Link Across America



A story of the historic Lincoln Highway
by Mary Elizabeth Anderson
ISBN 978-1-877810-97-8
Hardcover, 52 pages, 10×8, ages 7 – 13, and parents and grandparents

It began with a long-ago dream . . . a road that would run clear across America! The dream became reality in 1914 as the Lincoln Highway began to take form. It became America’s first transcontinental highway progressing from New York City’s Times Square through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park.

Venture from past to present experiencing transportation history.

The book’s modern day classroom / field trips adventure story brings to life the historical saga of America’s developing transportation system early in the 20th century. It gives historical perspective to a great old highway,o the conceptual idea, the financing, the first improvements, the old cars, the travelers, and it speaks of the work today to preserve what remains of the historical original roadway. It’s all mapped out for today’s young people to learn about, to explore and to enjoy.

Although targeted for ages 8 to 13, the historical information and photographs are equally enjoyed by parents, grandparents and great-grandparents (the latter with possibly first hand knowledge of the Lincoln Highway’s historic events).

Topics include Abraham Lincoln, teams of horses, seedling miles, small towns, making concrete, trucks, auto courts, gas stations, Burma Shave signs, classic cars, road rallies, and much more.

Also included: Lincoln Highway map, list of cities on the Lincoln Highway, 15 full-color photos along the Lincoln Highway today, eight black/white historical photos, and several artist renditions of related historical artifacts.

• Remember Auto courts?
• Teams of horses?
• Burma Shave signs?
Here’s one of our favorites:
“Every Day” / “We Do Our Part” / “To Make Your Face” / “A Work of Art” / “Burma-Shave”

YouTube video about The Lincoln Highway:

If you have a question or comment for the author, you can contact her at her website or at her email address: marelizand@neb.rr.c
Link Across America: A Story of the Historic Lincoln Highway

Link Across America is a different kind of history book. This narrative starts at Seedling Mile School with a teacher and her excited students awaiting a visit from road rally participants. The students learn that there will be photographers and reporters attending who will cover the event for the newspaper. Why? Because the school is located near and named for one of the “seedling miles” of the historic Lincoln Highway.

Antique cars arrive, and their drivers talk to the children, answering questions and sharing experiences. Mr. Boomer, a member of the Lincoln Highway Association, recounts the history of transportation in general, the importance of President Lincoln, and the highway’s history in particular.

Describing how the highway was constructed covered a broad range of topics, including how they figured out how wide to make the road, what materials were used and how they were purchased, the actual process and the role of horse-powered equipment, and how concrete was made. Other interesting trivia included Burma-Shave signs and the still-standing mile markers, brick road sections, and original bridges.

The back of the hard-covered book includes more information on the Burma-Shave jingles; lots of photographs, both modern-day and from the days of the original construction in the early 1900s; a U.S. map detailing the original route of the highway; a listing of the cities, towns, and other points of interest along the route; and contact information for the Lincoln Highway Association.

This book, aimed at elementary students, ties in a lot of different subjects in a convenient story form, making it a good jumping-off point for class discussions, assignments and projects. Besides history, there are tie-ins to science, technology, geography, economics, civics, and government. It can be read aloud (by teacher or pupil) or enjoyed by the student alone. The way it is divided up into sections would make reading homework easy to assign.

Pros: The well-illustrated story form of the book will keep students of all ages interested. It is not a dry textbook, but rather it invites the children to become part of the story, almost part of the class! The sections are short, which makes them easily digestible and memorable. The additional information in the back makes it a more substantial resource for a greater range of ages, allowing for a continued discussion and/or projects to make the material really come alive.

Cons: Link Across America is definitely aimed at elementary students. While that is not a criticism, it’s good to know the limits and usefulness of this resource.

I was excited to receive and then read Link Across America. It’s the kind of thing that keeps history fun and relevant. I am sure it will be read many times in our home–as part of “formal” school and just for pleasure.

Product review by Krystin Corneilson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010


“Here is the story of this great old highway-the idea, the first improvements, the old cars, the travelers, and the work today to preserve what little is left-all mapped out for America’s young people. We cannot preserve something until we come to love it; we cannot love something until we learn what is. Link Across America will introduce a whole new generation to this road that helped teach their great-grandparents how to travel. The young are the ones who must learn to preserve it.” – Drake Hokanson, Author of The Lincoln Highway, Main Street Across America.

Burma Shave signs … Here’s another of our favorites:
“His Tenor Voice” / “She Thought Divine” / “Till Whiskers Scratched” / “Sweet Adeline” / “Burma-Shave”

Additional information

Weight1 lbs
Dimensions8 x 10 x .4 in