could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

A Lincoln Highway Journal

        A young lady, Annie, made a trip across the country from Bathurst, New Brunswick Canada to Tacoma, Washington in the mid 1920’s. One part of the trip, from Chicago to Salt Lake city, the followed the Lincoln Highway route.

        Annie did not travel alone but named her companions only occasionally. I got the impression that the number and personnel changed occasionally. The first night, for example, there were 7. Annie and 4 other girls slept in two tents and another couple slept in the car. They stopped at tourist camps along the way, sometimes even stopping at one at noon to make lunch.

        Punctures and blowouts were a common occurrence from the very first day to the last. They had one puncture on the first day and 4 the next day.

Aug 10 – Starting Out - Started from Bathurst, New Brunswick Canada [north of Maine]

Crossed into Quebec.

The roads were not well marked in those days.

At one point, on their 4th day out she says they wandered about for an hour before finding right road to Montreal.

Once through Montreal, they crossed Ottawa River into Ontario and camped near St Lawrence River.

In Toronto they stayed in an Auto Park in West Toronto on Lake Ontario
        pretty place but poor accommodations
        “Noisy trains, car and street cars and vegetable sellers & buyers tried their best to keep us awake.”
        [They were traveling between Lake Ontario to the north and Lake Erie on south]

Aug 16
– Many detours, Puncture, fixed it, drove 100 yards & rim came off, patched another tube, got to Winsor & camped in a tourist camp

Aug 17
– Crossing over to the US – crossed Detroit River to Detroit, had puncture, fixed a small garage, stopped at a Nash garage to have car cleaned & new tire put on. Stayed at a hotel instead of camping at a tourist camp

Left Detroit and traveled across southern Michigan, passing through Ann Arbor to 79 miles east of Chicago where they stayed at a tourist camp

Tried to time trip through Chicago early enough to avoid heavy traffic.
        Left at 3:15 a. m. and were through Chicago by 8, now probably on the Lincoln Highway.

        Going through western Illinois there was lots of rain and “Passed fields of the tallest corn I ever saw”
        Crossed Mississippi a Lyons [Clinton] Iowa
        Drove on about 37 miles farther west to Wheatland, IA
        Stopped for the night at 3:15 p.m., a 12 hour day.

Traveling through Iowa – First day (Aug 20)
        Mechanicsville (stopped for light bulbs)
        Belle Plains (stopped for oil)
        Tama (lunch a tourist camp)
        Marshalltown (stopped a few minutes)
        Jefferson (camped in tourist park)

        Saw beautiful farming country, principally oats & corn

Iowa – 2nd day
        Hot day, 95 in shade, drove through farm country in morning, then hilly, bluffy country
        Reached Council Bluffs where they had lunch at a tourist camp.
        Then crossed the river and drove on to Columbus where they camped at another tourist camp.

Aug 22 – Passing through Kearney –

        “Left [Columbus] at 7 A.M. Drove thru nice farming country - corn and alfalfa.   It was Uncle Dick‘s birthday so he treated all to our dinner in Central Café in Kearney, Neb.

        Changed oil in Cozad, Neb.
        Hot day - about 90 in shade.
        Got on to desert country in afternoon thru North Platte, Neb.
        Passed home of Buffalo Bill - 3,000 acre farm.
                Cody Ranch printed on the barn.
        Camped in Big Springs. Good tourist camp.”

Western Nebraska & Wyoming
Hot, passed through wheat and cattle country in western NE, then oil wells, sage desert
                Crossed Rocky Mt. between Cheyenne and Laramie, camped at Laramie
        Camped at Rock Springs, Wyo. Bum camp
        Then beautiful canyon country to Salt Lake City

Spent morning seeing Mormon Temple and Tabernacle, then “bathed” in the Salt Lake.
        Mid-afternoon before they got on their way.
        [Left Lincoln Highway and headed northwest]
        Drove to Pocatello, Idaho, camped in nice tourist camp. Had puncture on way in.

End of trip –

Last three days of trip, through Idaho and Washington, lots of car trouble –
        Flat tires, blow outs, engine troubles
        [2 ½ weeks of steady driving and now they were in the mountains]

[Last day] Aug 29 – Drove through mountains to Pendleton, had another flat tire which had to be patched before lunch, came to the Columbia River. Drove on through to Tacoma arriving at 3:30 a. m. Went 485 miles that last day

(Gas Total $69.35, put in 5-7 gal at a time, 12 once)

Central Café –

2021 Central – George Peterson, proprietor

Opened early in July 1923

July 2, 1924 – Restaurant Installed New Cooling System
        “keeps the air in the restaurant at a uniform temperature, night and day, as well as providing perfect ventilation for the restaurant.”
        Aka – air conditioning

March 9, 1925 – Have you tried our Electric baked Waffles with maple syrup, Central Café.

July 30, 1927 – Gets Favorable Report

        By National Tourist association which published regular reports of roads, hotel accommodations, and eating places along the various routes.

[Did Annie travel in 1928 and this was how she knew of the Central Café when she passed through Kearney? Or was she traveling sometime earlier and it also written up in some other travel publications?]

Copyright ©   All rights reserved


You may use content from this web site for your personal, not-for-profit purposes only. 


 Search Our Site

Please send Mardi Anderson your comments/feedback

Revised: 02/06/2018