This post starts on August 31, 2019, and I’ll try to describe tour highlights as the cars retrace the route of the US Army and Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower as they crossed America in the summer of 1919, just after the end of World War I.
Tour Day 1: Washington DC to Gettyburg, PA.
The cars left the hotel in Alexandria and drove to the Lincoln Memorial in DC. Then, they walked to mile marker zero of the convoy — adjacent to the White House. Highlights of the day:
Tour Day 2: Gettysburg, PA, to Greenburg, PA.
First stop was at The Coffee Pot, an 18-ft. high Coffee Pot which was originally a lunch place adjoining a gas station. In 1937 it became a bar, with a hotel built behind it.
Next stop was the Jean Bonnet Tavern which was built at the junction of the Old Forbes Road and the Lincoln Highway. A colorful moment in history was when the tavern became a meeting place for the farmers involved in the Whiskey Rebellion. In mid-1794, Pennsylvania farmers were angry about the federal excise tax on whiskey. The so-called “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product in the new United States. It was part of Alexander Hamilton’s plan to help pay down the huge national debt caused by expenses from the Revolutionary War. The new government needed the money, and George Washington himself led a large group of militiamen to quell the “Whiskey Rebellion”. In October 1794, some of the troops he summoned camped here at the Jean Bonnet on their journey to Pittsburgh to quell the insurrection.
Photo stop at the Lincoln Motor Court.
The Lincoln Motor Court is the last remaining motor court on the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania. It was built in 1944.
Lunch stop at the Shawnee Valley Volunteer Fire Company, 3885 Pitt St., Schellsburg, PA.
Next stop: Old Log Church in the cemetery, at 343 Cemetery Rd., Schellsburg. PA. In 1806, settlers of the German Reformed and Lutheran faith built a log structure to serve as their place of worship. Later in the 19th century the log structure had siding put over the logs. After the church was completed, John Schell laid out the town of Schellsburg, Pennsylvania in 1807. Nearly 200 years later the “Old Log Church”, as residents have come to refer to the church, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in January of 2005.
Next stop: Site of the Grand View Ship Hotel. The S.S. Grand View Point Hotel, also known as the Ship Hotel or Ship of the Alleghenies, was a historic hotel and roadside attraction in Juniata Township in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The hotel was built in 1927, but was not transformed into the Ship Hotel until an expansion in 1932. The ship design was chosen since fog in the valley reportedly looked like the sea.
Photo stop: On July 2, 1932, Frederick S. Duesenberg was driving his supercharged Duesenberg Model J on a wet Lincoln Highway on Ligonier Mountain heading eastbound at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his automobile and overturned at this curve, rolling his car down the hillside.
Dinner stop & hotel at the Ramada Inn.
Tour Day 3: Greensburg, PA, to Canton, OH.
Note: Now Jay’s nearing where the Model A Touring Club Great Lakes Tour will start in about two weeks! In the meantime, here are some of Jay’s shots today:
George Westinghouse Bridge at Turtle Creek:
The Westinghouse Electric Corp. was founded here in January, 1886. The corporation purchased the CBS broadcasting company in 1995 and became the original CBS Corporation in 1997. Two world-changing events happened here at this Westinghouse facility. The first transmission from pioneer radio station KDKA-AM was made on November 2, 1920, and in 1928, an early demonstration of television was conducted by Vladimir Zworykin, the pioneer of television technology, who worked for Westinghouse Electric Corporation at that time.
Below is Peppi’s diner near Pittsburgh, which is about to be restored. It is an original diner built by the National in 1939.
Jay liked this cobblestone street in Pittsburgh. “Very cool!”
And, here’s Spanky‘s gang, at Spanky’s restaurant at the boat yard in Beaver, Pennsylvania:
Glamorgan Castle, in Alliance, Ohio. The original military convoy stopped here. The Castle was originally built in 1904 as a private residence for Wm. H. Morgan. It is now the administrative offices for the Alliance City Schools District.
Below convoy leader, Jim Cassler shared his car and military collections:
Jim’s son, Andrew Kessler, was really excited about Military Maxie
Tour Day 4: Canton, OH, to Van Wert, OH:
First stop: The famed Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield was the filming location for the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption”, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
In 1861, an open field in Mansfield, Ohio was used as a Civil War training camp. By 1888 that field was the construction site for what would be the state of Ohio’s newest intermediate penitentiary. Cleveland architect Levi T. Scofield was the man behind the design, hoping the rural prison grounds and Romanesque architecture would provide inspiration to the men sealed behind his building’s walls.
The prison sat unused and abandoned for a while, slated for demolition. What kept the wrecking balls at bay though, were plans for a movie called The Shawshank Redemption, based off the Stephen King novel of a similar title. Location scouts for the film had been made aware of the reformatory and plans were set in motion to begin filming in Mansfield. The wrecking balls were put on hold and the film crews arrived in the summer of 1993.
After the filming wrapped for Shawshank, much of the prison was demolished. The building’s two main cell blocks (six tiers high and the tallest freestanding cell blocks in the world today) and its center administration core were spared. The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society was formed in 1995 and operates tours and events in the prison still to this day.