heritage areas in Pennsylvania and has the mission to "...identify, conserve, promote and interpret the cultural, historical, cultural, recreational, and economic resources along the Lincoln Highway..."
The Lincoln Highway Experience, located in the historic Johnston House along the Lincoln Highway in Latrobe, offers exhibits, bus tours, and numerous events throughout the year, including the Lincoln Highway SupperMarket, held every Wednesday in June, July, and August. At the Lincoln Highway Experience, enjoy a 13-minute award-winning film, discover a rich collection of artifacts, explore interactive exhibits such as a coast-to-coast bicycle ride and a Penny For Your Tots children's play area, and follow in the tradition of travelers by sending a postcard from the museum. A new expansion to the museum includes a full-sized 1938 diner, a gas station, and a traveler's cabin.
Weingroff, Richard. "The Lincoln Highway." Federal Highway Administration. Updated November 18, 2015. Accessed November 30, 2016. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/lincoln.cfm
Clark, Jayne. "100-year-old Lincoln Highway offers 'magic of the road.'" USA Today. July 5, 2013. Accessed November 30, 2016. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/07/05/lincoln-highway-100th-anniversary-trans...
Thomas, Mary. "New museum to trace the history of the Lincoln Highway." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 16, 2012. Accessed November 30, 2016. http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2012/08/16/New-museum-to-trace-the-history-of-the-Lincoln-Hi.... .