Lincoln Highway Association

2024 Lincoln Highway Association Conference
JUNE 23 - 28, 2024 | Elkhart, Indiana

The journey IS the destination

Conference Registration Form

 

Detailed Conference Agenda

Conference Agenda: Sunday, June 23 Pre-Conference Caravan, Dyer to Elkhart 8:00

Sunday, June 23 Optional Pre-Conference Caravan

Sunday, June 23 Optional Pre-Conference Caravan

Join us SUNDAY,  JUNE 23 AT 8:00 A.M.CST for a guided caravan car tour of the western half of the original 1913 Lincoln Highway  across Indiana. We will meet at the Dyer Historical Society at One Town Square, Dyer, IN 46311.

Coffee, water and donuts will be provided, Lincoln Highway identifiers for our cars, maps, and informative literature will be available to every registered vehicle and we will depart at 8:30 sharp. Among the sites and stops you’ll see as we pass through Dyer, Schererville, and Merrillville:

  • New mural promoting the LH on the side of the Dyer Town Hall
  • Two bridges with embossed LH markings
  • The Ostermann Memorial Bench and the Ideal Section  (The most iconic stop along the Lincoln Highway in Indiana) PHOTO OP
  • A seldom seen remnant of the old LH bypassed by US 30 years ago
  • Teibel’s Family Restaurant since 1929
  • The 1928 Boy Scout Marker at Schererville City Hall
  • Old Lincoln Highway Bridge PHOTO OP
  • The Merrillville Ross-Township Historical Museum
  • Deep River Park and historic John Wood Grist Mill  PHOTO OP
  • Upon leaving Lake County we will also pass through Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties
  • Where the Yellowstone Trail and Lincoln Highway merge and then part company
  • 1857 Franklin House in Valparaiso           
  • Statue of Orville Redenbacher and plaques dedicated to the Lincoln Highway and Sauk Trail - Valparaiso  PHOTO OP
  • One lane road under the train trestle along “old Route 2”  PHOTO OP
  • Lincoln Funeral Train stop in Westville
  • Pinhook Methodist Church from 1847 
  • Lunch at Mama T's in La Porte on the Lincoln Highway
  • Kiosk dedicated to the LH next to the classic LaPorte County Courthouse
  • The incredible La Porte County Historical Society Museum
  • Fresh Pie and Ice cream at Jennie Rae’s in Rolling Prairie (Formerly Bob’s Bar-B-Q) PHOTO OP
  • New Carlisle History Museum and historic panels  

We will end the day by 4:30 p.m. (having lost one hour to our arrival in the Eastern time zone in route) and spend the night in South Bend near the airport at a location tbd, plus enjoy a fun dinner together. The following morning (Monday) we will back track around 2 miles to a new location for the South Bend Chocolate Company for a tour and tasting! Then take the free tour of the University of Notre Dame campus…one of America’s great education centers. We will visit the Grotto, Basilica, Golden Dome and the Hesburgh Library (think Touchdown Jesus). Then on to Hotel Elkhart for lunch and registration.

Conference Agenda: Monday, June 24 The 2024 LHA National Conference

Conference Agenda: Monday, June 24 The 2024 LHA National Conference

Conference Agenda: Monday, June 24 The 2024 LHA National Conference

PARKING ANNOUNCMENT: There is a great deal of free parking both on the street near Hotel Elkhart, one block north just beyond the Lerner Theatre, and on the second floor of the two story garage immediately behind the Hotel Elkhart.  Hotel Elkhart has recently determined to charge $15/day to park on the ground floor of this garage. Regardless of where you park, we recommend pulling in along the north side of the Hotel on Marion Street to drop off luggage and passengers before parking. Though we have told the hotel that none of our people will be parking in the $15/day lot, you should also remind them at check in. The entrance ramp to the second story of the garage is one block east of the hotel lobby entrance at Marion and East Street and there is a stairway down from the garage very near the hotel back entrance to enter the lobby.

Although the official beginning of the conference is at 6:00 p.m. (see below), we urge you to arrive at Hotel Elkhart as early in the afternoon as feasible. Registration and conference information, announcements will be ready at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the beautifully restored Hotel Elkhart along the Lincoln Highway (Main Street in Elkhart). Hotel Elkhart was built 101 years ago in 1923 and restored to all its jazz age charm just 3 years ago. Upon checking in.

