Kish celebrates highway centennial

MALTA – Kishwaukee College is hosting an exhibit about Lincoln Highway just in time for the historic paved highway’s centennial.

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Traveling Exhibit, provided free of charge by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, features about a dozen panels that display photographs, diagrams and stories about the roadway that was once the most famous highway in the United States. The exhibit includes interesting bits of trivia about Lincoln Highway.

“The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that there was a Lincoln Highway Radio Show,” said Cressida Hanson, support services and reference assistant at the Kishwaukee College library. “There was a photo of Lucille Ball on one of the panels.”

Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental interstate highway. The route of the 3,389-mile highway, which stretched from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, was dedicated on Sept. 14, 1913. In 1914, the muddy highway’s first “seedling mile” of concrete was laid in Malta.

Kay Shelton, president of the Lincoln Highway Association, said there will be two centennial events in Illinois in 2013.

On May 18 and 19 there will be a driving tour in Illinois and a birthday bash at the Egyptian Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The second event is a driving tour of the eastern portion of the Lincoln Highway that will pass through Illinois on June 28 with an overnight stop in Rochelle.

The exhibit at Kishwaukee College is in the new student services center, and will remain at the college through the end of February. For more information about the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition, visit

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