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 open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday (for the list of holiday and other closings please visit the Contact page). Scheduled-in-advance Group Tours can be accommodated on weekends.
“More of us are two-lane people than we think.” The 13-minute orientation film that meanders along the historic Lincoln Highway through 200 miles of Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor really captures the history of our country’s first coast-to-coast road, as well as inspiring us to get back out there and make our own Lincoln Highway memories.
Obtaining fuel in the early 20th century was more complicated than today’s Pay-at-the-Pump tanks, but at $0.17 a gallon, motorists wanted to see that they got the correct amount. This 1916 Fry Visible Pump greets visitors in the museum lobby.
From the vintage Ship Hotel, Coffee Pot, and Shoe House to the recent Roadside Giants that students welded, Pennsylvania has some of the best roadside architecture. Learn how and why these were created.
The Lincoln Highway is about kitsch and our Gift Shop captures that spirit in the variety of Lincoln Highway books, signs, and small memorabilia that are offered. In addition, juried artisans who create the very best in their craft category are also available. Take home a souvenir made by an artisan who lives and/or works along the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania.
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.