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]
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
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
Cody Ranch printed on the barn.
Camped in Big Springs. Good tourist
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
Spent morning seeing Mormon Temple and Tabernacle, then “bathed” in the Salt
Mid-afternoon before they got on
[Left Lincoln Highway and headed
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
[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,
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,
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?]