National Conference of the Lincoln Highway Association in Elkhart, Indiana – June 24-28, 2024.

Get ready for the National Conference of the Lincoln Highway Association JUNE 24-28, 2024. Our host hotel for out of town members and visitors will be the beautiful HOTEL ELKHART in downtown Elkhart, along the original 1913 Lincoln Highway.

Below is an outline of our activities and we are hopeful to have both a significant membership attendance and yet provide opportunities for interested residents and historians to participate in a series of meaningful lectures and tours of the area.

The meeting will officially begin in the evening of Monday, June 24 with a greeting and welcome at WELLFIELD GARDENS in Elkhart… a great place to walk around in scenic beauty, enjoying friends and acquaintances. We’ll introduce the schedule for the rest of the week, meet key state and local host dignitaries, while enjoying finger foods and drinks.

On Tuesday June 25 we will take a GUIDED BUS TOUR EAST for the day.  We will drive a portion of the NORTHERN INDIANA HERITAGE TRAIL and THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY FEEDER ROUTE TO DETROIT through BRISTOL, pass the historic BONNEYVILLE MILL through the quaint town of MIDDLEBURY, and on to SHIPSHEWANA.  We will proceed south to LIGONIER —the town of murals and tourist camps, with a marvelous Jewish Heritage.  We will continue on to the 1870s KIMMELL HOUSE INN where we will turn on to the LINCOLN HIGHWAY once more and travel northwest.  We will pass some 1930s TOURIST CABINS IN BENTON, and stop at the finest LINCOLN HIGHWAY KIOSK and HISTORIC PANELS in Indiana at FIDLER POND PARK. We will proceed to the county seat of GOSHEN for lunch and touring the rest of the day.  In Goshen we will tour their recently remodeled GOSHEN THEATER, see the CARNEGIE LIBRARY, the POLICE BOOTH AND COURT HOUSE, stop at THE BAG FACTORY , and hopefully taste some handmade candy from THE OLYMPIA CANDY KITCHEN (since 1912), or try some Midwest #1 rated ice cream from THE CHIEF.  An experienced guide will accompany all of our tours to share history, facts and points of interest.

Also on Tuesday we will provide a second tour, a GUIDED BUS TOUR WEST for the day. We will follow the LINCOLN HIGHWAY west along the ST JOSEPH RIVER to OSCEOLA AND MISHAWAKA spotting drive ins, beautiful riverfront homes, parks, a Studebaker showroom and more.  We will make our way through the middle of SOUTH BEND to spend  time at the STUDEBAKER NATIONAL MUSEUM and HISTORY MUSEUM, before heading south on the 1840s MICHIGAN ROAD. Along the way we will cross and learn about not only the Michigan Road, but the GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC HIGHWAY (GAR), THE YELLOWSTONE TRAIL, and THE DIXIE HIGHWAY as we enter the crossroads town of PLYMOUTH. In Plymouth we will not only lunch but also see their LH KIOSK, tour the MARSHALL COUNTY CROSSROADS MUSEUM , see the 1940s REES THEATER, pass by a renovated MOBIL GAS STATION, take in the courthouse and a 1928 LH MAKER PLACED BY THE BOY SCOUTS.  As we leave Plymouth, we will join the 1927-28 alignment of the LINCOLN HIGHWAY going east through INWOOD to BOURBON, spotting quilt barns and viewing the new historic panels the INLHA has place.  We will pass through ETNA GREEN and ATWOOD before noting a LINCOLN HIGHWAY KIOSK west of WARSAW at the 1890s CHINWORTH BRIDGE. Warsaw is the Orthopedic Capital of the world and a city of lakes. We will spin close to one of those lakes as we see the BILLY SUNDAY RESIDENCE at WINONA LAKE. From there we will head back to our host hotel in Elkhart but not before a tour of some of the older mansions and historic sites in greater Elkhart

These two tours will be repeated on Thursday, June 27 with those who went east on Tuesday now taking the west tour…and vice versa.

On Wednesday the 26th we will have an EDUCATION DAY at the spectacular CRYSTAL BALLROOM IN THE LERNER THEATRE with professional speakers on fascinating topics.  The full array of speakers is still being developed but such topics as the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE that were the foundation of both rail patterns and later the Lincoln Highway, crossing the country on the LH via ELECTRIC BIKE, the first ROAD SIGNS developed specifically for the Lincoln Highway, THREE SQUARE METERS that can define every spot on earth (the future of GPS?), ELKHART COUNTY BUSINESS leadership through the years, CAMPING AND FORERUNNERS TO THE RV industry, and more.

We will also offer PRE-CONFERENCE  and POST-CONFERENCE tours and/or tickets to TRAVEL THE INDIANA LH on your way into Elkhart, to see the famous IDEAL SECTION AND OSTERMANN SEAT in Dyer, or visit MUSEUMS in Merrillville, Valparaiso, La Porte, New Carlisle, Fort Wayne, or Columbia City.  In Elkhart we will make it possible to spend time in the NATIONAL NEW  YORK CENTRAL MUSEUM, MIDWEST MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (both just steps from the Hotel Elkhart), and the renowned RV/MH HALL OF FAME. A trip into Michigan along a Lincoln Highway FEEDER ROUTE is also likely offered

So…. please mark your calendars to join us for some or all of what is shaping up to be a remarkable event in Elkhart County and northern Indiana…JUNE 24-28, 2024. And check out our LHA Landing Page below to see other events and sites in Elkhart County as well as up-to-date planned activities for the Conference week. Hope you can come for some or all!