  • Pick up your commemorative tote bag, then rest up in your room; or walk through Island Park, or explore!
  • Our LH Bookroom will be open on the second floor of Hotel Elkhart  in the Lyric Room from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 and again after the Opening ceremonies from 8:30-10:00 p.m. 
  • The LHA Board of Directors will meet in the Presidential Suite from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Once you are registered we may also arrange visits to other local attractions

SIP AND STROLL THROUGH WELLFIELD BOTANIC GARDENS  AT  6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wellfield Botanic Gardens is approximately 1 mile north from Hotel Elkhart further along Main Street (1101 N. Main Street) and across the river. The Gardens will no doubt be in full summer bloom. During Registration we will insure you have arrangements for transportation to the Gardens for the early evening. Join us for a relaxing walk through the 36 acre not-for-profit botanical gardens and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a wine or a soft drink. Hear welcome and opening remarks from local dignitaries and LHA leaders, plus a short preview of the bus arrangements for the following morning bus tours. We will have chairs to rest awhile, golf carts as needed, plus two tents if the sun is warm or we get a little rain.

Still hungry or thirsty? Several local restaurants and bars will be open past 8:00 for your later evening enjoyment…including Hotel Elkhart.

Conference Agenda: Tuesday, June 25 Bus Tours

Conference Agenda: Tuesday, June 25 Bus Tours

Conference Agenda: Tuesday, June 25 Bus Tours

Tuesday, June 25 Bus Tours

Today we have two busses departing at slightly different times to different destinations - one going east and one west (see below for highlights). All of our guests will have been assigned which bus to ride and we will have someone checking you in starting 15 minutes before departure. Check out your personal schedule to verify which bus to board…we are trying to keep things balanced and comfortable for all.

EAST TOUR:  Start boarding your east bound bus at 8:00 a.m., meet your Guide Larry App, and depart promptly at 8:15 a.m. While additional detail will be provided at the Conference for each bus tour, here are a few of the planned highlights for this adventure we call the Heritage Tour:

  • Follow the Lincoln Highway Feeder Route toward Detroit to nearby Bristol along the St Joseph River …learn about mansions, early businesses, and corn dogs
  • See the Bonneville Mill, oldest active grist mill in Indiana dating to 1837
  • Follow the Heritage Trail through Middlebury to Shipshewana and see Amish buggies, barns, corn fields, the largest flea market in the Midwest and more
  • Pass through Ligonier and its famous murals, WPA overnight camp, great old mansions; a modern day Control Center, and connect to the Lincoln Highway
  • Pass by Stone’s Trace cabins, a stagecoach stop,  and tavern dating to 1839 and an early LH road remnant adjacent
  • Step out for a PHOTO OP at the Kimmell House Inn built in 1876 while our bus turns around to head northeast to Goshen
  • Pass through the railroad storage town of Kimmell, cross the only remaining brick LH pavers in Indiana, then through downtown Ligonier and the Fashion Farm with its storied past
  • Step out once more for a photo at the Benton Cabins from the 1920s and meet the current owner who has refurbished many of them to remind us of yesteryear
  • As we enter Goshen we will stop at Fidler Pond Park to see the finest LH kiosk in Indiana (perhaps the Midwest) with 4 panels dedicated to the history of the Lincoln Highway across the US and locally - another great photo op
  • We will enjoy a box lunch in the park pavilion here at the park before heading to downtown Goshen
  • Travelers will have options in Goshen…guided tours of this bustling and historic Main Street, touring on your own with a tour booklet, perhaps even some shopping or a soda as we spend time in beautiful downtown Goshen
  • After re-boarding the bus at the courthouse, we will take a LH detour traveled by the 1919 military caravan (with Dwight Eisenhower along), crossing  the 1898 Fort Wayne Bridge to stop for a picture at the Old Bag Factory and enjoy ice cream from The Chief
  • Off to the RV/MH Hall of Fame near Elkhart for another PHOTO OP and time to see some great old RVs in their massive collection
  • On the way back to our Hotel, learn more about some of the founders of Elkhart and their homes. We will arrive around 5 p.m.

