News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 2, 2013

Auto enthusiasts re-enact first 50 miles of 1913 Hoosier Tour

Event paved way for one of the first transcontinental highways

BRAZIL — A caravan of classic and antique cars pulled up beside the Clay County Courthouse Monday as a group of modern-day auto enthusiasts re-enacted a 100-year-old event.

The drivers were retracing the first 50 miles of the 1913 Hoosier Tour, a promotional attraction that paved the way for one of the first transcontinental highways for automobiles in the United States –– the Lincoln Highway.

Just like their 20th century counterparts, who called themselves the “trail-blazers,” members of the Indiana Region of the Classic Car Club of America left Indianapolis at 2 p.m.,100 years to the minute of the 1913 Hoosier Tour.

In July 1, 1913, the trailblazers — led by Indianapolis Motor Speedway founder and Greensburg native Carl Fisher — traveled through mud pits, rocks and sand drifts to San Francisco. They made a stop at Brazil for the tour’s first night. Twenty Indiana-made cars went on the 1913 journey, which took 34 days to complete, according to a flier provided by the organizers of the 2013 re-enactment.

But their efforts were so successful — thanks to publicity generated by the tour — that the Lincoln Highway, a road stretching from New York to San Francisco, was dedicated on Oct. 31, 1913.

The original Lincoln Highway route stretched 3,389 miles and went through 14 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.

Over the years, improvements and realignments shortened the highway and portions of it became part of various U.S. routes.

The Lincoln Highway inspired the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956, championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The highway is also America’s first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, predating the 1922 Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In Brazil 100 years later, the courthouse parking lot on Monday played host to cars that residents no longer see very often.  

The centerpiece was a 1914 Packard Custom Roadster once owned by Fisher himself. The antique car, which was kept in a trailer during the journey, is now owned by Allen and Nancy Strong, participants in the re-enactment tour.

Other participants brought their classic cars to the re-enactment, which organizer Carol Pumphrey described to a reporter.

Among them were a 1937 Packard V12 seven-passenger Sedan; a 1938 Packard Convertible Super 8; a 1941 Lincoln Continental V12; a 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Club Coupe; and a 1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible.

But the re-enactment of the Hoosier Tour is not about a display of cars.

“It’s a unique opportunity to celebrate the life of Carl Fisher,” Pumphrey said.

She said that Fisher, who was not only instrumental in the development of the Lincoln Highway but also credited for creating Miami Beach, is not as widely known as he should be.

Carl Fisher’s relative, Jerry Fisher, came to Brazil Monday from his home in Oregon and talked at length about the achievements of his cousin and about the memorial he is hoping to erect in Greensburg in his honor.

“He did so much for this country but he’s a forgotten person. So, we’re trying to make up for that,” Jerry Fisher said.

He added it was very important for him to participate in the re-enactment tour because “it’s just one step closer to getting the recognition that Carl Fisher deserves.”

Some Greensburg residents, such as Pumphrey, are working toward the same goal.

“We want to educate the public about this important Indiana innovator. He was a mover and shaker of his time,” Pumphrey said.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Today in History for July 29th Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010