Even before visitors enter the museum at 3435 US Route 30 East, Latrobe, PA 15650, they will be fascinated by the National Register-listed stone structure that hosted travelers some 200 years ago. The Lincoln Highway Experience is located inches from the historical alignment and features exhibits (small to XL) of the highway’s history. It is OPEN 10 to 4, Monday through Saturday, April through December; and, Monday through Friday, January through March. Last visitors admitted at 3 pm daily. For a list of holiday and other closings, please visit our homepage. Group tours must be scheduled in advance.
“More of us are two-lane people than we think.” After visitors view the 13-minute award-winning film, Through the Windshield, they experience a photo montage of what a trip along the 200-mile Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor looks like today. An interactive license plate exhibit along with an opportunity to ride a bicycle across the country gets folks ready for the intriguing exhibit on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s participation in the 1919 Military Convoy along the Lincoln Highway.
The new A Penny for Your Tots room beckons preschoolers to experience the Lincoln Highway in their very own way, beginning with a pedal car selection. Since roadside architecture is such a big part (in every way) of the Lincoln Highway story, the stories of the S. S. Grandview Point Hotel and Coffee Pot share space with the more recent Roadside Giants of the Lincoln Highway – five fantastic welded ‘giants’ created by high school career and technology students line our 200-mile Corridor.
Postcards were synonymous with early road travel. Each visitor to the Lincoln Highway Experience receives a postcard. If written out at the museum, a postcard stamp will be affixed and mailed that day.
Just as the original Lincoln Highway had its share of kitsch, so does our Gift Shop. It captures that spirit in the variety of books, signs, and small Lincoln Highway memorabilia. Take home a Lincoln Highway Experience souvenir that tells the story of the automobile, gas, food, lodging, and postcard industries. Authentic restored full scale artifacts are awaiting visitors in the new building wing (opened August, 2018).
History of the Johnston House
If walls could talk, imagine what stories these could tell! Known as the Kingston House during the 1800s when it was a stagecoach stop, the Johnston House during the 1900s and now as the Lincoln Highway Experience museum, this home, with its 18 inch thick walls, could do a lot of talking. Alexander Johnston bought a large tract of land to build his home as well as a forge and rolling mill. When his business failed, he focused his attention to turning his mansion-sized home into a place travelers could stop for rest and food. Traffic along the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia turnpike was increasing and the Kingston House was a logical location for a toll stop - 25 cents every 12 miles for a carriage. It became "famous as a place to get a good meal, and for its good punch, and became more or less a rendezvous for the politicians of that time." While George Washington sleeping here is just legend, in the mid-1800s future presidents William H. Harrison and Zachary Taylor did visit. Of note, while son William was Governor of Pennsylvania, besides his "solicitude for the public prosperity", was his concern for the safety of the colonial and state records - an early archivist!
With the Lincoln Highway Experience museum now at home here, the transportation heritage of its early days continues. The original alignment of the Lincoln Highway goes within inches of the building. The museum features exhibits of the history of the Lincoln Highway on the local, state and national level.