A marker was dedicated Saturday, December 8, along South Harlan Road at Thomsen Street in Lathrop, California, to commemorate the Lincoln Highway and a family business that once occupied the corner. Francis Wiggin opened Wiggin’s Trading Post along the Lincoln Highway south of Stockton in 1924. He carried Gilmore Gasoline, then in 1932, began selling “Indian Head” Gasoline, which he had patented. He also sold Indian souvenirs, learned from his days working with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.
Francis Wiggin’s son Francis Porter Wiggin II and his wife Ruth had seven children: Frank, Paul (b. 1934), Richard (b. 1936), Tom (b. 1940), Janet (b. 1946), Don, and Patti (b. 1955). Above, Wiggin’s grandchildren Janet and Tom ride a play horse/burro in 1949. Near the pumps might be one of their brothers.
Son Francis II joined the business around 1936, and Francis Sr. passed away in 1950. The Trading Post closed in 1967, but grandson Richard operates (but has it for sale) Wiggin’s Trading Post in Chilcoot, California at 94139 Highway 70. Another Wiggin’s Trading Post is said to be in Arizona but the location and owner are not known.
The Lincoln Highway went south from Stockton through Lathrop on what is now Harlan Road on its way to Tracy. I-5 now closely parallels the old road. Information about the ceremony will follow in a separate post. Thanks to Gary Kinst for helping with info and the image.