Presentations Day

Thursday, June 20, 2019 – Annual Membership Meeting & Presentations Day

This year’s Annual Membership Meeting and Presentations Day will be held at the Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) Theatre. You will need to drive on your own to 2500 College St, Rock Springs, WY 82901. A car-pooling sign-up sheet will be available at the Conference registration.
● The Annual Membership Meeting will run from 8:00 – 9:30 am.
● The rest of the day through 4:30 pm will feature our Presentations Day. A buffet lunch with a grille station is available for all Conference attendees at Mitchell’s Dining Hall, adjacent to the Theatre.
● A special Postal Cancellation provided by the USPS will be available during the lunch break. All Conference attendees will be provided with complimentary Conference postcards, and additional ones will be available at a nominal charge.

This year’s Presentations Day will be open without charge to all students and the general public. The T-Rex Grille at the College can provide lunch for these folks.

Here is a map showing the the Route from the Holiday Inn to the main exit of the WWCC by the Theatre. It is less than 3 miles total.

Here is a blow-up map of the WWCC showing the route ending at the parking lot by the main entrance and the Theatre.

Presenters schedule with biographical and topical information:

9:30 am – Bitter Creek: Wyoming’s Transportation Corridor – Lee Whiteley

Lee Whiteley is a retired computer programmer and analyst from Centennial Colorado. Together with his wife Jane, Lee has authored six books on the transportation history of the West. This includes a history of the Lincoln Highway in Colorado, the Cherokee Trail and the Yellowstone Highway. Lee and Jane are associate producers of a PBS documentary on the Park to Park Highway that is based on their book, The Playground Trail, The National Park to Park Highway.  Lee and Jane have written several articles on the Lincoln Highway for American Road magazine.

The Lincoln Highway was just one of several “auto trails” to follow Bitter Creek, from Point of Rocks, through Rock Springs, to Green River. California-bound gold-seekers took the first wagons along Bitter Creek on the Cherokee Trail in 1849, followed by the stagecoaches of Ben Holladay’s Overland State Line in 1862. Then the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad were completed along Bitter Creek in 1868. The corridor was used by the first transcontinental U.S. air-mail route in 1920.

!0:15 am – Break

10:30 amThe Yellowstone Trail, The Other Old Transcontinental Trail – Mark Mowbray

Mark Mowbray has been the Executive Director of the Yellowstone Trail Association for the past nine years and is a charter member of that organization. He was born and raised on the Yellowstone Trail in central Wisconsin. His father was the owner of the historic Yellowstone Garage in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Before attending college, Mark worked with his father in the Yellowstone Garage.

There is another transcontinental route – “A Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound” called the Yellowstone Trail. It began in the same “Good Roads” period as the Lincoln Highway, but with different destinations. The Trail started and developed by a few guys in South Dakota in 1912, at first only to pressure local politicians to fix a local road. It grew into a well-known interstate routing across the northern tier of states. The YT never had a single mile built by the Association. It was all done by grassroots support of local communities. Mark will lead a 24-minute video presentation and discussion.

11:15 am – The Lincoln Highway Suite – Nolan Stolz

Nolan Stolz is a composer and musical scholar living in Spartanburg South Carolina where he is an assistant professor and coordinator of music at the University of South Carolina Upstate. His compositions may be heard on releases from Ablaze, ESM, Parma/Navona, Six Strings Sounds and Tributary music. Nolan’s Lincoln Highway Suite was completed in 2013 to commemorate the centennial of America’s first transcontinental road. In addition to his work as a composer, Dr. Stolz has published essays and articles on jazz and rock, and authored the book Experiencing Black Sabbath: A Listener’s Companion.

Stolz’s Lincoln Highway Suite commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Historic Lincoln Highway 2013. This orchestral piece is divided into five movements: “From the Hudson”, “Metals Heartland”, “Prairie View”, “Traversing the Mountains”, and “Golden State Romp”.  The suite is constructed so that it may be performed westward from the Hudson or eastward from San Francisco. Movements may also be performed as stand-alone work. The suite has been performed by a number of symphonic orchestras. It was recorded by the Brno Philharmonic (Czech Republic) in 2017 and has been release commercially on Ablaze Records in 2018.

