End of the Highway

In the first decade after the Lincoln Highway was created, the United States went from having only one major named highway to having a confusing, unorganized system of named highways distinguished only by bands painted on telephone poles. To help ease the confusion, a federal highway system based on numbered routes was created and the Lincoln Highway became several numbered roads. In 1928, thousands of boy scouts across the country placed small commemorative concrete markers about every mile along the entire length of the route. The Lincoln Highway Association dissolved in 1935 and when the federal interstate highway system was introduced in the 1950s, the Lincoln Highway was all but forgotten.

By the early 1990s, however, interest in the highway was reawakened by many Americans who understood its significance in the American past. The Lincoln Highway Association reorganized in 1992 and is now dedicated to keeping the highway in the public consciousness and preserving the few remaining stretches of the original highway, important landmarks along the route, and the 1928 markers. In 2000, the Illinois portion of the Lincoln Highway was designated a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Department of Transportation, leading many modern-day auto-tourists to rediscover the joy and adventure of traveling off the beaten path.