Race to finish the Lincoln Highway Ostermann Monument Site Renovation

It’s May in Indiana, so attention has turned to anticipation surrounding who will qualify for the100th running of Carl Fisher’s Indianapolis 500 race on May 29th, and who will persevere to Victory Lane.

In Northwest Indiana, another race is underway along the Ideal Section of Carl Fisher’s Lincoln Highway—the race to complete the renovations at the site of the Henry C. Ostermann Memorial Seat and the Ideal Section Monument before the official September 17th dedication. Generous in-kind and monetary donations have enabled qualifying renovations to date which include the removal and refinishing of the five historical plaques (four bronze and one aluminum), cleaning, tuck-pointing, and adding a protective coating to the stone monuments, excavation of the flagstone steps and terrace, removal of non-original trees and vegetation, completion of a sidewalk to improve access, and development of interpretive panels and restoration of a Lincoln Highway concrete post to enhance the site.

Now we’re ready for the race to the finish line: professional re-installation of the plaques, fabrication of the interpretive panels and mounting posts, repairs for the steps and terrace and some final landscaping will cost about $2,000. Remaining balance in the account plus new donations from the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association members bring the total needed down to about $1,000. Tax-deductible donations of any size at any time are welcome, but reaching the checkered flag by May 29th will assure that we have the time needed to complete the project by September.

Contributions can be made by check payable to INLHA and sent to Indiana Lincoln Highway Association, 402 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601. You can also pay by PayPal using the Donate button on our homepage, even if you do not have a PayPal account. Just mention that your contribution is for the Ostermann Bench in the PayPal comments section.

Thanks for your help in driving the Ostermann/Ideal Section Restoration Project to Victory Lane!

See the attached PDF for photos of the progress to date.  Please share this with other interested persons/groups.

Thank You!
Indiana Lincoln Highway Association

Ostermann bench 1924 LH Guide

Ostermann bench 1924 LH Guide


AmazonSmile – Your online purchases can help the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association

The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association is a non-profit organization, and relies on membership, donations in cash and in-kind, and the occasional grant for funding. We have a lot of ongoing projects, and this is another way you can help when you buy products online from Amazon. Use the AmazonSmile homepage when you shop and
Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the Indiana Lincoln HIghway Association. Please bookmark this link for all your future Amazon shopping – thanks:

Indiana Byways Bicentennial Passport–an Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project

Summer is just around the corner but that doesn’t mean you can’t start making plans for a road trip using the Indiana Byways Bicentennial Passport–an Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.

Passports and boxesVisit the website below to get started, watch the video, and be sure to then click on the Lincoln Highway to see the 10 sites along both routes of the Lincoln Highway Byway. Pick up a Passport at any of the listed locations (a small $2 donation is encouraged) and be sure to get it stamped while there, and at the other sites as well.

While we are naturally partial to the Lincoln Highway Byway, this is a joint effort between all seven Indiana Byways. When you’ve completed the Lincoln Highway, there are great sites listed on the other Byways too.

It’s a Road Trip 200 Years in the Making!



The Indiana Lincoln Highway Association (INLHA) is leading efforts to preserve America’s first coast-to-coast highway, promote tourism along it, tell its history, and expand ways to enjoy today’s routes.

As we look forward to the coming years, there are many new and ongoing projects and opportunities.  We are now an Indiana Scenic BYWAY, which allows us to produce and display new route signs, as well as to provide easier access to attractions to see and do along and near the two Indiana routes.

We ask you to take a moment to look down the road with us . . . to imagine what a planned gift could do to support our work.  We’ve listed on the document linked below some planned giving methods often used by individuals and families to help support a favorite charity.  Please consider which of them might be right for you. We also recommend that you consult your tax accountant or lawyer about your planned giving goals.

INLHA Planned Giving

Please help us sign the Indiana Lincoln Highway Byway

In 1928, when the Boy Scouts of America traveled across the USA placing cement Lincoln Highway markers on the Lincoln Highway routes, they probably never dreamed of the profound positive impact those markers, their efforts and the Lincoln Highway would have on so many people through the generations. Now, YOU have an historic opportunity to help purchase signs to mark the Lincoln Highway. And, it will be in time to mark Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2016! We need to work fast to get this accomplished. . . .