 

WEST TOUR: Start boarding your west bound guided tour at 8:30 a.m., meet your tour guide Kurt Garner, and depart promptly at 8:45 a.m. While additional information will be provided at the Conference, here are a few of the highlights of this trip we call the Roads Tour:

  • Catch glimpses of the St Joseph River as we head west along the Lincoln Highway and hear about local architecture and other routes that passed near Elkhart in the early years
  • Hear some of the history of Osceola, then spot several landmarks passing through Mishawaka like the Beiger Mansion, the Wills Clock, and the old Kahm Brewery
  • Snap a picture of the Bonnie Doon Drive In and the beautifully landscaped corner of Ironwood and Lincolnway dedicated to the Lincoln Highway as we enter South Bend
  • Note and learn about the Grand Trunk Western viaduct and the historic Taylor Fields and Edgewater housing areas
  • See the re-purposed Studebaker buildings and the local minor league baseball park before arriving at our first stop - the Studebaker National Museum and the Historic Museum (a modern day LH  Control Station). Here we will have choices of spending time touring the Studebaker museum (with new rare additions), touring the History Museum, or taking a guided tour of the Oliver Mansion
  • After re-boarding our bus we will drive through downtown South Bend to see the Morris Performing Arts building (a 1922 vaudeville house and movie palace fully restored), the County government structures, a plaque honoring the crossing of the Lincoln Highway and the Dixie Highway among other places
  • We'll join the 1830s Michigan Road on its way south - a chance to learn more about the history of both the Michigan Road and Dixie Highway going north and south plus US 20 (from 1926 and the longest highway in the US), the Grand Army of the Republic Highway (Route 6, first named in 1934), and the Yellowstone Trail (one of the first named roads in the US) all going east-west as we head south
  • Visit the towns of Lakeville and La Paz on our way south to Plymouth though beautiful countryside, blueberry fields, and hickory trees
  • In Plymouth we will stop for a photo op at a restored Mobil Gas Station, pass the historic firehouse bell,  see their classic courthouse with a 1928 Boy Scout marker in the lawn, visit the restored Rees Theater , and learn about the historic bridges of Plymouth
  • We will enjoy a box lunch (including a Hoosier favorite breaded tenderloin if you choose…and fresh Apple Pie!) at the Marshall County Historical Museum. Tour their terrific display of early settling, road building, migration and roads/highways through Marshall County…. second to none!
  • After re-boarding our bus we’ll stop briefly at the historic LH kiosk in Plymouth and then follow the 1928 alignment of the LH east to Warsaw alongside the Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Pass by the village of Inwood, stop for a PHOTO OP of the historic panels and old water pump in Bourbon, then pass through Etna Green and Atwood, stop for another photo op at the 1897 Chinworth Bridge and historic kiosk  before entering the Orthopedic Capital of the World - Warsaw
  • We will pass by Funk Park to get a closer look at another 1928 marker and a great memorial to the LH, skip over to a suburb of Warsaw known as Winona Lake and the home of evangelist Billy Sunday, and finally hear a short presentation on the Orthopedic industry in Warsaw
  • As we head back toward Elkhart we will follow a portion of the Hoosier Dixie Highway in State Road 15, through the villages of Leesburg and Milford learning about  these towns along the way
  • We will next ride along the GAR /US 6 into the wood working town and home to The Barns at Nappanee (formerly Amish Acres), Nappanee; and then north to Elkhart on SR 19 passing through Wakarusa and observing multiple trailer manufacturers along the way
  • As we reenter Elkhart, hear more about the train yard west of downtown and its importance to growth in Elkhart County. We will be back at Hotel Elkhart around 5 p.m.
  • Book Room will be open once again from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

 

OPTIONAL TUESDAY EVENING OPPORTUNITY

Car Museum

  • Dinner is on your own but if you want to join us for a no-charge fun evening please work with us to help everyone with rides to travel the 5 miles to a private showing of Elcars manufactured in Elkhart, multiple other early 1900s autos, a fantastic collection of the pedal cars we drove as youngsters, and much more. Local residents Dave and Denise Sanders have invited us to visit. We will depart Hotel Elkhart at 7 p.m. and be home by 9 p.m.

Conference Agenda: Wednesday, June 26 Speaker Day

Conference Agenda: Wednesday, June 26 Speaker Day

Conference Agenda: Wednesday, June 26 Speaker Day

  • Join us for a delicious complimentary breakfast buffet especially for the Lincoln Highway Association membership in the Crystal Ballroom at the historic Lerner Theater just a block north of our Hotel Elkhart from 7:00-8:00 a.m.; wear your Lincoln Highway gear for pictures!;
  • Immediately following breakfast we will hold our LHA Membership Meeting from 8:00-9:30; followed by our official 2024 Lincoln Highway Conference group picture.
  • We will break for lunch provided by Navarre Catering and also a tour of the historic Lerner Theater interspersed with the following presentations on a schedule tbd. The Lerner had its grand opening  in 1924 as a venue for vaudeville, big bands, and theatre  and was completely restored and renovated in 2011.
  • From 10 am to Noon. we have the unique good fortune to participate in a Pre-release Special Presentation documentary regarding the book After Ike by author Michael Own and the follow up trip made by Dr. Gregory Maassen. Dr. Gregory Maassen rode an electric bike and following the path of the 1919 military caravan. We will enjoy a private showing full of amazing vistas across the United States. We will witness interviews with people Dr. Maassen met along his travels; all in the context of that early Lincoln Highway national crossing with 81 military vehicles. We will have time for questions and answers and perhaps be asked to critique what we saw and heard to help the producers further improve their offering. This should be great fun.
  • Special presentations in the afternoon will include:

