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Pine Bluffs celebrates 100th anniversary of Lincoln Highway

 

Mark June 29, on your calendar to enjoy a rare treat on Main Street and Highway 30 in Pine Bluffs. Numerous vintage vehicles will be traveling to Kearney, Neb., on their way to the 100th celebration of the first transcontinental highway, originally known as the Lincoln Highway, where they will participate in that celebration on June 30.

Many of the automobile enthusiasts will be traveling on Historic Highway 30 and have been invited to take a break and drive South on Main Street in Pine Bluffs, making a rest stop at the Historic High School before resuming their travels to Kearney.

It is anticipated that some of the cars will take this route in the morning anywhere from 9 a.m. to noon, however, there will be cars passing by the town all day.

The Pine Bluffs Heritage Society and the Texas Trail Museum are coordinating the arrangements for the Pine Bluffs event.

There will be information and memorabilia displayed at the historic school. Burma Shave Signs can be viewed along the route, replicating those originally used all along the highway up until the 1960s.

You may contact Lynda or Norman Sanders for more information at 245-3663 or 630-9046.

Carl Fisher, originally a bicycle racer and later an automobile racer, proposed the idea of building a coast to coast rock highway to a group of automobile manufacturers and suppliers in Indianapolis in 1912. The highway, he persuaded them, would increase the public’s interest in buying automobiles.


The Lincoln Highway Association was formed July 1, 1913, to promote the idea. The route for the road was dedicated on Oct. 31, 1913. Local and regional road associations with local government support, provided by county bond issues, undertook the construction of the roads. Much of the route followed the route of the Transcontinental Railroad. The Lincoln Highway started at Time Square, 42nd Street & Broadway, New York City, and ended at San Fransisco’s Lincoln Park, overlooking the Golden Gate.

The federal numbering system was put into effect in 1926 with much of the Lincoln Highway in this area designated as Highway 30. In 1928, Boy Scouts placed some 1,400 concrete markers at sites along the route to dedicate it officially to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.

Information about the Lincoln Highway in 1918 indicates that in Pine Bluffs the road is listed as “good gravel” and the population had increased to 600.

The job of paving the highway was an undertaking that took place primarily during the 1930s.

Numerous changes have taken place over the years and in the 1960s the greatest change was the construction of Interstate 80. The original highway is used mostly for local traffic. These highways still continue to make a significant contribution to the local economy of all the towns and businesses along the route, especially in Pine Bluffs, where the roads and the railroad all border the town limits.


 

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