As you may know, in 2012 our two Indiana Lincoln Highway routes were designated as a state BYWAY, and we are in the process of completing a Corridor Management Plan. This is being accomplished through the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association (INLHA), an organization working to preserve and celebrate the legacy of the nation’s first transcontinental highway as well as our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. Indiana is fortunate to not only be the birthplace of the Lincoln Highway, but to have both an original “northern” route and a more direct “southern” route. In 2013, we celebrated the Lincoln Highway’s centennial year: it was in late 1912 that Hoosier Carl Fisher gathered a group of fellow auto magnates in Indianapolis to share his vision of a coast-to-coast tribute to the nation’s 16th president with the official route following and named in mid-1913. You can learn more about the INLHA, our BYWAY award, and the transcontinental Lincoln Highway at our website, www.indianalincolnhighway.org

Lincoln Highway SIGN v4Now, we need your help to provide funds for the INLHA to purchase 170 BYWAY signs to be placed along Indiana’s Lincoln Highway routes. These new INDOT-approved BYWAY signs will be strategically placed on the LH in order to help direct those who are visiting. Each BYWAY sign with directional arrow costs $70. Will you consider purchasing one, two or more of these LH BYWAY signs? Our goal is to purchase $12,000 worth of these BYWAY signs.

Our INLHA Board members have already begun the momentum for this project to succeed by providing the cash for purchasing several signs! Won’t you help us to reach our goal for this project by providing funds to purchase a sign? Please complete the  INLHA Donation Form to be part of Lincoln Highway history. Download it online here at:

You can also donate online at our home page using the PayPal Donate button. Just include the requested information in the PayPal comments section.

If you have questions, contact Jeff Blair at jeffblair87@gmail.com . Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please note that the date to return your INLHA BYWAY Sign Donation Form is December 31, 2015.

2015 Indiana Lincoln Highway Association board members: Jeff Blair, Bruce Butgereit, Joyce Chambers, Lynne McKenna-Frazier, Rose Fritzinger, Beverly Gillespie, Deb Parcell, Russell Rein, George Rogge, and Judy Wood

Corridor Management Plan – Community Engagement Meetings

The IndiaLincoln Highway SIGN v4na Lincoln Highway Association has contracted with Abonmarche, a South Bend consulting firm, to help us craft a Corridor Management Plan for both alignments of the Lincoln Highway Byway in Indiana. We plan to have the document completed by the end of 2016. A big part of developing the Corridor Management Plan will be community meetings, open to the public, to review the history of our BYWAY designation, give an update on our status and activities today, followed by open dialogue in small groups to discuss such things as preservation targets, tourism opportunities, educational needs, signage, and more. Below is the schedule for those meetings in May and early June. We want to get these dates on your calendars and hope you will attend one or more of these meetings as your schedule allows.

Tuesday, May 26 – 5:00-7:00 EDT – Fort Wayne
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Wednesday, May 27 – 5:00-7:00 EDT – Goshen
Goshen Chamber of Commerce, 232 S. Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526

Thursday, May 28 – 11:30-1:30 EDT – South Bend
History Museum, 201 S. Chapin, South Bend, IN 46601

Thursday, May 28 – 5:00-7:00 CDT – La Porte
La Porte Library, 904 Indiana Avenue, La Porte, IN 46350

Monday, June 1 – 11:30-1:30 CDT – Dyer
Dyer Historical Society Museum, One Town Square, Dyer, IN 46311

Tuesday, June 2  – 5:00-7:00 EDT – Warsaw
Center Lake Pavilion, 119 E. Canal Street, Warsaw, IN 46580

Wednesday, June 3 – 5:00-7:00 EDT – Plymouth
Marshall County Historical Society Museum, 123 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563

We hope that those living or working in cities like Columbia City, Ligonier, Elkhart, Mishawaka, New Carlisle, Valparaiso and more can attend one of these meetings as they are intended to be regional in nature. We truly value the input of each of you (and your friends/contacts) so please come and participate.

Blairwalk 2014 – Another big success!

Blairwalk 2 was completed in May and raised over $12,000. Jeff Blair, Indiana Lincoln Highway Association (INLHA) President, walked form Dyer, IN to the Ohio border (152 miles roughly) along the 1928 alignment of the Lincoln Highway to raise awareness and funds for both the INLHA and the Alzheimer’s Association. Jeff reported good weather for bw2the most part and wonderful Hoosier hospitality in every way. He even went “national” being interviewed by Dave Nemo for Sirius radio one morning.

