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Geneva History Center: A Historic Lincoln Highway Marker Located in Geneva

Historic Geneva: Lincoln Highway marker is a piece of American lore and Geneva history.

During the mid-20th century, long-time Geneva resident and Frank Harding moved this Lincoln Highway Marker from the highway in front of what is now the . At the time, Harding lived in the Oscar Swan house and the two placed the marker in the cul-de-sac of the driveway.  

The Lincoln Highway was America’s first coast-to-coast highway. It was conceived in 1912 and mapped a year later.  The transcontinental highway connected Times Square in New York City with the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco's Lincoln Park.   It crossed the nation’s midsection with 3,300 miles of interconnecting roadways.  

The Lincoln Highway entered Geneva from the south on Batavia Avenue, came up First Street to State Street, then west to the Pacific Ocean. In 1919, the route was changed to Third Street as the route under the viaduct on First Street was dangerous when trolley cars were going though. The Lincoln Highway Association (LHA) maintained the route and made improvements. In 1926 the Federal Government took over the upkeep and planning of all U.S. highways.

One of the last actions of the LHA before it closed was to order the casting of 3,000 concrete markers to dedicate the highway to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. A rectangular head on top of a hexagonal-shaped post, the markers featured the Lincoln Highway logo, a bronze medallion of Abraham Lincoln and arrows to indicate the route of the highway.

The markers were built to last. The posts are reinforced with steel rebar. The bronze medallions, manufactured by Whitehead & Hoag Company of Newark, NJ, are anchored into the concrete and cannot be removed without destroying them. On Sept. 1, 1928, at 9 a.m., the markers were placed by Boy Scout troops all across the country.                            

This marker is still located in the cul-de-sac of the driveway at the Oscar Swan Inn.

This article is courtesy of the .

John Locke June 18, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Very cool. That marker is a true piece of history- how exactly did it end up in a private cul-de-sac?

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