Relive the thrill of discovery that motorists experienced over 100 years ago! Uncover a past era woven together with the present, where you will find an adventure filled with variety, rich in history and culture. Learn the significance of the Lincoln Highway as you travel through its many wonderful Illinois communities; plan to stay awhile and enjoy their unique offerings. Today the Illinois portion of the route is known as U.S. 30, Illinois Routes 31 and 38, as it traverses from the east on the Indiana border in Lynwood to the western terminus at the mighty Mississippi in Fulton.
A grand dream of getting drivers out of the mud and on to better roads became the reality of America's first successful, coast-to-coast paved highway, the Lincoln Highway. This famed highway mobilized the nation, changing society forever.
Proposed in 1913 by Carl Fisher, with support from many executives of automobile and tire manufacturers, this highway dream became a cause that Americans nationwide could rally behind. Eager to put America on wheels, the inaugural meeting of the Lincoln Highway Association was held on July 1, 1913. Their first president, Henry B. Joy proposed the new highway be dedicated to the martyred President Abraham Lincoln and the quest for good roads began.
It was said that the Lincoln Highway was paved more with printer's ink than with concrete; through the Association's wildly successful marketing campaign of convincing the public (and eventually the federal government) that better roads were needed. Success came with donations providing seed money to begin road construction, and then the Road Act of 1916 to further highway improvements.
The Lincoln Highway was more than capable of meeting the demands of the increasingly mobile public and served as the catalyst for a nation-wide highway system. The dream of a road that traversed the country was taken from concept to reality, by visionaries, great marketing and the labor needed to build that dream; the Lincoln Highway increased auto travel and was a sign of a bright future.
A must see! This award winning series is one of the largest works of public art in the country! 35 different murals can be found in over two dozen Illinois communities along the highway corridor. Each one is a hand-painted, 200 square foot unique image that transports you back in time with an exciting story of the early Lincoln Highway.
A must see! Visit our murals installed in:
»Crest Hill (2)
For mural location addresses visit: DriveLincolnHighway.com
We invite you to visit all 16 Illinois Lincoln Highway Interpretive Gazebos in Illinois. Each gazebo offers an enjoyable way to take in the many, intriguing stories of the famed highway and the communities that were impacted by its development.
Be sure to visit every Lincoln Highway Coalition gazebo to see a total of 48 different displays!
Add to your adventure! Include fun festivals and exciting events in your stay on the Illinois Lincoln Highway! Plan your visit to include several events of the region...
Fulton, first weekend of May
Rochelle, first weekend of June
Oswego, every Fathers' Day weekend
»Annual Swedish Midsummer Festival
»Taste of Joliet
Joliet, last weekend of June
Dixon, last days of June through July 4th
»Oregon Trail Days
Oregon, third weekend of July
»Buy-Way Yard Sales
Multi-states on the highway including Illinois, first weekend of August
»Lincoln Highway Heritage Festival
Rochelle, second to last weekend in August
DeKalb, last weekend of August
»Frankfort Fall Festival
Frankfort, Labor Day weekend
»Festival of the Vine
Geneva, second weekend of September
»Paint the Town
Morrison, third Saturday of September
»Park Forest Art Fair
Park Forest, third weekend of September
St. Charles, second weekend of October
For more special events and regular updates visit DriveLincolnHighway.com
Visit all the exceptional highlights along the highway. Racing fans to train buffs, nature lovers to history enthusiasts, there’s something for everyone!
»Ashton: Authentic 1928 concrete Lincoln Highway Markers located on Highway 38, traveling west out of Ashton towards Franklin Grove; easy to spot, both on the right side, first one on the curve, the second just a short distance ahead.
»Aurora: Illinois Lincoln Highway Interactive Kiosk - 1923 Lincoln Highway Shelter, both at Historic Phillips Park Visitor Center
»Chicago Heights: 1916 Arche Memorial Fountain marks the "Crossroads of the Nation" displaying detailed sculpture with a bust of Lincoln and several inscriptions.
»DeKalb: Historic Egyptian Theater - Ellwood House Museum
»Dixon: Dixon Welcome Center with the permanent Illinois Lincoln Highway Exhibit - President Ronald Reagan's Boyhood Home - Victory Memorial Arch
»Frankfort: KidsWork Children's Museum
»Franklin Grove: Lincoln Highway Association Headquarters - Chaplin Creek Historic Settlement
»Fulton: Authentic Dutch Windmill - Windmill Cultural Center
»Geneva: Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden
»Joliet: Chicagoland Speedway – Joliet Area Historical Museum, with new Lincoln Highway Exhibit – 1926 Rialto Square Theatre
»Malta: Lincoln Highway's first Seedling Mile - Jonamac Orchard
»New Lenox: Authentic 1928 Lincoln Highway Marker, by the Lincoln-Way Central High School
»Oregon: Blackhawk (Eternal Indian) Statue, Lowden State Park
»Plainfield: Historic Road Alignment of the Lincoln Highway and Route 66
»Rochelle: Railroad Park - Rochelle Visitor Center, a 1918 Standard Filling Station
»St. Charles: The Hotel Baker - Arcada Theatre
»Sterling: The Midway Drive-In Theater and Diner (authentic 1950s)
»University Park: Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
Visit our website at DriveLincolnHighway.com for a complete listing of all the many things to see and do, and to download a copy of our Visitor Guide.
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