The following is a verbatim transcription of Louie's diary recording their epic journey across the Great Lincoln Highway (so called!) from San Francisco to New York in 1919. My comments are in this colour and typeface. Click on the two map thumbnails to view enlarged pictures of the western and eastern sections of the route




1917 Dodge Tourer


 

30th Friday      May decoration Day  
Left Capt Helm's house at 2725, 35th Avenue, Oakland at 1.20 this afternoon in our Dodge Car no 2H8H33, and camped at 9 o'clock in the evening after doing 160 miles. 7 hrs 40 m. Passed through Sacramento, the Capital of California.

 


Lincoln Highway - Western section. Click to enlarge

31st Saturday      
Up at 5 this morning, had breakfast and started on our journey at 7.10 a.m. Front starboard tyre punctured at 7.20. Changed tyre and started off again at 8.15. Stopped at Placerville (1830 feet high) at 9.5 a.m. to do some shopping & started off again at 9.40. Stopped again at 9.55 to adjust fan belt and started off again at 10.45. We have been all day getting through the Eldorado National Forest. Climbed nearly 10,000 feet over the Sierra Nevada mountains, snow thick along the side of the road, & camped on the East side of the mountains beside Lake Tahoe at 6.50 p.m. Did 105 miles.

 

1st June Sunday   
Bitterly cold all night. Up at 4 this morning to get near the fire. Breakfast at 5. Started away at 8.10 a.m., got down to Carsten City (sic) at 10 o'clock & had two tubes mended. Started off again at 11.35, had our tank filled & camped for the night at Mountain Wells at 8.45 after doing 101 miles of very bad road.

 

2nd Monday        
Started off this morning at 7 o'clock Stopped 11.15 for lunch & started again at 1 o'clock. Stopped again at 8.20 to pitch camp. Did 152 miles.

 

3rd Tuesday        
Started away this morning at 8.45 with one piece attached to the universal joint missing. Stopped for lunch at 11.55 & started away again at 1.30 & camped for the night at 8 o'clock. Did 99 miles.

 

4th Wednesday   
Started off at 8.15. Stopped at Ely 8.35 to do some shopping etc. & started off again at 10 o'clock. Burst Port back tyre at 11.30 & started off again at 12.5 Stopped for lunch at 1.5 and started off at 3 o'clock. Were 8,200 feet high at 3.10. Stopped to camp at Ibapah. 103 miles.

 

5th Thursday      
Started off at 7 o'clock. Camped at 7 for the night after crossing the desert (never again) This would have been the Great Salt Lake Desert where the highway was not actually completed until years later. Had two punctures and changed tyres 5 times. (Why 5?) Did 125 miles.

 

6th Friday           
Started off 8 o'clock. Stopped for lunch 11.15. Arrived Salt Lake City 12.30. Had tyres fixed and started off again at 5 o'clock. Went 14 miles up the Canyon & found clutch slipping so camped for the night. 70 miles.

 

7th Saturday         
Started off again at 6.30 this morning but found clutch still slipping so turned back for Salt Lake City. The job took 14 hours to fix, and we left the garage again for the same camp at 9 o'clock pm.

 

8th Sunday           
Started off this morning at 9 o'clock but car not pulling so cleaned engine and camped again for the night at 11 o'clock after getting lost on the mountain.

 

9th Monday          
Started off this morning at 8.15 to try & find the right road. Camped at 8 o'clock. 138 miles.

 

10th Tuesday        
Started off at 8.30 this morning, camped at Fort Steele (nr Rawlins, Wyoming) at 9.30. Did 189 miles.

 

11th Wednesday   
Started off at 7.30. Camped at 7.30. Did 183 miles.

 

12th Thursday      
Started off at 7.15. Got lost in the evening. Landed under some trees at 1.30 in the morning. Slept in the car. John slept on the running board. Did 262 miles.

 

13th Friday           
Started off at 7.15. Passed through Gothenburg & glad to see the last of it. Roads nothing but mud. Stopped for lunch at 1.30. Started off again at 3.15. Camped at 8.30 & just in time to put up tent & get tea cooked when it started to blow like fury & rain, so we had to bundle everything into the car & make for shelter by the nearest batch of trees. We all had to stop in the car all night. 182 miles.

