The Lincoln Highway

The Lincoln Highway

The arrival of the automobile in the early 1900’s changed the way people traveled.  At first, the automobile was not very popular. Roads were rough making it unsuitable for driving. Therefore, travel was via horse and buggy or train. This all changed thanks to automobile businessmen Carl Fisher and Carl Joy who saw this problem and having a vision, led to the formation of the Lincoln Highway Association (LHA).

Named after Abraham Lincoln, a coast to coast path was mapped out and built making the Lincoln Highway the first transcontinental highway in the country.  Here, is when the course of tourism and travel changed.  People decided to explore and tour America, made possible by the Lincoln Highway.

The Lincoln Highway was dedicated in 1913 and later re-dedicated in 1928 marking it across the country with more than 3,000 cement markers.  The Lincoln Highway stretches for 3,389 miles from New York to San Francisco.

In Pennsylvania, the Lincoln Highway (Route 30) was built from new, merging and improving pre-existing roads, to include Native American’s old trails that were later improved and used by the Colonists.  Therefore, the Lincoln Highway makes its way through centuries of Pennsylvania’s history.  The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (LHHC), is a non-profit heritage region that follows the Lincoln Highway stretching for 200 miles across six counties: Westmoreland, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Franklin, and Adams County.

As more people began to travel, roadsides changed.  Service stations lined the highway for travelers to sleep, eat, enjoy the views, but most importantly, to let the car cool down after the trek up a mountain.  Sadly, some of the stops are no longer in existence, but there’s still plenty to see along the Lincoln Highway.  In Franklin County and nearby Fulton County, a few are: The Mountain House Bar & Grill, Fort Loudon, locally grown fruit stands, Memorial Square in Chambersburg, Thaddeus Steven’s Ironworks, Michaux State Forest, Caledonia State Park, and Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center.

LH Coloring

LH Word Find

Article by Wendy Arispe
Source: Lincoln Highway Driving Guide

Memorial Fountain

Memorial Fountain

Memorial Fountain in the center of Chambersburg is beautiful. It sits on the convergence of two major highways, Route 11 and Route 30—the Molly Pitcher Highway and the Lincoln Highway.

The Memorial Fountain has been standing, on the “diamond” since 1878, to honor the men who fought in the Civil War and as an enduring symbol of rebirth. The cast iron fountain is 26 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with five basins. Eight cast iron posts in the shape of cannon barrels were made at T.B. Wood and Company foundry, weighing 600 pounds each. On March 13, 1968, the fountain received extensive damage when the upper four basins collapsed due to heavy snow and strong winds.

In 1977, a restoration was made for the preservation of the fountain that cost nearly $50,000. The fountain was placed on the list of Pennsylvania Historic Places and in May 1978, was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Chambersburg was the only town north of the Mason-Dixon Line to be burned during the Civil War. The soldier that stands at the fountain represents the faithful Union soldier guarding the southern gate of the fountain.

Fountain Coloring Page

Memorial Fountain Word Find

Fort Loudoun Colonial Days

Fort Loudoun Colonial Days

Fort Loudoun Historical Society invites all to Colonial Day at Fort Loudoun on Saturday June 16th, 9am to 3pm. Fort Loudoun was a provincial fort built in 1756 by the Colony of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian war and served as an important supply depot in the line of forts along the Forbes Road.  It was the site of the Cherokee Council with Colonel Henry Bouquet in 1758 and site of James Smith’s Black Boys Rebellion in 1765 which was depicted in the 1939 Film “Allegheny Uprising” starring John Wayne.

The event, sponsored by Fort Loudoun Historical Society, is free and family friendly.  Smell the campfires and hearth cooking, see log hewing and blacksmithing, and hear the tales of the 18th century frontier.  Demonstrations will be happening all day; fort repair by the Kittatinny Associators, blacksmithing by Mark Heckman, open hearth cooking by Rich Fox, axe throwing by Rob Schmelzlen, colonial farming and livestock by Dale Zimmerman, fiber arts by Bev Sanders, Native American Culture by Deb “Turtle” Swartz, and 18th Century medicine by Dr. Lee Davis.  Three lectures on topics related to Fort Loudoun:

  • 10 AM – History of Fort Loudoun by Andrew Newman
  • 11 AM – Native American Dress & Customs by Deb “Turtle” Swartz
  • 1 PM – Indian Raids on the Frontier by Calvin Bricker

For kids only, there will be a scavenger hunt and other activities. Children complete tasks, receive an award and compete for a chance to the win the grand prize drawing held at the Patton House at 3 PM.

Food, snacks, drinks and merchandise available for purchase from gift shop in the Patton House.

The Fort Loudoun Historical Society, a 501c3 tasked with managing and interpreting the fort site, is in the process of rebuilding the fort and making improvements.  It is launching a “Buy a Log” campaign to help close the gap on funding the project.  Be part of the fort’s future.

What is 11/30?

What is 11/30?

Yes, it will be the name of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s new home–the 11/30 Visitors Center. But long before the visitors bureau took up residence at the crossroads of downtown Chambersburg, 11/30 was where Molly Pitcher Highway meets the Lincoln Highway. It is the Crossroads of the Country, one of the major American intersection with a storied history told throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. It is Route 11–the Molly Pitcher Highway– and Route 30–the Lincoln Highway. It is the center of Franklin County and the Memorial Square of Chambersburg.

In the 18th century, 11/30 was the crossroads of the nation as Sots-Irish and German immigrants pushed the boundary of the frontier westward. As the century moved forward, 11/30 was a colonial gateway transporting early Americans toward their dreams of a better life. 11/30 was bustling with taverns and inns; liveries, wheelwrights, and blacksmiths, and stores with all forms of supplies for the journey to a new life.

In the 19th century, steam power brought the trains and 11/30 served as a busy hub for the newest mode of transportation. When Civil War touched the nation, the square of Chambersburg was the meeting place of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his Commander of the Third Corps, General A.P. Hill. On this site, the Confederate leaders conferred on movement of the Union troops, changed plans to move towards Harrisburg, and decided to move east toward Gettysburg. The pivotal history that followed is well-known. Then, on July 30, 1864, a year later Confederates returned to Chambersburg, ransomed the town, and with the ransom not met, burned the core of town. American spirit prevailed, and the town rebuilt.

At the beginning of the 20th century as Americans discovered the automobile and the individual freedom it brought, their paths again traveled through this crossroads of the country–11/30, the meeting point of the oldest east-west road and one of the oldest north-south routes.

11/30 is Main Street America, reminiscent of a scene in a Rockwell painting. It is parades, festivals, and First Fridays. 11/30 is the launching point to explore Franklin County’s Franklin trails of history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro.