(Left Side):The Good Roads Jubilee
One of the largest celebrations for the opening of a paved section of the Lincoln Highway was held here, at the Caledonia Forest Reserve Park, on October 4, 1921.
The new paved section of the Lincoln Highway stretched from Gettysburg to Chambersburg. It completed a 113-mile triangular paved auto-touring route from the state capital to Gettysburg, then to Chambersburg and back to Harrisburg.
An estimated 30,000 automobiles joined the celebration.
The Great Roads Jubilee Pageant was touted as the world's largest parade showing the evolution of transportation. Even George Washington's coach from Valley Forge was in the parade. Gettysburg and Wilson colleges canceled classes so students could participate. On the reviewing platform, guests from a dozen other state highway commissions joined Lincoln Highway Association members.
(Right Side):The Lincoln Highway
If you traveled to Caledonia State Park, the second oldest Pennsylvania state park, from the east or west, then you traveled the historic Lincoln Highway. In 1913, it was America's first coast-to-coast highway, stretching from New York City to San Francisco. For the most part in Pennsylvania, we know the Lincoln Highway as Route 30.
At the turn of the century, few of the nearly 2.5 million miles of roads were paved. Cross-country travel by automobile was poor to impossible, especially in wet weather. In 1912 Carl Fisher, founder of the Indianapolis Speedway, and Henry Joy, president of the Packard Motor Company, joined several Detroit businessmen to promote building a "Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway." Fisher drew a straight line on a map from New York to San Francisco and declared he would spearhead the construction of America's first transcontinental highway. Joy suggested naming the highway for Abraham Lincoln: he felt it was a better tribute than the memorial being planned in Washington, D.C. Officially named in 1913, the transcontinental route was completed by 1925.
In 1925, the Federal Highway Administration dropped highway names in favor of route numbers. In 1928, Boy Scouts across the nation helped to install nearly 2,700 cement markers. Today, less than two dozen remain in Pennsylvania.