12:00 noon – Lunch

1:15 pm – A Photographic Journey: The Lincoln Highway Across Sweetwater County – David Mead

David Mead is the Exhibits Coordinator at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. He has worked in natural and cultural museums for over 25 years. His museum career began at the Pony Express and St. Joseph Museums in Missouri, where he served as curator of Natural History. Subsequently, he was Exhibits Manager at the Idaho Museum of Natural History before assuming his current position in Wyoming.

David will give a tour of the Lincoln Highway across southwestern Wyoming, illustrated by historic photos from the Sweetwater County Historical Museum’s collections and from the Lincoln Highway Association’s archives.

2:00 pm – Mormon Handcarts – Jim Bonar

Jim Bonar is a retired educator who has lived in Reno Nevada for the past 40 years. Jim first developed an interest in the Lincoln Highway at a very young age, growing up on the Lincoln Highway in Salt Lake City, Utah and Green River, Wyoming. Jim’s lineage is rich with connections to the Mormon migration of the 19th century. Jim first joined the LHA in 1995. He is presently the Director of the Nevada Chapter of the LHA and has served not only as a director of that chapter but also as the President for eight years. Jim is an experienced speaker on the Lincoln Highway averaging 12 public presentations per year.

For many road and trails enthusiasts, the short history of the “Mormon Handcart” is not well known. Any of these enthusiasts visiting Wyoming should know the story of this major historic tragedy that happened in Wyoming in 1857. This presentation will describe the trials, tribulations, and the tragedies that befell several Mormon groups making their way to “Zion” for a better life. Why did they attempt such a remarkable journey, and in such an unorthodox way? And how does their “trail” intersect with the future of the Lincoln Highway?

2:45 pm – Break

3:00 pm – Concrete & Granite, Stories About Markers Along The Lincoln Highway in Wyoming – Doc Thissen

Doc Thissen is a documentary photographer based in Laramie, Wyoming. After many years as a serious hobbyist he returned to school, attending the Academy of Art University in San Francisco beginning in 2009. He earned a degree in fine art photography at the end of 2013. While in school, he discovered he could combine his love of history with photography. He’s currently working on a project about the Lincoln Highway across Wyoming. This is his third professional project, and first to be made into a book, (due to be published late 2019).

This presentation will cover the markers the Boy Scouts of America placed along the Lincoln Highway in Wyoming and how there was a year-long delay because of mismanagement and confusion. This will be followed with a presentation about why it took over two years to get the Henry Bourne Joy monument placed at the edge of the Continental Divide basin in south-central Wyoming.

From the Collection of Russell S. Rein

3:45 pmAfter Ike: On the Trail of a Century Old Journey That Changed America – Michael Owen

Michael S. Owen is a retired U.S. Ambassador; during his 30 years as a Foreign Service Officer he worked in numerous countries across Africa and Asia.  Now that he’s back home, he’s delighting in traveling around his own country, and has driven over the Lincoln Highway several times. He has published several short stories in literary journals, but After Ike is his first full-length book. It tells the story of the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. He lives in Reston, Virginia with his wife Annerieke and their cat Rusty. 

On a sunny July morning in 1919, some 300 military personnel and 81 heavy vehicles assembled on the south side of Washington’s White House. The convoy was about to embark on an historic trip over the nascent Lincoln Highway that fundamentally changed – and continues to change – our country. Among the 300 members of the convoy was a 28-year-old Lt. Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower. Michael Owen, utilizing the convoy’s official daily log and other secondary material, followed the exact route of the convoy over what are nowadays lonely backcountry roads or dusty tracks across open western landscapes.  Owen relates the particulars of the convoy’s historic trip, and chronicles the myriad changes along the route in the intervening century.

That evening back at the Holiday Inn for the Awards Banquet – The Centennial Tour of the 1919 Army Convoy – Jim Cassler

Jim Cassler has been an active member of the LHA since 1999. He has staffed all tours sponsored by the LHA since 2003. He was the Director of the Three Roads Tour in 2016 and the Northwoods Tour in 2017. He was also chairman of the Gettysburg LHA Conference of 2016 and the Canton Conference of 2012. He is the owner and operator of the Klingstead Brothers Company in Canton Ohio as well as The Lincoln Highway Trading Post. Jim is the father of two sons and has served as a Boy Scout leader for more than 45 years.

Jim will give a preview of the upcoming Centennial Tour commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. President Dwight Eisenhower served as a Lieutenant Colonel on the Convoy.

From the Collection of Russell S. Rein