This is Jeff’s second walk on the LH having completed the 171 mile walk along the original 1912 route of the LH in 2011. He wants to thank all of those who walked along with him, those who made donations for these causes, his wife for putting up with his shenanigans, and the many people who welcomed him into their businesses, museums, restaurants and hotels along the way. The INLHA offers a big thanks to Jeff for this wonderful project!

Carl Fisher IN State Historical Marker Will Be Dedicated in Greensburg, IN

A public dedication ceremony for an Indiana state historical marker commemorating American entrepreneur, Carl Fisher, is scheduled for Friday, May 16, 2014. The marker will be dedicated at 5:00 P.M. (EDT) at the Washington Street entrance to the Decatur County Courthouse, located at 150 Courthouse Square, Greensburg, IN 47240. Parking is available around the Courthouse Square.

The text follows for the state marker entitled “Carl Fisher”:
Fisher, an entrepreneur who helped make automobiles a viable form of transportation, was born in Greensburg, 1874. He co-founded Prest-O-Lite Co., 1904, which developed acetylene gas vehicle headlights distributed nationwide. Co-founder and president of Indianapolis Speedway, site of famous annual 500 mile race and testing ground for new automobile technology. Proponent of the Good Roads Movement to expand and improve the nation’s road networks. Fisher advocated construction of U.S. transcontinental roads including east-west Lincoln Highway (1912) and north-south Dixie Highway (1914). Such roads enabled long-distance travel by automobile. He also developed Miami Beach into major resort destination. Died July 15, 1939.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony for this Indiana state historical marker that honors Fisher’s legacy as a pioneer of the automobile industry and a promoter of automobile culture in Indiana and the nation. A reception will follow the ceremony from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Decatur County Historical Society Museum at 222 N. Franklin St., Greensburg, IN 47240.

State historical markers commemorate significant individuals, organizations, places, and events in Indiana history. These markers help communities throughout the state promote, preserve, and present their history for the education and enjoyment of residents and tourists of all ages. For more than 95 years the Indiana Historical Bureau, an agency of the State of Indiana, has been marking Indiana history. Since 1946, the marker format has been the large roadside marker, which has the familiar dark blue background with gold lettering and the outline of the state of Indiana at the top. There are approximately 500 of these markers across the state.

For more information about this marker, the Indiana Historical Marker Program, and other resources about Indiana, visit the Indiana Historical Bureau’s website at www.IN.gov/history or call 317-233-8940.

Jeff is on the move – Blairwalk 2014 has begun!

Jeff Blair has begun his walk across the Lincoln Highway in Indiana following the 1928 route. Today Jeff visited the St. John Township School District #2 (1853 to 1907) school house located at 1515 W. Lincoln Highway in Schererville, Indiana. This one-room school house is currently used as an educational field trip for St. John Township fourth grade students. It is run by retired teachers, who wear period clothing, to demonstrate what life was like for students in the 1800s.
Blair at St John's 1There is still time to pledge for this project. Help the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association raise the matching funds necessary to receive our National Parks Service Byway Grant for a Corridor Management Study. Your support is appreciated. You can pledge by PayPal on our home page: http://indianalincolnhighway.org
Blair at St John's 2

Blairwalk 2 is coming soon — April 25 – May 5, 2014

Jeff Blair, the President of the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association is walking across Indiana again. This time he is walking the 1928 route of Indiana Lincoln Highway. The purpose of the walk is to raise funds which will be divided equally between the Indiana Lincoln Highway Association and the Alzheimer’s Association. You can read more out it on our home page, where you can pledge and contribute via the PayPal link.

Also visit Jeff’s Blog:  http://www.blairwalk.com/
Download the pledge form:  http://blairwalk.s3.amazonaws.com/blairwalk-pledge-2014.pdf

Here is Jeff’s schedule:bw2
April 25         Dyer to Merrillville                  11 miles
April 26         Merrillville to Valparaiso         15 miles
April 27         Valparaiso to Hanna              12 miles
April 28         Hanna to Hamlet                    13 miles
April 29         Hamlet to Plymouth               15 miles
April 30         Plymouth to Etna Green        15 miles
May 1            Etna Green to Warsaw          15 miles
May 2            Warsaw to Columbia City      17 miles
May 3            Columbia City to Ft Wayne    14 miles
May 4            Ft Wayne to New Haven         13 miles
May 5            New Haven to IN/OH border   14 miles