Come learn about the history and construction of the Lincoln Highway.
In 1912, there were almost no good roads to speak of in the United States. The relatively few miles of improved road were only around towns and cities. A road was "improved" if it was graded; one was lucky to have gravel or brick. Asphalt and concrete were yet to come. Most of the 2.5 million miles of roads were just dirt: bumpy and dusty in dry weather, impassable in wet weather. Worse yet, the roads didn't really lead anywhere. They spread out aimlessly from the center of the settlement. To get from one settlement to another, it was much easier to take the train.
Carl Fisher recognized this situation, and in 1912, he dreamed of a highway spanning the continent, from coast to coast. He called his idea the Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway. The graveled road would cost about ten million dollars, low even for 1912. Communities along the route would provide the equipment and in return would receive free materials and a place along America's first transcontinental highway.
On July 29, 1847 a group of pioneers known as the Mississippi Company, led by John Holladay, entered the Salt Lake Valley. Within weeks after their arrival, they discovered a free flowing, spring fed stream, which they called Spring Creek (near Kentucky Avenue). While most of the group returned to the Fort in Great Salt Lake for the winter, two or three men built dugouts along this stream and wintered over. Thus, this became the first village established away from Great Salt Lake City itself. In the spring, a number of families hurried out to build homes and tame the land. When John Holladay was named as the branch president of the Latter-Day Church, the village took upon itself the name of Holladay’s Settlement or Holladay’s Burgh.
As homes were built, commercial ventures developed, first at the intersection of Highland Drive and Murray-Holladay Road, with David Brinton’s Mercantile Co-op and Brinton-Gunderson Blacksmith Shop. As the community grew, businesses tended to move east of the intersection of Holladay Boulevard and Murray-Holladay Road, where more of the residents lived. Neilson’s Store and Harper-Bowthorpe Blacksmith Shop were popular and well-frequented businesses for many years. Favorable conditions for agriculture, orchards, and businesses allowed for continued growth over the years.