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.
Article by Wendy Arispe
Source: Lincoln Highway Driving Guide