The Saratoga Sun -

Gassing the Lincoln

Hanna Museum to get Lincoln Hwy Interpretive center using period gas station

 


The Hanna Basin Museum board met at 2 p.m. on Friday for a regularly scheduled board meeting. The board consists of Pam Paulson, Diana Springsguth, Lanene Osling, Sue Tlustos and Nancy Anderson. The meeting had Richard Hamilton from Rocky Mountain Power on speaker phone.

Hamilton is Senior Environmentalist for Archeology for Rocky Mountain Power.

The board quickly approved the agenda, financials and minutes from the May 3 regular meeting so the board could talk with Hamilton about a project Rocky Mountain Power is underwriting because of impact their Gateway West Transmission Line project is having on the area near Hanna.

“To give an overview, we went through the entire cultural resource survey and the one thing we kept coming up with was the Lincoln Highway,” Hamilton started. “We did go through quite an extensive process of coming out with BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and try and figure out how to minimize our impact, so we were able to do that across the entire project (Gateway West Transmission) from basically Hanna area to Rock Springs, except for this one location that is really along the original Lincoln Highway that we could not get past, so that was determined to be an adverse effect.”

This stretch was at Coyote Springs, on Anderson’s property.

Hamilton said Anderson’s late husband, Victor, had a gas station on this section of the road.

To mitigate the damage being done to this parcel of the original Lincoln Highway, Rocky Mountain Power has offered to construct an interpretative center highlighting the old Lincoln Highway at the Hanna Basin Museum. After discussion with the museum board, Anderson and Rocky Mountain Power, it was decided a gas station would be the centerpiece of the project. Anderson is donating artifacts which include old gas pumps from the 1930s that are at the old gas station—which is still standing. It has not been determined if the old building can actually be moved to the site of the museum. Hamilton said they would look into the possibility, but, if not, materials from the building will be incorporated into the building of the center.

“Everyone agrees Victor’s gas station is an excellent mitigation. We felt this was a great project,” Hamilton said. “We really want to make sure the museum is accessible too.”

Hamilton said Rocky Mountain Power is hiring professionals from a list that specialize in working with historical buildings.

“I feel really fortunate that we are able to come up with this project,” Hamilton said. “I think it is really exciting for all.”

Paulson asked the time frame for completion.

“I would like to get a bid out to the right contractor by mid July,” Hamilton said. “Then we can see what we’ve got together to see what it is going to look like. I would hope at the end of August we would have the artifacts pulled together and the design figured out and then get the approval from everyone involved, which includes the BLM.”

The Lincoln Highway enters Wyoming from the east on U.S. 30 at Pine Bluffs. Much of the route in Wyoming today is dirt and gravel and is not traversable for most of the year. U.S. 30 from Laramie toward Medicine Bow is considered the best section of the old Lincoln Highway in Wyoming.

The idea of the Lincoln Highway came from Carl Fisher in 1912, the man also responsible for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He got help from fellow industrialists Frank Seiberling, president of Goodyear, and Henry Joy, president of the Packard Motor Car Company. The concept was to build a hard surfaced road that would stretch almost 3,400 miles from coast-to-coast—New York to San Francisco. The cost was estimated to be $10 million.

Joy came up with the idea of naming the highway after Abraham Lincoln because a good road across the country would be an excellent tribute to the president. The road’s success culminated with the involvement of the federal government in building roads and the creation of numbered U.S. routes in the 1920s. The Federal Highway Administration and the Interstate Highway System were formed.

The old Lincoln Highway has it fans. Every two years enthusiasts travel the route. This year’s Lincoln Highway Association Conference will be held June 18-21, in Rock Springs.

The Gateway West Transmission Line Project is being built to enhance reliability and deliver electricity from existing and new generating resources, including renewables such as wind. The project would build and operate approximately 1,000 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines between the Windstar Substation near Glenrock, Wyo. and the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho. The BLM was the lead federal agency that conducted the environmental review and analysis as part of the National Environmental Policy Act process.

“This is going to be one of coolest things to see for the folks that want to see Lincoln Highway types of things; I mean this will be an actual historical rendition of a gas station that will have artifacts that were actually on the Lincoln Highway,” Hamilton said. “There isn’t a lot of that on the way, so I think this will be a little gem for the Lincoln Highway Association tours that they do every two years.”

 

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