 


Lincoln Highway - Eastern section. Click to enlarge

14th Saturday        
Started off this morning at 6 o'clock after having very little sleep. Stopped at Omaha at 11.15, had lunch and started again at 1.15. Got stuck in the mud and had a tow out. Reached Dunlop where we stayed in the hotel? for the night, too lively. (The underlining and query are hers - something very dubious about this hotel I feel!)

 

15th Sunday           
Had chains fixed on the tyres and started off at 9.30 this morning. Roads terrible. About 8.30 in the evening just as we were getting ready to camp the car caught fire and we had to use nearly all our water to put it out & we also found the fan was broken.

 

16th Monday           
Started out this morning about 8.30 for Ames (Iowa) after being eaten alive with mosquitoes. Left Ames at five after being there all day having the radiator mended, but had to stop again just outside with carburettor trouble so camped for the night.

 

17th Tuesday           
Lu and I started to walk to Ames at 6.45 this morning to buy a new choke tube for the car. Managed to get a lift into town and brought a man back to fix the car. Started on our way again at 11.30, stopped at 12 o'clock at Nevada (small town in Iowa, not the State) to get electric wiring fixed, left again at 5 o'clock & camped about 8 o'clock.

 

18th Wednesday        
Started out this morning at 7.10, stuck in the mud and had to put chains on, went on again & camped at 8.30. 183 miles (must have been a huge relief after the last couple of days!)

 

19th Thursday           
Off at 9 o'clock& had a puncture at once in the starboard back tyre. Camped about 7.30. Did 110.

 

20th Friday                
Away at 1045 & after mending 5 punctures. Did 8 miles and had another blow out. Put spare tyre on and started again. Slept on ground without a tent.

 

21st Saturday           
Away at 6.30 this morning for the nearest garage after discovering 2 broken leaves in the front starboard side. Made for the Dodge garage at Elkhart (nr. South Bend, Indiana) Waited until 8 o’clock for the man to turn up & found he had no spare leaves, so went to the blacksmith to have the old ones repaired & started again at 10 o'clock. Did 149 miles.

 

22nd Sunday             
Left at 6.30 this morning. Front springs broke again. Bought new spring and stopped to put it in and have lunch at 11 o'clock. Off again at 1 o'clock

 

23rd Monday             
Off at 6.30 – did 184 miles today.

 

24th Tuesday             
Started off at 8 o'clock this morning. Tried to find a camp spot about 8 but kept passing through one big town after another (presumably including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia – not renowned for rural camp spots!) until 11 o'clock when we stopped by the roadside. Did 221 miles.

 

25th Wednesday        
Off at 5.30 and went a few miles then found a spot to make some breakfast & wash and change ready for N.Y. Started away again at 9 o'clock. Reached Newark about 2 o'clock & wandered around looking for an hotel to stay at, until we finally reached New York City about 5 o'clock & put up at the Hotel Aberdeen in 32nd St. & Broadway. (After starting off looking for a hotel in Newark they ended up 1 block from the Empire State Building and 5th Avenue!)

 

26th Thursday           
Did some shopping this morning.

 

27th Friday                  
Looked for and found rooms this morning & got drenched through. New hat, costume & shoes.

 

28th Saturday              
Moved into our new rooms this morning.

 

29th Sunday                
Went to Bronks Park (sic) this afternoon and saw the Zoo.

 

30th Monday              
Saw the baggage agent this morning and they cannot trace our baggage. Eric left the car at the Dodge Service station at about 6.30 tonight & left for Halifax by the Boston train at 12.10.

 

July

1st Tuesday               
New York starts prohibition. (Time to leave!!) Went to see the Dodge agents this morning, also the Bank and shipping people. I wrote to Bekins. (Storage agency that should have received the baggage from San Francisco)

 

2nd Wednesday           
Went to have the battery attended to. Mr Paw offers 500 for car.







 

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