Luke Gascho on “Indigenous Paths in Elkhart County”

Daniel Hershberger on “Camping along the Indiana LH”

Dr. GregMassen on “The LH by Electric Bicycle”

Andy McCaskey on the meaning of “Those Three Little Words”?

The day will end no later than 4:30 p.m

OPTIONAL WEDNESDAY OPPORTUNITY

Amish Dinner

  • Enjoy dinner on your own at one of Elkhart’s fine restaurants or join us for an optional Amish family-style dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus. A room has been reserved and the cost per person is $30 for all you can eat of two meats, potatoes, fresh vegetables, salad, bread, homemade noodles, beverages, desserts…what else could you want? We do need to have a good headcount of attendees so please register in advance on the registration form. We will depart for Essenhaus promptly at 6 p.m.

Conference Agenda: Thursday, June 27 Bus Tours and Banquet

Conference Agenda: Thursday, June 27 Bus Tours and Banquet

Conference Agenda: Thursday, June 27 Bus Tours and Banquet

  • If you traveled East on the Heritage Tour on Tuesday, you will travel West on the Roads Tour on Thursday. The West bus loads at 8:30 and departs at 8:45.
  • Similarly if you traveled West on Tuesday, you will travel East on Thursday. The East bus loads at 8:00 and departs at 8:15 a.m.  

See the Tuesday bus itineraries for these tours

 LHA BANQUET

  • Joins us for our annual LHA banquet this evening in the top floor Ballroom of the Hotel Elkhart. Pick from three delicious entrees and a variety of side dishes, then sit back and enjoy the recognition of sponsors, of the stars of the Lincoln Highway, learn about the 2025 Conference, and more

Friday, June 28: Post-Conference Caravan #1

Friday, June 28: Post-Conference Caravan #1

Friday, June 28: Post-Conference Caravan #1

After breakfast on our own we will depart from Hotel Elkhart at 8:30 a.m. for points east. We will follow the 1913 alignment of the Lincoln Highway to the Ohio border and identify key points of interest and photo opportunities along the way.

  • In Goshen we will pass by the Old Bag Factory (formerly the Cosmo Buttermilk Co from 1896), Rogers Park (1909), the County Courthouse (1870), Fort Beane Memorial…and several more places of historic interest
  • We will stop at the Benton Cabins for a group picture next to these 1930s overnight cabins
  • In Ligonier we will see several of their 30+ murals in town, and then head south to drive along the only remaining brick paver section of the LH remaining in Indiana (PHOTO OP). Stone’s Trace (from 1839), the railroad town of Kimmell and the Kimmell House Inn (1876) are all worth slowing down to see and remember
  • We will pass by onion storage facilities in Wolf Lake and hunt for Uncle Sam’s grave in Merriam - PHOTO OP - (honestly)
  • In Churubusco (Turtle Town USA) we will see a great diner called The Magic Wand  and then pass an 1890s pony-truss bridge just off the current highway; We will enter the largest city on the Lincoln Highway in Indiana, Fort Wayne, and point out classic venues like the Harrison Street Bridge (photo op for sure), the Visit Fort Wayne Visitor Center (1928 marker, modern day Control Station), the  History Center housed in the 1893 former City Hall, and many other highlights
  • We will pass 1950s era motels on our way to the old canal town of New Haven and follow Old 30 (LH) through Besancon (great Catholic Church and school to see here - PHOTO OP), Zulu and Townley before reaching Ohio;
  • We will turn around at this point and follow US 30 back toward New Haven, following the 469 Bypass north/east to Route 69, and then I69 the 15 miles north to Auburn 
  • We will spend the rest of the afternoon in Auburn at two great automotive museums - the Auburn Cord  Duesenberg Museum and the National Automotive and Truck Museum. We will arrange discounted tickets for all!
  • For some this might be the end of the caravan and they will head home. For others we are invited to the Creager Smith (INLHA Board Member) home to view his auto memorabilia/autos, then will locate overnight rooms in Fort Wayne tbd and embark on Saturday on a second post conference caravan following the Yellowstone Trail west across most of Indiana. Details to follow!