This historic monument
was constructed in 1959 by Robert Russin, who
was an art professor at the University of Wyoming.
The bronze bust of Lincoln's head is thirteen-and-a-half
feet tall and required ten tons of clay and
eleven months of work to create. The original
casting was done in Mexico City (the artist
needed a favorable climate in which to work),
and the sculpture is comprised of thirty pieces
that were bolted together. The bust sits on
a thirty-five-foot tall granite base of stones.
The base is hollow with lighting rods and ladders
inside. Originally it was mounted at the summit
of Sherman Hill, (about half a mile to the west
and 195 feet higher), the highest point of the
Lincoln Highway. It was moved to this location,
(about 10 miles east of Laramie) in 1969 when
Interstate 80 opened.
The Summit Rest
area is also home to the Henry Joy Monument.
Henry Joy was the president of the Packard Motor
Car Company and the first president of the Lincoln
Highway Association. This monument used to be
located at the Continental Divide (near exit
184 on I-80) but was moved here in 2001 because
of repeated vandalism incidents at the first
and anecdotes about the Lincoln Highway are
available in Greetings
from the Lincoln Highway, an excellent
book by Brian Butko.
Jerry Kendrick, June, 2004
Posted on RoadTrip America 4/06