The Historical Lincoln Highway
On July 1, 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association was organized in Detroit, Michigan, with the objective of procuring the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all descriptions, without toll charges, and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln.
First Transcontinental Highway
An announcement was made on September 14, 1913, of the route from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, covering 3,380 miles - the first transcontinental highway. It traversed 12 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. A route change in 1928 added West Virginia.
Green River was one of the towns through which the Lincoln Highway traveled in Wyoming. In 1913, with the emergence of the automobile, the original Lincoln Highway route through Green River had been across the railroad tracks at Elizabeth Street (now North 1st East) and Railroad Avenue. Automobiles often had to wait long intervals at the crossing while trains were passing or being switched. Travelers then had to cross the Green River by going south over the old wagon bridge built in 1910 and west on the Overland Trail road, up Telephone Canyon to the Peru hill. This was reported to be one of the worst stretches on the Lincoln Highway in the state.
In 1922, the Wyoming State Highway Department built a new highway bridge across the river west of Green River. The Lincoln Highway was then routed west through town past Tollgate Rock to the new bridge across the Green River. This highway became known as U.S. Highway 30 in later years.
In 1928, the Lincoln Highway was marked coast-to-coast by concrete posts set by the Boy Scouts. The posts, which featured Lincoln medallions, contained directional arrows.
The Lincoln Highway Association then dissolved in 1935 after the publication of the story of the Association's great achievement in the book, "The Lincoln Highway: The Story Of A Crusade That Made Transportation History."
In October of 1992, the Lincoln Highway Association was reactivated at a meeting in Iowa. Many have become interested in learning more about the Lincoln Highway. Therefore, the Association is currently involved in projects for promoting the Lincoln Highway as a tourism destination. Such projects include dedicating the Lincoln Highway as a "Historic Highway" and some stretches as "Scenic Byways," the posting of Lincoln Highway signs and directional markers, publishing Lincoln Highway maps and driving guides, performing surveys of historic sites and structures, and developing Lincoln Highway interpretive sites.
National conferences are held annually in June at sites along the Lincoln Highway.
For More Information
For a more detailed Lincoln Highway history, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration's website.