Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor

10th Annual Road Rally & Murder Mystery Dinner

On September 16th 2005 13 members of the Jersey Late Greats parted their homes in six Late Great Chevroletís for the 10th Annual Road Rally & Murder Mystery Dinner sponsored by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. (LHHC)
The LHHC created a roadside museum along the historic Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania. Incorporated into the museum are a number of interpretive exhibits (some with an audio component), a mural series, Picture Yourself exhibits, and unique vintage gas pumps painted by professional artists. The concept of this road rally is to educate the public on the history of the Lincoln Highway. Our job for the weekend was to answer a set of questions.As we traveled east we stopped at locations to find the answers to these questions. At the end of the rally your sheets are returned, checked and if all questions were correct, you received a prize. As an example, one of our questions was how fast is the car traveling in the Everett, PA. mural? Looking at the mural, you can see the car and a large picture of the odometer at 23.5 miles per hour, this was our answer.

Our first destination was to meet at the Lincoln Motor Court in Mannís Choice, Pennsylvania on Friday evening. The Lincoln Motor Court has 12 cottages that has retained the 1940's era with interior and exterior architectural features kept as original as possible.A couple of our members had to travel over 300 miles to the motor court. Some drove straight to the motor court, while others made stops to shop and site see. We ended the evening with a delicious dinner at the Jean Bonnet Tavern. The Tavern was built in 1762 and is listed on the National Register. The Tavern has the atmosphere of thick fieldstone walls, massive working fireplaces and chestnut beams. After dinner we returned the to motor court in heavy rain.

Up at 7:30 am on Saturday we gathered for the short 11-mile trip to the Gazebo in the center of Everett, PA. We found a restaurant for breakfast within walking distance of the parking lot. After breakfast we met at the gazebo. The LHHC had coffee and donuts for anyone. After leaving the gazebo we found our first two answers in Everett and we were on our journey east to Breezewood, PA. We made a brief stop at a roadside attraction, The Igloo, then to the Travelers Rest. This is a typical stop for weary travelers. It offers a clean, overnight stay with a lot of hospitality. And a lot of hospitality we got. Mrs. Bowman the owner of the motel told us all about the history of the motel and showed us the rooms that still has beds with steel head and foot boards. A really neat 50ís style motel. At this site is an exhibit and gas pump titled ďTole Pump.Ē After answering another question we traveled on into McConnellsburg.
Entering the town of McConnellsburg, on an old section of Lincoln Highway, we stopped at the Fulton County National Bank and Trust Company and parked in their lot. This stop gave us the opportunity to walk to the exhibits and shop at several of the antique stores. At 12:15 we met at the Fulton Theater for lunch. The LHHC fed us a great meal. Afterwards, 16 actors of the Murder Mystery introduced themselves. Most of the actors were very upset for not getting paid for their work on the Lincoln Highway Corridor, all displaying a motive for murder. After lunch we were off to the Mountain House Bar and Grill at the Tuscarora Summit. At this site we had the beautiful scenery of the valley of McConnellsburg at an elevation of 2,240 feet. Also at this site locals use the roof tops for hang-gliding.
Being it was a beautiful day we had the opportunity to watch a couple hang-gliders just floating through the air. As we descend the mountain you experience the view of unspoiled nature. Our travels took us to Fort Loudon, built in 1756 to protect local settlers from continuing threat of Indian raids on the Pennsylvania frontier. Off to our next exhibit located at Popeís Orchard there was a mural with an answer to another one of our questions. Heading east to Saint Thomas we stopped at the New Oak Restaurant to find an exhibit and gas pump named after baseball Hall-of-famer ďNellie FoxĒ painted by David Tisdale. On the road again to Chambersburg for our last stops of the day. We viewed exhibits at the Capitol Theater, the Chambersburg Post Office, Town Square, and at the Ice Cream Station answering more of our questions. We ended the rally for the day touring the Chambersburg Heritage Center before registering in our motel. We only had until 5:30pm to get ready for the Murder Mystery Dinner.
At 5:30 we piled into Lou Dipietroís 64 wagon and left for the Murder Mystery Dinner. We had a perfect day with Elaine navigating Mike to Chambersburg. That was about to change. The directions had us going off the first exit of route 81. The first exit was a new exit that Penn Dot was not finished with. This exit was built after the writing of the directions. To our surprise the exit back onto route 81 was barricaded. Lou looked down the exit made a u turn on top of the overpass, drove around the barricaded down the exit and back onto 81. We made it to dinner on time and enjoyed another great meal. Suddenly there was a loud scream! A murder had occurred. The photographer has been murdered with a knife to his chest. The investigator stopped everyone from leaving the room, he roped off the crime scene and started his investigation interviewing suspects. Some of the suspects are missing others have alibis. The investigation continued into the next day.
We headed back to our motel and met with others in the parking lot. Some of the members decided to take a Ĺ mile walk through town for ice cream. We walked back to the motel and retired for the evening.
On Sunday, everyoneís up by 8:00 am and met for breakfast. Today we will be ending our rally in Abbottstown, PA. Maureen and I lead the tour. We headed off to our last stop for Chambersburg located at the Lincoln Lanes Bowling Alley. There was a mural that stretches the entire length of the building. We got another answer and started to leave for our next exhibit. Just as we were pulling out onto route 30, Verne and Janet Franz pulled into the lot with their 1963 Impala. We waited for Verne and Janet. The wait became much longer then expected. As Verne pulled into the parking lot another couple Bob and Joyce Inhoff noticed fluid pouring from under Verneís car. It was determined to be gas leaking from the fuel pump. The lower bowl gasket on the fuel pump seemed to be leaking. Tightening the screws would not stop the leak. Verne was in luck. John Lucus and Lou Dipietro both had extra fuel pumps. Johnís 348-fuel pump was an exact match of Verneís 327. Lou, John, Bob and Verne worked to get the pump replaced. When you are on a time frame nothing goes right. A fifteen-minute job took over an hour but they got it together and we were on the road again. We had lost time that we needed to make up to be in Abbottstown by 1:00 pm. We pulled out of the parking lot onto the Old Lincoln Highway. We bypassed Caledonia State Park and headed to Mr. Edís Elephant Museum.
Mr. Edís offers a wide variety of candies, fresh roasted peanuts and gift merchandise as well as a museum stocked full of elephant items. We decided to only stop at the exhibits that we needed answers to our questions to make up time and will later return to some of the sites we missed. We bypassed the round barn and continued on to the McKighstown Post Office, Larsonís Quality Inn, through Gettysburg, New Oxford Train Station and then Aero Energy. We have approached our final stop of the day at the Abbottstown Fire Hall for lunch and the conclusion of the Murder Mystery. Lunch was an authentic Lincoln Highway meal of chicken and waffles. I donít think anyone in the group had chicken and waffles before. Donít knock it till youíve tried it.
Now the conclusion of the murder! The investigator went over his clues. Notified us that the DEP employee was also found murdered in the park. His investigation showed that the Penn Dot worker was in the area at the same time of the murder. He examined the crime scene once more and found dirt. He determined that the dirt was the same type of dirt that was on the shoes of the Penn Dot Worker. The investigator made his arrest of the Penn Dot worker and closed the case. Murder solved.
This was a great weekend. It was fun being with our friends and meeting new ones. This years rally had over 100 participants from Michigan, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Texas and of course, Pennsylvania. The Jersey gang would like to thank the members of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor for their hospitality and hosting this event. We hope to see everyone in 2006.

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