Lincoln Highway License Plate bill introduced in Ohio Senate
Saturday, May 17, 2014 12:42 AM
An Ohio license plate recognizing the Lincoln Highway is on its way. Senate Bill 339 was introduced Wednesday by Senator Cliff Hite and co-sponsored by six state senators whose districts include the historic byway: Keith Faber, Frank LaRose, Joe Schiavoni, Scott Oelslager, Larry Obhof and Dave Burke.
Proceeds from sale of the special license plates will go to preserve and promote portions of the highway that stretch across Ohio. Van Wert County Economic Development Director Sarah K. Smith said that with the help of community leaders like Senator Hite; Larry Webb, the founder and president of the Western Ohio Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association; Mike Hocker, the Ohio Executive Director of the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway; and Van Wert Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Larry Lee, we are building an awareness of the Lincoln Highway in Van Wert County and throughout the state. “What we have seen locally is that promotion of the Historic Byway is a valuable economic development tool for us,” Smith said. “Last year, travel and tourism activity initiated through the Buy-Way Yard Sales and the Centennial showed the potential to generate upwards of $35 million dollars over a three-day period. Travel and tourism can be a powerful driver in getting new and return business to our area.”
The Lincoln Highway was the first automobile road across the United States. It began in Times Square in New York City and ended in San Francisco, California. It enters Ohio near East Liverpool in Columbiana County and leaves the state from Van Wert County. Locally, it follows the south edge of the Great Black Swamp—also known as the Van Wert-Delphos Road. During the early days of automobiles, highways were identified by names, not numbers, as they are today. The Lincoln Highway, initiated in 1913, was named in honor of President Abraham Lincoln and was the first national memorial to the assassinated president, as the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922.