October 31, 1913, 106 years ago today, the Lincoln Highway was formally dedicated. It was America’s first transcontinental highway, stitching together a single route across the country from hundreds of local roads. Before the Lincoln Highway, if you wanted to cross the US, you were on your own. Now, with this new highway, you could follow the red, white and blue, signs with the big “L” from Times Square in New York to the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
Eventually, the Lincoln Highway was replaced with a numbered highway system in 1926, with Highway 30 covering much of the route, and other number highways, like 50 and 40, replacing it in California. The Lincoln Highway Association, which was created to promote the idea of the road, now performed its final act on September 1st, 1928. Boy Scouts across the nation erected 2,400 concrete markers at sites along the route to officially mark and dedicate it to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. At the same time, 4000 metal signs were placed to guide the motorist.
“These markers were placed on the outer edge of the right of way at major and minor crossroads, and at reassuring intervals along with uninterrupted segments. Each particular post carried the Lincoln Highway insignia and directional arrow, as well as a bronze medallion with Lincoln's bust stating, 'This Highway Dedicated to Abraham Lincoln.'"