Great Mid-Ohio “Almost-Across-the-State” Trek

Mike Buettner sent photos and a story by Mike McNaull (president of Mid-Ohio Chapter of the LHA) about a recent Lincoln Highway caravan. Read his story below.

Under a picture-perfect sunny “Indian Summer” sky, 21 LHA folks toured the grand old road, and at the end of the trek, visited two wonderful museums. The weather could not have been better, which added greatly to the entire experience of travelling on “The Main Street Across America.”

This trip originated in the Target parking lot at Mansfield/Ontario, just north of “new” US 30. Under the direction of the trip’s organizer, Mike Hocker, we headed west on the new road till we reached Bucyrus, and then turned south to intersect the old road. Along the way, we kept our eyes open, looking for answers to the “Shotgun Rider’s” trivia test (one assigned per vehicle). Following the 1913 route thru Nevada, Upper Sandusky (for a quick group photo at the brick section behind Willson’s Grocery), Kirby, Forest, Patterson, Dola, and then into Ada for a terrific meal at Viva Marie’s on the south side of town. While at Viva Marie’s, Mike Hocker collected the road trivia test results, and the winners were the vehicle of Richard & Mary Lou Taylor, and Phil & Marilyn Johnson. The restaurant had opened earlier-than-normal this day to accommodate our LHA group, and they treated us very well. Service was great, portions extremely generous, and the food very tasty (well worth the drive). We could have turned around and headed back home immediately after eating, calling it a day, but the best was yet to come!

After dining, we again headed west on the old road, passing thru Beaverdam, Cairo, and then into Gomer, stopping at the Welsh Museum. We were pleased to hook up with Mike & Tammy Buettner. At this point, the group split, with some pressing on to Delphos, to the Canal Museum. They are in the midst of building a new stairwell, and their Christmas trees had just been set up. The tour guides we very enthusiastic, showing-off their latest acquisition: a genuine WWI American machine gun! Both museums are real treasures for their communities, capturing the bygone days with photos, displays, and artifacts that tell the story of a simpler time in America. It was very encouraging to see LHA displays at both museums, and it was especially good to see the scale-model Snow Cruiser at Gomer made by former Mid-Ohio member Ray Gottfried.

This entire day was an ideal experience, and we all need to thank Mike Hocker for all of his efforts; from his very professional strip-map with six sections and itinerary, down to the “Shotgun Rider’s” quiz! This is a trip that we’ll be talking about for a long time to come!

Photos (all by Mike Buettner except group by Mike Hocker):

Nineteen members and friends of the Mid-Ohio Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association came together at the old brick roadway in Upper Sandusky for the traditional group photo:
Row 1 – Nancy Hocker, Mary Lou Lockard, Mike Hocker, Mary Lou Taylor.
Row 2 – Keith Lupton, Maureen Lupton, Hanni Talpas, Vivian Stitzel, Marilyn Johnson, Tom Lockard, Jean Stauffer, Harold Zager, Jane Zager, Mel Draper.
Row 3 – Joe Everly, Nancy Everly, Richard Taylor, Phil Johnson, Mike McNaull.

LHA Member Carla Olds was one of the hosts at the Welsh Community Museum in Gomer, and was waiting for our arrival on the front porch of the museum with some beverages and traditional Welsh cakes.

Prominently displayed inside is Ray Gottfried’s scale model of Admiral Byrd’s Snow Cruiser, which famously crashed just east of town in 1939.

This new mural was recently painted on the old Lincoln Highway Garage at the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Main Street in downtown Delphos. We gave the building owner a “CONTROL STATION” sign many years ago, which remains on the corner of the building.

The Delphos Canal Commission Museum has this modest, but significant, Lincoln Highway display.  The old terra cotta sign in the display case was salvaged from the original brick pillar in Oceola after it was destroyed by a wayward vehicle in 1993, and later purchased at a sale by a Delphos collector.  The old sign was used as a model for new signs (such as the one on the floor) that have been placed in several brick pillar replicas in Ohio.

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