Did you know that the original Lincoln Highway ran through Stockton?
You may be asking yourself, "What is the Lincoln Highway?"
Well before this nation had numbered highways and interstates there were roads. The Lincoln Highway was the first coast to coast road that linked New York City to San Francisco. Much of the road is now US 30 and I-80. The road ran thru Stockton from 1913 to 1927, before it was realigned north across the Carquinez Strait (current day I-80). This road was the first national memorial to President Lincoln and stretched 3,389 miles.
Cities were very fortunate to have a place on the Lincoln Highway. It brought folks through there towns from across the country. The route through Stockton originally came south down Lower Sacramento Road to what is now Pacific Avenue (past Lincoln Center ...coincidence?) and jogged over to El Dorado somewhere before Harding on the Miracle Mile. It traveled down El Dorado (and modern day Center Street) to Charter Way where is veered west to head through Lathrop and down to Tracy. A later realignment of the road followed Highway 99 coming into Stockton on Cherokee Road to Wilson and down to Weber Avenue where it met back up with El Dorado.
There is no doubt that this road attributed to the success of Stockton in it heyday of the teens and twenties.
Sadly, any markings or signage recognizing this historic roads presence in northern San Joaquin County and Stockton are non-existent. We are going to work to change that through the Lincoln Highway Association California Chapter and with our local government agencies before any memory of the road is long gone. This cool bit of local history should not be forgotten....
Check out the effort to get Lincoln Highway route signs through Stockton on the Stockton’s Historical Lincoln Highway Signage Project Facebook group.
A monument was recently erected in Lathrop marking the route.
Here are some great resources to learn about the Lincoln Highway: