For a taste of down-home America, visit the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. The byway captures America from past to present; it combines history that predates Ohio's statehood with how America changed and grew with the advent of automobile travel. An early trace of America's history is in Lisbon. Here you can visit the Old Stone House -- one of the earliest (preserved) homes built on the frontier. You can just imagine the family that lived here and the bison that ranged on the nether hills. In Akron, visit the First Ladies National Historic Site. Women dressed as first ladies give tours of the museum/library that features America's first ladies and their many contributions.
The Lincoln Highway cuts across the entirety of Ohio. Realigned multiple times over the years for smoother, faster, and safer travel, parts of the initial road still exist. Some places exhibit several generations of alignments within yards of each other, containing surfaces like brick, stone, or macadam and varying roadbed widths. The road itself fosters a sense of history and evolution. You can see the cars that drove these roads at the Canton Classic Car Museum.
From beginning to end, the road offers the traveler distincts tastes of America and its history. Watch for early, auto-era remnants like remodeled motor hotels, restaurants, gas stations, theaters, and drive-ins. Stop at Balyeat's Coffee Shop, where they've been serving coffee since 1923. Canton is the largest city on the Ohio route, and you'll find many Lincoln named businesses with architectural leftovers of the highway's peak years. Traveling west through Dalton to Wooster, the countryside changes to rolling pastures. Wooster exemplifies the Lincoln Highway's best-known slogan, "Main Street Across America," with its tree-lined streets, magnificent courthouse, and historic business district. Unlike larger cities that were forced to raze historic buildings for growth, these towns still claim grand churches, school buildings, and homes that reflect the boom times of the Lincoln Highway.
Approaching the Indiana state line you will have completed an experience of Ohio history from the opening of the Ohio frontier through the building of World War II tanks in Lima. You will have seen several remnants of earlier transportation systems, including canals and railroads, and you will have experienced the very road that ushered in the automobile age.
- Copyright © May 2005 Leslie Dellovade.
- Copyright © 2005 Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway.
- Copyright © 2004 Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway.