Thursday, May 17, 2012

Traveling the Old Lincoln Highway thru Lancaster

Lincoln Highway, named for our 16th President, was the first automobile road to cross the US. And in Lancaster County, you can follow some of the old 1915 highway and enjoy many of the sights from long ago. You can occasionally see the original markers that say things such as "47 M to P, 15 to L" meaning  47 miles to Philadelphia and 15 miles to Lancaster. Although many of the old tourist courts are gone now, there are still some of the diners and shops that have been around for years.
On the east side of town some of the old restaurants are still in business. The Revere Tavern dates back to 1740. Dutch Haven was built in 1946 offering PA Dutch cooking and souvenirs. Today they are famous for their shoo-fly pies. Miller's Smorgasbord originally opened in 1929 for tourists traveling the Old Lincoln Highway. Although it has been renovated through the years, it still offers  traditional cooking  including "seven sweets and seven sours" with each meal!  And just down the road is Jennie's Diner, one of the original 1950's dining car style diners.
There are also a few of the old motels nestled among the modern strip of restaurants, shops and lodging establishments. And the 1960's amusement park, Dutch Wonderland.
On the west side of Lancaster there is still one of the old Tourist Courts still in business. An occasional diner will also pop up in the towns of Mountville and Columbia. In Columbia, the road crosses the river to York County. The original Lincoln Highway bridge was demolished in 1964, but you can still see the stone piers from the modern bridge. The old bridge was originally a wooden covered bridge burned down to halt the Confederate Army during the Civil War, but replaced with a steel structure in 1897. The problem with the bridge was that cars and trains had to share it, and it didn't always work out! 
There is so much history in Lancaster County. And as you drive down the old Lincoln Highway, you may catch a glimpse of what travelers saw almost 100 years ago!
Submitted by Lark and Michael McCarley, Innkeepers of the  Lovelace Manor Bed and Breakfast

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